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Negative Feelings
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Recently, I woke up transformed from a sane and good-natured wife to an ill-tempered, cranky……defective counterfeit. My emotions were like invisible rays shooting out and creating an atmosphere of tension.

If something is put in a freezer, it can not help but get cold, or if it is put into hot water, before long it will be hot. And, here I was filling our home with negative feelings. Quickly I saw the wake in the path of my behavior. Not only had my calm and easy-going husband become irritable and impatient, but our gentle, loving Pomeranians were snapping at each other. Even the house had become cold and gloomy. Brought face to face with the power of my actions which reached out, touched, and changed lives, was not a pretty sight.

Our words and our body language (facial expressions, posture, gestures, and eye movements) affect everyone we meet either positively or negatively. We can make or break a person’s day, completely changing their attitude. They in turn will touch other lives, and they will touch others…so on and so on.  

We are this way not by chance but by creation. Emotions serve to connect us with others and help us to communicate with each other. We need only to have this ability harnessed with the reins in God’s hands to have a positive effect on peoples’ lives.

Choose How to Respond

It is not realistic to think that we will never struggle with a negative mood, but we can always choose how to respond. When I woke in a surly mood, whether I want to admit it or not, I chose to react negatively. A moment in prayer, an attempt to improve my thoughts, and an effort to control my behavior would have prevented such a negative outcome.

So, here are a few suggestions that I have learned work for me.
  • The first moment I recognize a disagreeable attitude, I pray which redirects my thoughts, and guides my thoughts onto godly subjects elevating my heart above my emotions.
  • Reciting Scriptures that I have placed in my memory or singing a favorite hymn decreases tension and creates peace.
  • Taking a brisk walk and breathing slow, deep breaths actually soothes my emotions.
  • Last of all, remembering that I am just taking a short journey through this world puts things in the right perspective.
The Bible says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).

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By Mary Etta Smith. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ® .

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