Feeling Emotional? Ask God What’s Going on in Your Amygdala

[fa icon="calendar"] April 13, 2016 / by Dr. Larry G. Shelton

diverse_people_with_different_emotionsEver feel moody? Yeah, me too. Sometimes more so on Monday mornings. What do you do about it; how do you handle it? 

That’s more than a touchy/feely question. How you deal with your emotions affects every relationship – spouse, children, parishioners, God – every contact you have on any given day, every day. That’s a pretty big realization given the fact that you are in ministry. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess by now you have figured out that ministry involves people.

Emotions that are buried are buried alive

One way to handle emotions is to stuff or bury them. But if you choose to do so, just remember, emotions that are buried are buried alive. They are going to show up somewhere in your attitude or actions. If you don’t deal with them in a healthy manner, but instead merely let them accumulate, at some point you are going to blow. That explosion may demonstrate itself in venting on someone you love or possibly on someone you don’t even know. That explosion might even show itself in some cheap, superficial, self-destructive act of sin or rebellion against God. 

Accurately describing your emotions

When you are emotional, how would you describe those emotions? That’s an important question that many people have a hard time accurately answering.

Now, let’s do a simple exercise.

Grab a timer. In 15 seconds, see how many human emotions you can name. (Please stop reading now and begin).

How many did you name? Next, take a moment to search online for “how many human emotions have been identified?” Surprised by the array of basic and complex answers and numbers? Here’s the point: if you can’t describe your emotions with some degree of accuracy, how are you going to handle them effectively?

Wouldn’t it be great if we, God’s people, sat down with Him on a regular basis and were as authentic with our emotions as King David was? Take a look in the Psalms. Many of the Psalms that David authored are filled with emotions. 

The center of your emotions

God made us all with brains, right? In the middle of your brain is a portion known as the amygdala. It’s the center of your emotions. (Side note: If you have a brain, you have emotions!)  When you experience them, can you accurately describe them? Do you know what to do with them? These are important questions to pursue, and your answers will affect your marriage, your family, and your ministry for the rest of your life.

So, if you’re feeling moody or emotional, talk to God about what is going on in your amygdala for He cares for you! How do I know? 1 Peter 5:7 teaches you to, “cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.”

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Topics: Equipping