The Road Back To Emotional Stability
Whether you are experiencing emotional instability because of sexual sin, separation, divorce, rape or death of a spouse, the root emotion of single parenthood is that feeling that you are disappointed, afraid, dejected, and doing a job of two people alone. You are either upset at yourself for the mess you are in; or that boyfriend or girlfriend for leaving you when things were not convenient for them; or that husband or wife that could not give your marriage more effort and another chance; or God for allowing you to go through this kind of suffering, grieving your spouse whether your marriage was great or not. The emotional rollercoaster can be very draining and that’s why for your own sake and that of your child(ren), there’s a need to get back to a stable place emotionally.
Emotionally stable parents bring up emotionally stable children!
In this module
In this module
In this module
Critical foundation for single parents, and allhuman beings!
Emotional stability provides you with the ability to take problems you face in strides in order to enable you reach your goals.
Studies have shown that an emotionally stable mother or father brings up emotionally stable children. I understand how difficult emotional stability can seem in the midst of challenging circumstances.
The good thing is, God is not asking us to do this on our own, He wants to be involved and is very interested to help us out. During my years of single parenthood, I do not remember a day that passed by without my eyes welling and leading to loud sobs of disappointment, bitterness, anger and confusion.
It was so bad that my eyes were blood-shot red most of the time. You could mistake me for an alcoholic. I was unstable and would break down at the slightest provocation – even from people who were not concerned with my personal circumstances. I constantly felt it was me against the world and I needed to fight everyone and everything.
Everyone in this life goes through disappointments, loss and change. It may not be single parenthood related, but life has generous opportunities to get us into emotional instability. While these are normal parts of life, they can still cause sadness , anxiety and stress.
According to Strong’s commentary, being anxious for nothing is an exact repetition of our Lord’s command, “Take no thought” mentioned in Matthew 6:25; Matthew 6:34.
The prohibition is of that painful anxiety which is inevitable when we feel alone in mere self-dependence amidst the difficulties and dangers of life.
After we remove the worry and anxiety, we can then move on to the next phase, which is to believe in the trust-fulness of prayer. Here, God is calling us to talk to Him concerning the things that would otherwise cause us worry and anxiety.
Remember that we are custodians of the children in our care and we are co-labourers with God in the assignments He has given us. In this case, the children are the assignment at hand.
The online dictionary defines co-labourer as one who labours with another or an associate labourer. This means that if you had one acre to plough in a co-labourer contract and you ploughed the entire acre again, you have laboured in vain.
How is Thanksgiving a powerful tool?
Most of us have probably heard the hymn “Count Your Blessings”, however, we might not know that literally counting our blessings increases our emotional health. Researchers had one group of students write for 20 minutes each day about things they were grateful for, a second about things they were angry about, and a third about random topics like the color of their shoes. Guess which group was happiest at the end of the experiment? The ones who wrote about things they were grateful for of course! Even more interesting is that those who wrote about the things they were grateful for were less likely to be sick throughout the semester.
There are many blessings that come from being grateful for the good things we enjoy. I came along a quote that said, live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life.
As Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “The more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds—even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less”
hen people are not grateful they tend to complain, and that isn’t good for anyone. For example, even though the Lord had delivered the Israelites from slavery and given them manna to eat, they were not grateful. Notice what happens: “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it” (Numbers 11:1). So the Lord hears when we complain, and He does not like it.
Something amazing about being grateful is that it’s in our control. We might not be able to make the varsity team or be elected student body president. We might not get asked out on dates or have the biggest muscles (we speak from personal experience). But we can control whether we have a grateful attitude.
Great blessings are promised to those who are grateful. The Lord said, “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more” (D&C 78:19). Let us follow the counsel of Paul who said, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
We can control whether we have a grateful attitude or not. We always say, “I’d be happy If…”
Some people have a hard time being grateful for what they have. They say, “I’d be happy if only I had [fill in the blank—a new car, an iPod, good hair, etc.].” Like the girl who says, “If I were 16, then I’d be happy.” Then she turns 16 and says, “If guys start asking me out, then I’ll be happy.” And then guys start asking her out, and when she’s older she says, “If I get a boyfriend, then I’ll be happy.” Then she gets a boyfriend and says, “If I can break up with my boyfriend, then I’ll be happy.” And so it goes. If we say, “I’ll be happy if . . . ,” the happiness may never come. But when we are grateful, we invite happiness to come immediately.
uring seasons when the attitude of gratitude eludes me completely, I take a gratitude challenge. You will not feel like doing it initially, but once you get into it, you quickly pick the speed and you will not want to stop. We always talk about counting our blessings—let’s do it! Write a list of 100 things you are thankful for. Some might think that is too many. If that is the case, try this:
- Write 10 living people you are grateful for.
