Stinking Thinking Free Zone
Choosing to Be Intentional with Your Emotions by Dr. Randy Carlson
If your emotional reaction to life is keeping you from being successful in any of the five essential areas of your life, why settle for it? It’s time to become intentional and act. It’s time to do two things that can change your emotions for good.
You can choose to be intentional with your emotions. Emotions get their start in our thoughts. Thinking is a precursor to almost everything that happens in life. Our thoughts drive our emotions, and our emotions drive our actions. For example, let’s say I’m having a difficult day and I’m thinking, life’s not fair, people aren’t treating me well. That thinking might lead me to comfort myself by eating comfort food. For you it might be going to the mall and buying yourself something new, spending money you don’t really have. Maybe you lose your patience and get angry. Do you see where this could lead to a vicious cycle? When we change our minds, we can change our lives. The Bible says in Proverbs as a man thinks of himself, he is. Emotions get their start in our thoughts.
A second way of looking at this is to start with our actions. If you change your actions, you will change your emotions. If you’re feeling down, get up and go for a walk or read the Bible. Sometimes you have to say, “Hey, I don’t feel like it, but I’m going to do it anyway.” With just a little bit of action, you’ll start to feel better. In order to deal with our emotions, we have to either start with our thinking or with our actions.
As far as I’m concerned the most effective thing you can do to successfully manage your emotions is to choose to think and behave like Christ. This message is written throughout scripture, but one of my favorite passages is “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6 NKJV
The Apostle Paul gives clear instruction. It’s very action-oriented. He’s saying, “Do these things.” He’s not saying you have to feel anything at this point. He’s just saying to do it. If you want to change your emotions, you can start right here. Interestingly, Paul goes on saying, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV. This is how you can choose to think like Christ – today!