How to Achieve Emotional Stability

by - Wednesday, September 07, 2016

how to achieve emotional stability

“Emotional Stability 101” is a chapter in “Woman to Woman” by Joyce Meyer.

"One of the primary objectives in the life of a successful Christian woman, I believe, should be emotional stability- the ability to be emotionally stable in any given situation. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,” the writer of Proverbs says, “he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). We are women, after all, and we experience a wide range of emotions, but an emotional roller coaster is a really hard place for any woman to live. In order to get our emotions to level out we must make a quality decision that we are not going to live by feelings.

My husband, Dave, has always been very stable emotionally. If anyone began to talk negatively about us, I would get nervous and Dave would say, “we don’t have the problem; the people who are talking about us do. Our hearts are right before God, so why should we be bothered? Let’s just relax and trust the Lord to handle everything.”

Dave’s steadfast, unchanging character reminds me of a rock, which is one of the names given to Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 10:4). Jesus is called the Rock because He is solid and stable, “[always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus did not allow Himself to be moved or led around by His emotions even though he was subject to the same feelings that we are. Instead, He chose to be led by the Spirit.

I wanted to be more like Dave, who was more like Jesus than I was. Dave says he can remember years ago when he would drive home from work in the evening, thinking, I wonder what Joyce will be like tonight? Will she be happy or angry, talkative or quiet, in a good mood or in a bad mood? How he left me in the morning might not be how he found me in the evening. My soul rather than my spirit controlled me, because my mind was not yet renewed by studying God’s word.

I was addicted to excitement, for example, I found it difficult to settle down and live an ordinary, everyday life- relaxing and enjoying my husband, my children, and the home God had given me. I had to have something exciting going on all the time. And I’m not saying it’s wrong to be excited, but it is dangerous to be excessive.

Women need to be careful about becoming all ‘hyped up’ about things, because very often hype leads to disappointment. I’ll give an illustration to make my point. I would get all worked up about going on a vacation. If it got postponed or didn’t turn out the way I expected, I would experience a very emotional low.

It would have been better for me (and my entire family) to view things with a calm delight than to build them up in my mind. Jesus said in John 15:11 that He wanted His joy- meaning calm delight- to be in us, complete and overflowing. 
These days I still get excited planning a vacation, but I don’t swing from the chandeliers over it. I maintain a calm delight, and I don’t allow my emotions to get hyped up and attached to great expectations. That way, if things don’t turn out the way I thought, I won’t have an emotional crash.

You might like to read- The four temperaments in a relationship

I’m talking about balance here. If you have been the type of woman (as I once was) who was careful not to have any expectations at all so I’d never be disappointed, I’m here to tell you that isn’t a reasonable position to take either. It’s just that every single day is not going to be gloriously exciting. There will be days when God brings excitement into our lives, but we cannot spend the majority of our lives seeking excitement. In Psalm 143:10, David said, “Let Your good spirit lead me into a level country.”

I love that Psalm. Don’t you want your mind to live in a level country? I know that I do. You are probably thinking, I have this same problem, Joyce, but how can I change? You have to be willing to let your flesh suffer when you choose what you know is right. You can’t deny the existence of your feelings. Instead you need to channel them in the right direction, finding the place of balance that brings peace. It’s a lesson taken from what I call “Emotional Stability 101.” That means it’s the first in a series of steps that we must take to keep our emotions under control.

Allowing the flesh to suffer while its power over us is weakening is not pleasant, but it is impossible to see God’s glory without it. Romans 8:16, 17 says, “The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children  then we are [his] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.”

As I grew in my relationship with the Lord over the years and gained knowledge of His word, I started being convicted in my heart that I was behaving badly. I had a choice to make at that point: either to keep acting in a way I knew was not pleasing to God (and was, in fact hurting my family), or to do what I knew Jesus would do, even though my flesh was screaming and pressuring me to continue letting it be in control. How about you? How are your roller-coaster emotions affecting those you love?

God does not expect you to be perfect. He just wants you to keep moving toward him, aligning your will with His and letting Him develop the fruit of self-control in you. Having emotions is not a sin-it’s what we do with them that matters. Submit yourself to God, and any situation that causes your emotions to dictate how you act, and choose to refuse to give in to them. Ask God to help you remain stable. He will give you the ability to be calm in your day of adversity (see Psalm 94:13). He loves you! He desires to do a work in you and your circumstances as long as you are determined to walk in emotional stability."

Every woman can achieve emotional stability, any woman can be peaceful, full of joy and devoid of worry. She only has to surrender all to God and learn to enjoy the present. When we are agitated, it is easy to lose our focus and concentration is shifted. Many of the people who depend on us - family, co-workers, friends, neighbours- miss out on the blessings our living has to offer. 

I have been able to relate to many of Joyce Meyer's personal experiences because even though her childhood is not exactly same with mine, they are similar. There are times that I want to under-expect from folks because I fear what manner of hurt I will feel if they do not live up to expectation but as Joyce Meyer puts it, it is imbalance.

So, here we are as women, trying to find our feet in a fragile world; trying to achieve balance, stability in an agitated environment but until we make up our minds to be at rest and find our peace in God, we would always be emotionally troubled. As women of God, we can find solace in the fact that God wants the best for us and doesn't want us to be disturbed because it affects our optimum performance in his vineyard and with the people he has placed within our radar. We can finally become more and more like Jesus as we learn to cast all our cares upon him. He is concerned about even the little, temporal issues of our lives. 

Here are tips to help you achieve emotional stability no matter what you are going through:

-Understand what is getting you agitated

There are times we are just moody, emotional, grumpy and irritable and we have no single idea what's causing it. Search your hearts and mind. Write out what you are worried about and get to know whats making you feel unhappy and unnecessarily emotionally unstable. Is it the cake design, your co-worker's bad attitude, your drainage? Whatever it is.

-Know that the Lord is in control

Be still and know that He is God in any of your life issues. Be rest assured enough to know that he will never leave you in the stormy seas. He is there with you all through. 

-Commit it all to the Lord

Say a word of two to the Lord and direct your worrisome thoughts to the Lord. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways  acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.

-Lay it to rest and enjoy the moments

Have fun, be peaceful and enjoy the presence and companionship of your spouse, your children, your family and your loved ones.

Stay emotionally stable like the woman of God you are designed to be. Love y'all.

Photo credit: Crosswalk

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