Episode 13 – Managing Your Emotions – The Nexus between Your Emotional Wellbeing, Your Health and Your Relationships –  Three Managing Emotions Stories for your learning and applications In Christian Parent and young adult relationship

Episode 13 – Managing Your Emotions – The Nexus between Your Emotional Wellbeing, Your Health and Your Relationships – Three Managing Emotions Stories for your learning and applications In Christian Parent and young adult relationship

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Saturday, February 18th, 2023

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Episode 13 – Managing Your Emotions – The Nexus between Your Emotional Wellbeing, Your Health and Your Relationships – Three Managing Emotions Stories for your learning and applications In Christian Parent and young adult relationship

Series – Perfect Relationship: 24 Tools for Building BRIDGES to Harmony and Taking Down WALLS of Conflict in our Relationships.

Episode 13 – Managing Your Emotions – The Nexus between Your Emotional Wellbeing, Your Health and Your Relationships –  Three Managing Emotions Stories for your learning and applications In Christian Parent and young adult relationshipJeff and Marge Waldowski and Sally their sixteen year old Daughter; Karen Johnson, A Divorcee and her twelve year old Son Robby; Art and Betty Collins and their seventeen year old daughter Irene.

Friends, we are back after a three weeks recess to plan, pray and fast for effectiveness and Purposefulness!

We left off on our perfect relationship series – Episode 12 – Fixing You is Killing Me! Find out more from two life stories  –  Firstly, A Pastor and their unmarried pregnant daughter, and Secondly, an addicted son and His Christian Parent –  In Christian Parent and young adult relationship.

Find link below: https://www.otakada.org/fixing-you-is-killing-me-fnd-out-more-from-two-life-stories-episode-12/

Now let’s dive to our title in Episode 13 – Managing Your Emotions – The Nexus between Your Emotional Wellbeing, Your Health and Your Relationships
What is the biggest health issue in America and around the world today?
Can you take a guess? National Institute of Health revealed that
Heart disease and stroke still the leading causes of death for both U.S. men and women.
Further research by NIH has found a link between an upbeat mental state and improved health, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and longer life.
How can emotions affect your health?
Chronic stress exposes your body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol, and may also change the way blood clots. All of these factors can set the stage for a heart attack or stroke. Negative emotions may also affect lifestyle habits, which in turn can increase heart.
Many experts or health advisors will point you to your diet and exercise routine and leave out the root cause – your emotional wellbeing.
It is interesting to note that the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit are all about our Emotions –  Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 
Now, let’s check out the works of the Flesh.. they are these ..
Galatians 5:19-21
Amplified Bible
19 Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], 21 envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 Now let’s look at
Mind/Body Connection: How Your Emotions Affect Your Health

Good emotional health starts with being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Learning healthy ways to cope with stress and problems is a normal part of life. Feeling good about yourself and having healthy relationships is important.

Many things that happen in your life can disrupt your emotional health. These can lead to strong feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety. Even good or wanted changes can be as stressful as unwanted changes. These things include:

  • A pandemic
  • Being laid off from your job.
  • Having a child leave or return home.
  • Dealing with the death of a loved one.
  • Getting divorced or married.
  • Suffering an illness or an injury.
  • Getting a job promotion.
  • Experiencing money problems.
  • Moving to a new home.
  • Having or adopting a baby.

Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. This is one type of “mind/body connection.” When you are stressed, anxious, or upset, your body reacts physically. For example, you might develop high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one.

Your thoughts and emotions can affect your health. Emotions that are freely experienced and expressed without judgment or attachment tend to flow fluidly without impacting our health. On the other hand, repressed emotions (especially fearful or negative ones) can zap mental energy, negatively affect the body, and lead to health problems..

It’s important to recognize our thoughts and emotions and be aware of the effect they have—not only on each other, but also on our bodies, behavior, and relationships.

Poorly-managed negative emotions are not good for your health

Negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress, which upsets the body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system. Chronic stress can actually decrease our lifespan. (Science has now identified that stress shortens our telomeres, the “end caps” of our DNA strands, which causes us to age more quickly.)

