Emotions. For most of us they are shrouded in a degree of mystery. Even as you are reading this, you are experiencing an emotion. It could range from stress to peace, from laughter to anger. Still, this common experience of feeling can baffle us. Add to it the outside influences of work conflicts, less-than-ideal living arrangements or conditions, and imperfect human relationships and we quickly find ourselves sinking in a sea of emotions, some of which we may not even understand the why behind.
In recent days I have been delving into this topic as I prepare to co-lead a group class and discussion about emotions. While the event will focus mainly on emotions and essential oils, much of what I’ve been learning can be applied whether you’re an oils “user” or not. So, in no particular order, my desire is to share with you a few of the things I’ve been learning about this vast world from Scripture, books, respected pastors, and healthcare professionals.
Emotions are not wrong or shameful. We are designed to be feelers. The Bible is laced with verse after verse of men and women pouring out their feelings from the depths of their hearts. Take a look at the Psalms in which David intimately – and unashamedly – pours before God his highest and lowest moments.
The thoughts of our minds and the feelings of our hearts affect our physical health. When our emotions penetrate our hearts, we often hold them in, specifically if they are negative emotions. Dr. Carolyn Mein says this in her book Releasing Emotional Patterns, “What happens when we stuff negative emotions? They are held in the body and eventually produce physical or emotional pain.”
It’s essential to process emotions. Keeping negative emotions inward is unhealthy in many ways. While it often is so hard to “go there”, processing the negative emotion is necessary for healing and moving forward. There are a variety of ways to make processing emotions manageable and effective:
- Prayer and Scripture Reading. There is no better place to be found to deal with difficult feelings than in prayer before the Lord and in reading His word. Again, the Bible is filled with emotional passage after emotional passage. In these readings, resolution is always ultimately found in God.
- Writing. Purposing to commit your thoughts and feelings to paper can help to sort through circumstances and emotions. Give yourself full freedom on the page without fear of who might read (I’d suggest keeping these written thoughts private – or only show them to trusted, wise advisors).
- Essential Oils. Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful. Think of your favorite meal or treat that your grandmother makes (or used to make) for you. You can smell that aroma anywhere and in a moment be filled with warm memories and mentally transported back to her cozy home. Essential oils work the same way – powerful, pure aromas that release emotions in our brains. Using oils for emotional needs doesn’t have to be complicated: it can simply be a few drops of calming Lavender in a diffuser or breathing in an uplifting citrus aroma. All that is key is consistency.
- Counseling. Again – emotions do not carry shame! They are a natural part of life. If you are struggling with an area, seek help! There are many trained and certified professionals around who will help you through difficult times without judgement.
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