Finding Balance

There are many important steps to take when seeking emotional wellness. Balance is one of the most important. Severe mood swings from excited and happy to depressed and tearful is a sign of deeper problems. Any amount of trauma or dysfunction may produce such unpredictable emotions but your return to good health requires that we try to stabilize your mood so any issues or concerns may be brought out and dealt with.

If you are constantly REACTING to the events of the day, no real progress will be made toward healing. Once you find moderation in your moods you will also find what needs to be worked on. Some people prefer to keep their problems obscured by wild mood swings. They spend so much time overreacting to events that the real truth will never see the light of day. This is not as God intended. Self-discovery is optimal. You must understand the difficult times in order to learn from them. Obscuring anything is you actively blocking spiritual growth.

If seeking emotional health, “reacting” is not positive. Mental Health professionals would encourage you to be proactive instead. Accept the event or experience and respond positively and productively. Reacting signifies instability. Try to make the best of anything. See each experience as an opportunity to make positive changes and learn from it. Find solutions and proceed in a positive light.

Even in your own life you would prefer to deal with someone who was proactive instead of reactive. Instead of someone rolling over you with intense, unproductive emotions you would rather respond to someone who is cautious and seeking resolution. This is someone you could work with. We are encouraging you to be that rational, level headed person.

The first step is to be honest and identify the type of person that you are. When you meet with stress are you proactive or reactive? Are you able to list the reasons or examples of why you chose the response that you did? This will help to increase your perspective about this subject. If you are unsure or unwilling to identify your usual response to stress then we will have more work to do. Your own insight into your behavior would help us move along. It is best to be honest and forthcoming. This will help all of us.

There are ways to increase moderation. These are a few examples.

  1. Avoid a harsh reaction to any event.
  2. Pause before you make any response. This will appear as though you are collecting your thoughts. This is actually true.
  3. Count slowly from 1 to 10.
  4. Increase your objectivity. Avoid taking things personally, even if they are personal.
  5. Do your best to dig down until you find the truth. When others are overreacting and being dramatic, weed through their reactions and discover what information is actually verified. Plan your response from information that you know to be true.
  6. Try not to get involved in the rhetoric.
  7. Gossip is ill-advised.

Being emotionally balanced requires you to be moderate and positive. Step back if you have to and see who is overwhelmed and responding poorly and who may be more moderate. See how the moderate person is presenting an emotionally stable response with positive, proactive suggestions on how to proceed.

This happens in all areas of life. From your home, your family, the workplace, the community and anywhere that people interact with each other. Moderation is the best approach.

The answer is to increase the time between upset and the response to it. This is called impulse control. Do some research and find ways to increase your impulse control to all events in life. Our best input is to increase your faith. Once you accept that your life is charted and all experiences are meant to teach you, these stressful events will make more sense. There are definite things to be learned.

Perhaps some simple examples will help.

  1. Your child returns from school with a note from the teacher that they are failing math. Being reactive, the parent would call the principal and complain loudly and insist upon some type of action! The moderate parent would speak to the teacher and ask careful questions about the concern. Together they will discuss how to improve either the communication between the teacher and child and/or get help for the student to meet some very reasonable goals.
  2. Your mother has been diagnosed with cancer. One sibling overreacts and takes everyone’s attention away from your mother and wants all the focus on them. Whaling and assumptions about impending death upset everyone, including your mother. Another sibling remains calm and asks the Dr. what the expectation for care is. How will this diagnosis likely progress, what are the chances of recovery, when will treatment start and what type of assistance will your mother need?

Who would you rather be? Which person is a better role model for others? Who is likely more emotionally healthy? Which person gets more done with less upset?

Now think of the people that you admire in life. These may be considered your role models. Are they emotionally upsetting and irrational? Or, do they maintain some form of emotional control and are better able to plan for ways to handle many different situations?

Often in life we react in extreme ways to things that we feel are out of our control. Then, we find out that the complete opposite is true and our overreaction was uncalled for. This tendency leaves us vulnerable to upset. Make one of your goals to not be vulnerable. This, again, requires faith and moderation.

Be proactive and make your responses positive and rational based on verifiable information. This sounds like a true leader! This is you with some forethought. Congratulations!

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