Poorly managed or repressed anger (hostility) is also related to a slew of health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, poor immunity and infections.

Let’s now look at real scenarios from true life stories

Three Managing Emotions Stories for your learning and applications In Christian Parent and young adult relationshipJeff and Marge Waldowski and Sally their sixteen year old Daughter; Karen Johnson, A Divorcee and her twelve year old Son Robby; Art and Betty Collins and their seventeen year old daughter Irene 
Managing Your Emotions 
Human beings not only have the capacity to reason and to choose, but they also have the ability to feel.
Emotion is a basic part of the human response to stimuli.
There are various types of emotions, and these may be experienced in varying degrees of intensity, ranging from mild to severe. Emotions can have a direct effect on one’s bodily functions (for example, blood-pressure changes) as well as one’s behavior. It is, therefore, important for parents to understand and manage the emotional responses they make to the behavior (stimuli) of their children, not only for their own well-being but also for that of the children.
The Reign of the Emotions

When your child goes astray, your emotions tend to take over. You may experience a variety of emotions when your child seriously disappoints you by his or her behavior: anger, disgust, sadness, fear, surprise, grief, remorse, resentment, aggressiveness, embarrassment, shame, guilt, self-pity, and hurt. Usually, several of these emotions are experienced in concert and in varying degrees of intensity.

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One of the basic functions of the emotions is survival.

Certain emotions are nature’s way of equipping the human personality to cope with danger, threat, or loss. Although in
one sense we choose our emotions in response to stimuli, our choices are usually learned reactions that are more subconscious than conscious.

Through the years of our growth and development, we have learned, for example, to respond with grief when we
experience loss. A child who runs away is a loss. The parent responds with grief.

A child who breaks the law and is
arrested is a moral disappointment. The parent may respond with embarrassment in the light of exposure. The family’s reputation is being threatened. We perceive others as wanting to know if we agree with our child’s behavior. Our embarrassment communicates that we do not agree, and is an effort to preserve the family’s reputation.

However, a major problem is what might be called the reign of the emotions. That is to say, the emotions are often so intense and so mixed that sound reasoning and clear judgment comehard. Consequently, a wayward child will not be helped by an emotionally upset and distraught parent.
He or she needs understanding and rapport, patience and acceptance.
It will help if as parents you can understand these mixed and controlling feelings, learn to cope with them, and even possibly discover some new emotions that can be instrumental in building a healing relationship. Some of the emotions you may need to handle during a time of parental discouragement are discussed as follows.

Anger and Resentment: How Could You Do This to Us?

When Jeff and Marge Waldowski discovered that their sixteen-year-old daughter Sally was pregnant, their initial
reactions were anger and resentment. The Waldowskis owned and operated a small grocery store where business largely depended on good and friendly relationships with customers.

News of Sally’s pregnancy would likely cause some customers to avoid buying groceries from the Waldowskis. At least, the Waldowskis feared this. Talk about Sally would be inevitable for those who knew the family well, and who wanted to talk about Sally’s problem in front of Jeff and Marge in the store?

Jeff and Marge were incensed. Again and again they blasted Sally with, “How could you do this to us?” Their first concern was not for Sally or the baby, but what Sally’s pregnancy would do to them. They were angry, and they wanted Sally to know just how angry they were. They were suffering and so should she. They deeply resented Sally for creating a threat to their business and family reputations.

It is important for parents to understand the reasons behind their anger and to discover that they have other choices for their response to a child’s misbehavior.

The subconscious reasoning behind anger is this: first, I want something; second, you won’t let me have it or you prevent my having it; third, that frustrates me; fourth, people who frustrate me are bad; fifth, bad people should be punished; sixth, I will punish you with my anger.

The Waldowskis wanted a good family reputation (this required a morally upright daughter) which would preserve a good income from their business. Sally’s pregnancy could possibly prevent that. This threat created considerable frustration for Jeff and Marge, who in turn judged Sally to be morally bad. Since morally bad people should be punished (the usual dictate of the culture), Sally should be punished by her parents’ anger.