- Write 10 people who have died you are grateful for.
- Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
- Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.
- Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
- Write 10 modern-day inventions you are grateful for.
- Write 10 foods you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.
When we make a list like this, we discover that a list of 100 doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the things God has given us.
As I draw inspiration from Ellicott’s Commentary for English readers on this Scripture, Paul draws to a conclusion, in a comprehensive exhortation to stand fast in all that is good on the foundation which he had laid in the name of Christ.
The exhortation is marked by the reiteration of affectionate earnestness, in which, however, we may (as always) trace an underlying method. In each pair of attitudes there seems to be reference both to an inner reality and to the outward development, by which it is at once manifested and perfected. In both, Paul would have us grow up to perfection.
What we are supposed to think on whatever is true, honourable, worthy of respect, right, confirmed by God’s Word, pure, wholesome, lovely, brings peace, admirable, of good repute, of excellence, and of worthy of praise. When I understood this filter for my thoughts, it decluttered my mind and brought a lot of peace in my life.
Psychological Tools To Master Emotions
Emotionally healthy people bounce back from adversity and stress—that’s called resilience . Such people cope with difficult situations and maintain a positive outlook. They remain focused, flexible and creative during good times and difficult times.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus Christ dealt with lots of adversity and stress, yet He was able to maintain a positive outlook. That’s the ideal mindset, so “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). This will give us resilience.
One of the key resilience factors is effectively balancing stress and emotions. The capacity to recognize your emotions and express them appropriately helps you avoid getting stuck in anxiety, depression or other negative moods.
Boost your resilience by turning for encouragement and support in tough times to a strong network of trusted people—family and church members, friends, and your pastor.
Strengthening your mental and emotional health also requires paying attention to your own needs and feelings. Don’t let stress and negative emotions build up. Try to maintain a balance between daily responsibilities and the things you enjoy.
Pursue activities that naturally release endorphins and contribute to feeling good. Endorphins are released with physical exercise and when we do things that positively impact others. Serving others and focusing on helping others will help us too.
Take an education class, visit a museum, learn a new language, or simply travel somewhere new. Learn and discover new things. Think of it as an “intellectual treat.”
At my home in Nairobi, Kenya, I have discovered that caring for flowers and plants has helped me reduce stress and feel happier. So I made a little investment towards the purchase of planters and the flowers. I experience joy in looking after them, weeding and watering them on a daily basis. They give me something to get attached to and get my mind off the day to day activities of life. For other women, a trip to the salon is all they need to pick themselves up. For others, could be preparing a nice meal for your kids. The same goes for taking a walk through a park or art gallery, hiking, just sitting on a bench or relaxing at the beach. Whatever will make you happy, please do to take care of yourself.
A cared-for dad or mom makes great cared-for kids!
Because we’re all different, not everything will be equally beneficial to all people. Some feel better relaxing and slowing down, while others need more activity, excitement and mental stimulation to feel better. Find activities that you enjoy and that give you a boost.
Whatever internal or external factors have shaped your mental and emotional health, it’s never too late to make changes that will improve your psychological well-being. Counter your risk factors with protective factors like strong relationships with God and your family and friends, a healthy lifestyle, and coping strategies for managing stress and negative emotions.
Recently, my teenage daughter and I were watching Pastor Steven Furtick’s interview of Bishop T.D Jakes. The pastor asked the Bishop what made him so successful in the projects he had handled, and he responded that he dated himself more than he dated any other person. It’s important for you to know ‘you’. What are your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities? SWOT is an old age tool used in businesses and can be very relevant in self-evaluation.
The “wonderful Counselor” Jesus Christ wants you to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally (see Isaiah 9:6-7). The effort will bring you rich rewards!
Other Modules In The Program
Evaluation: How Did We Get Here?
This self-evaluation, if done honestly, will help you become more accountable to God and to yourself as well as empower you to take responsibility for your actions. Use it as a tool for continuous self-improvement.
Tragedy: Separation, Divorce, Death of a spouse and Rape ordeal.
The Fall: Teenage sexual sin and Adult sexual sin.
Getting back on your feet financially can seem like a daunting task. However, when you look at the alternatives if you don’t, therein lies the motivation to get started on a plan to take you back to the road called financial independence.