Do You Know How to Refresh Yourself Emotionally?
The days of family dinners are few and far between these days. Still, when we can linger over a meal I usually find our conversation as nourishing as the food.
Such was the case with our Monday night dinner last week.
Half-way through fried chicken and potatoes (a rare and completely unhealthy treat, which I will request as my last meal, should the need arise) Ashton paused to ask, “How does a person refresh themselves emotionally?”
How does one refresh themselves emotionally?
Ashton continued, “I know how to refresh myself physically (sleep, exercise, eat right), spiritually (pray, praise, journal, get alone with God and read His Word, go to church, enjoy nature) and socially (hang with family and friends), but I have no idea how to refresh myself emotionally.”
“I need to know. I’m tapped dry.”
Lately, her schedule had left little room for margin and she felt it.
I can relate. I know how it feels to be emotionally spent. We all know how it feels to be emotionally spent.
What we don’t always know is what to do about it.
And, since we don’t always know how to refresh ourselves emotionally, we numb our emotions rather than restore them.
We binge watch Netflix. We mindlessly eat entire bags of chips or countless cookies. We spend hours on social media. Or playing computer games. Or shopping. Or drinking. Or sleeping.
And, after we’re done, we drag ourselves to bed only to get up and do it all again, no more refreshed than we’d been before.
So, how does one refresh themselves emotionally?
I thought for a minute when Ashton looked at me with her big hazel eyes and asked the question.
Suddenly, I knew.
“Laughter and tears.”
I went on to explain…
“When emotions stay bottled up they eventually suck us dry. God provided a way for us to take what we feel on the inside and release those feelings to the outside: laughter and tears. These are gifts for our emotional health.”
As I thought a little more about Ashton’s question in the days that followed, a third gift came to mind: expression.
We call it venting when it happens in conversation with a trusted friend or family member.
We call it journaling when we take our bottled-up feelings and spill them out on paper.
We call it prayer when we take our heartaches and hurt, or our questions and confusion, and pour them out to God.
Laughter. Tears. Expression.
Each is a gift that releases tension and refreshes our tender emotions.
So, my dear daughter, in answer to your question, “How does a person refresh their emotions?”
Don’t be afraid to laugh. Or cry. Or talk. Or write. Or pray. Your tender heart needs all these things.
So does mine.
God gave us these gifts to refresh our emotions and restore our souls.
You are loved,
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:5-6
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:7-8
More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word, but most important, grasp how to live it out in real life.