The Waldowskis had other choices in responding to Sally’s situation. They could have chosen to try to understand her behavior. Why did she get pregnant? Was she seeking attention, love, a sense of importance? Was she subconsciously trying to punish her parents for ignoring her and putting the family business above her welfare? Or was it something else?

In addition, Jeff and Marge could have chosen to come to Sally’s aid. An unmarried, pregnant teen-age girl is in trouble. She has emotions also: fear, guilt, embarrassment, remorse. She has numerous questions about what to do. The family business may have to suffer. A daughter is more important than a family business. The business can be rebuilt (if it does decline), but the pieces of a broken daughter may not be put together again so easily.

Moreover, the unborn child needs protection, care, and a loving environment into which he or she can be born.

Consequently, Jeff and Marge could have chosen the emotions of love, acceptance, and compassion, even though there would be moments of disappointment, shame, fear, anger, and sorrow. Anger was not their only choice.

Embarrassment: What Will Others Think?

Embarrassment may be a part of the reason for anger.

The Waldowskis may have been so embarrassed about Sally’s situation that embarrassment played a major role in evoking their anger.

Embarrassment is a form of public shame. Our world are so often controlled or directed by others’ expectations. If we fail to meet those expectations (especially in matters of morality), we may experience shame, disgrace, or embarrassment.

Failing to meet others’ expectations may be seen as a type of moral failure.

Since, in our society, failure is apparently the unpardonable sin, moral failure may produce a feeling of shame or embarrassment on a deep level.
The Waldowskis felt that not only was Sally a moral failure but also that they were failures as parents. Consequently, the question they kept asking themselves was, “What will others think?”
The fact of the matter is that a lot of people aren’t going to think much at all. They have their own problems to worry about. Some may think the worst and withdraw whatever “friendship” they had. But some other people are going to think in compassionate, helpful, and understanding ways.

Some have experienced the same problems you are now undergoing. They will be supportive if you will let them be supportive.

In the long run, it really matters little what others think. If they think the worst, then that’s their problem. The most important thing is what your wayward son or daughter thinks. He or she may be thinking, “What a fool I’ve been,” or, “Will Mom and Dad stop loving me? Where do I go from here? Does anybody really care about me? How can I ask for forgiveness?”

Embarrassment about something morally wrong that your child has done is a form of selfishness, an overconcern for yourself and an underconcern for the son or daughter. There’s a message in your child’s behavior. Did you understand it, or did you overlook it in your overconcern for what others
think?

Self-pity: I Want to Cry

Another form of selfishness is self-pity. Karen Johnston, a divorcée, felt overwhelmed by self-pity when the school principal told her that her twelve-year-old son Robby had stolen fifteen dollars out of the petty-cash drawer in his office at school. Robby was caught in the act by the principal’s secretary, who walked in unexpectedly.

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Karen’s husband had deserted her for another woman two years before. With no education or training, Karen had to take a low-paying job. There were two other children to care for. She already felt a lot of self-pity. Then Robby was caught stealing. This seemed to be the last straw. Karen’s only response was, “I just want to cry. I don’t know what else to do.
Self-pity can be an overwhelming, debilitating feeling. It can produce a deep form of depression. Feeling this way,

and with no husband to support her, Karen needed to turn to some other people for understanding and advice: the principal himself, the school counselor, a pastoral counselor, a trained minister, a child-guidance-center counselor, or a family doctor.

There are no solutions in self-pity. Other people are available able to help. You need not solve a problem alone. Your child’s welfare is more important than your feelings of self-pity. Ask for help, not pity.

Grief: I Could Handle Death Better Than This

Grief is a response to loss. When Art and Betty Collins learned that their seventeen-year-old daughter Irene was regularly drinking a variety of alcoholic beverages it was bad enough, but during the last month of Irene’s senior year in high school her parents learned that Irene was all but an alcoholic. She had been able to hide her drinking from her parents for the past two years, since they were very busy and often away from home. When Irene went to the family doctor for treatment of a viral illness, the truth came out. The doctor advised immediate action.

