Ever heard an angry person yell, “I am NOT YELLING!”? It’s not just the yelling which they fail to realize but also the underlying anger.
People often do not notice their own emotional state. They live unaware of their own feelings.
This creates problems and it could be happening to you!
Building emotional intelligence includes developing the ability, habit and practice of identifying one’s feelings in the moment and dealing immediately with negative emotions.
Let me share with you examples demonstrating why this matters and the potential consequences of not doing so:
1. Anger. Failure to identify our angry feelings can lead to resentment. Resentment erodes peace and joy. It also effects the way we relate to others. Resentment on the inside will spill out in our relationships.
2. Anxiety. Failing to recognize when we feel worried or anxious about a situation delays problem-solving and can lead to chronic stress. Chronic stress contributes to health problems such a gastro-intestinal disturbances and cardio-vascular disease.
3. Sadness. People normally feel sad whenever they experience hurt, loss or pain. Denying or ignoring sad feelings delays healing. Failure to identify hurt, loss, or sadness can lead to discouragement and depression.
David talked to himself and asked, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” (Psalm 43:5, New Living Translation)
In Psalm 34:4, the writer, aware that he felt anxious, leaned on prayer and found help: “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” (New Living Translation)
Our Lord himself acknowledged his emotional state to his friends, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." (Mark 13:34, New Living Translation)
There’s no shame in identifying one’s emotional state. In fact, it’s helpful.
So form the habit of becoming more aware of your feelings in the moment. Identify emotions and deal with them immediately. These practices will increase your physical and emotional energy, help you maintain your passion for ministry, and prepare you to tune in to others.
You will feel healthier, relate better, minister more authentically and lead more effectively!