However, Irene’s peers had the same problem as she did, and their influence was quite strong. She was not about to break off from her friends. Irene’s addiction to alcohol would not be broken by her parents’ condemnation. One drunken scene after another followed Irene’s graduation from high school. Art and Betty tried their best to get Irene to go to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, but she refused.

The following months were extremely difficult for the entire family. Art and Betty felt helpless and saw the situation as futile. They had lost their daughter to the addiction of alcohol. Their prevailing emotion was grief. As Betty said, “I could handle death better than this.”
Fortunately, the Collinses found a church whose clinically-trained pastor was leading grief-therapy sessions for those who had recently experienced some type of deep loss: the death of a loved one, divorce, or an experience like the Collinses had with Irene. Art and Betty learned about the various stages of grief-shock, emotional release (crying),preoccupation with the loss, symptoms of physical distress, depression, guilt, anger, withdrawal, a realization that withdrawal is unrealistic-and how to cope with each stage.

They also learned how to resolve grief-the readjustment to reality. Eventually they were able to persuade Irene, who by then was desperate, to join an alcoholic-recovery group at the community mental-health center. In time her addiction was arrested.

Having learned how to handle their grief, Art and Betty were better prepared to offer supportive encouragement to Irene, which in time helped to motivate her to join the alcoholic-recovery group.

Pain: How Could You Hurt Us So Much?

Pain results from feeling rejected. Feeling rejected by a son or daughter makes a parent hurt emotionally. This is a pain that is as severe as physical pain. Most of us have experienced what is commonly called “hurt feelings.”

Pain also results from feeling disappointment. High expectations for a son or daughter can be easily shattered by his or her refusal to meet those expectations and a decision to go his or her own way (especially when such behavior involves actions contrary to the parents’ moral standards).

If it is true that we tend to choose our emotions, then when I experience emotional pain it is because I have chosen to hurt. No one else can hurt my feelings. I choose to be hurt. When my child rejects me or my way of life (including values or beliefs), it is only natural to feel disappointment, even discouragement. But it does no good to counter with,”How could you hurt us so much?” This is only a futile effort to manipulate the son or daughter into following the parents’ standards.

It’s all right to hurt (to be disappointed) if you will beyond the hurt to serious efforts to listen, to understand, to care, to support (if wanted), and to love unconditionally.

More important than your hurt feelings is your son’s or daughter’s freedom to make his or her own decisions, even if you disagree with those decisions. If the decisions, in your estimation, are poor ones, then let the consequences be the ultimate teacher.

This is not easy to do; it may be part of the pain of being a parent. But (especially for an older teenager or young adult) it may be the only way.

Guilt: This Is Somehow My Fault

A common emotion for parents to experience when their child goes astray is guilt: this is somehow my or our fault.
This is the result of my or our parental failure. We were sorry parents.
As parents we all make a lot of mistakes.

Our society makes no concerted effort to teach each new generation of adults how to parent. We usually parent as we were parented, or by a slight revision of such. Therefore, it may be a miracle that any of us do as well as we do in rearing children.

The temptation for some parents to play the blame game is very real. To blame oneself is rarely, if ever, a productive experience. After all, our children are responsible for their own decisions. Certainly parents have a great deal of influence on their children. But when we have tried to do what seems to be our best (although who really does his “best” in anything?), and a child chooses to go astray, then what earthly good does it do to give ourselves, as the parents of that child, a hefty guilt trip?

We can all try to learn from our mistakes and from the experience of our son or daughter rejecting our values. But a guilt trip is usually a useless form of self-punishment that often fails to teach us anything.

Fear: I’m Afraid of What Will Become of You

It is normal to be fearful of what could happen to your child, especially when he or she engages in dangerous behavior (drug abuse, alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, promiscuous sexual activity, or speeding). When your children are seventeen to twenty-five years old and behave carelessly and stupidly, there isn’t much that you can do about it. Even fifteen- or sixteen-year-olds are often out of our control if they really set their minds to act foolishly.

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A serious aspect of this fear is when it gets out of control, and the child knows that and uses the fear to manipulate the parents. Fear can also immobilize you, and prevent you from being the kind of supportive parent your son or daughter may need.

If a young person is really determined to harm or destroy himself, there likely isn’t much you can do about it. However, you have choices other than fear. You can trust. There were times when I worried myself almost to death over our children, especially our daughter. It was an exhausting experience. Then I learned to trust God to take care of my children. There was a day when my wife and I consciously placed our children in the hands of God. He gave these children to us in the first place. Surely
He was capable of taking care of them. Besides, doesn’t He love them more than their parents do? Of course. What a relief this was.

Every time fear tries to get another foothold in my life as a parent, I recommit my children into the hands of their heavenly Father. That’s a safe place to be, come what may.

Choosing Your Emotions

I don’t mean to sound as if managing your emotions is easy. It isn’t. It is difficult. These undesirable emotions I previously discussed tend to reign, to take over our personalities

when we’re under the stress of our children’s misbehavior and/or rejection of our moral values or religious beliefs.

We choose emotions such as fear and anger because we learned that this is the way to protect ourselves and our families from harm. These are the ways to survive. However, I hope at this point you are seeing that you have other choices-productive emotions and responses to difficult parent-child situations.

Listening and understanding are better than anger and resentment. Unselfish concern for your child’s problems is better than embarrassment. Asking for help is better than wallowing in self-pity. Resolving grief is better than sinking into it. Pain needs to be transcended by unconditional love in an atmosphere of freedom. Learning from our mistakes
is better than indulging in a guilt trip. Trust in God is better than the paralysis of fear.

The Search for New Emotions

I am inviting you as a wounded parent to search for new emotions. There is an intellectual dimension to this search – knowing what your options are.

However, there is also an experiential dimension. No one can do the work for you. You have to experience these new emotions for yourself.

The new and healthy emotions I am referring to are joy, acceptance, love, trust, compassion, optimism, anticipation, pleasure, and triumph. I would suggest that you seriously examine the resources of the Christian faith, especially in the context of a vibrant Christian community of believers.

This comes only through personal involvement in a group of caring people. Remember that trying to find these new emotions by reading the Bible or a book about the Christian faith is like trying to learn how to swim by reading a book about swimming.

There is an abundance of Christian parents who have discovered that these new emotions can build or rebuild wholesome

and lasting relationships with children who have chosen to go astray. More specific steps on how to choose these
healthy emotions will be suggested as we go long.

Questions for Discussion

1. Do you understand your emotions?

2. With which emotions discussed in this chapter do you most identify?

3. Besides anger, what were the choices the Waldowskis had in responding to Sally’s situation?

4. How can parents handle embarrassment about their children’s behavior?

5. Do you identify with the stages of grief the Collinses worked through? At which stage are you? How are you coping?

6. Do you agree that we tend to choose our emotions?
Do you agree that we choose to be hurt?

7. How can your Christian faith help you to choose new
and healthy emotions? 

This brings us to the end of today’s

Series – Perfect Relationship24 Tools for Building BRIDGES to Harmony and Taking Down WALLS of Conflict in our Relationships.

Episode 13 – Managing Your Emotions – The Nexus between Your Emotional Wellbeing, Your Health and Your Relationships –  Three Managing Emotions Stories for your learning and applications In Christian Parent and young adult relationshipJeff and Marge Waldowski and Sally their sixteen year old Daughter; Karen Johnson, A Divorcee and her twelve year old Son Robby; Art and Betty Collins and their seventeen year old daughter Irene.

P.S. – Question for you:
In reading and meditating on our post today, have you noticed similar patterns in your own relationship that you would want us to discuss with the hope of dealing with this negative patterns? Please let us know. We will be eager to help out! Info@otakada.org, both Whatsapp and sms numbers are USA,  +12407287276, and Nigeria,+2348032835348
You can do a voice recording or video recording and send to us via those numbers.
 Shalom to you and your entire household..
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