Stressful thoughts signal the release of cortisol in our bodies. If unchecked, the impact on our emotional "tanks" can be pretty serious. How can we learn to reframe those thoughts that induce stress into healthier thought patterns that curb or lessen the release of cortisol?
Here’s an example: A student in my online Spanish university-level class emails me complaining about the class, an “unfair” grade, the rigorous nature of the class, due dates, excuses for not completing the work, the online language laboratory we use, or his or her experience with technical support on a given issue. Often the issues are resolved quickly and easily. However, sometimes students are disrespectful; they do not use proper “netiquette” within the email; they appear ill-mannered and react in impulsive ways. They blame me for their frustrations as I am, after all, the frontline target.
I’ve noticed that I log into my college email accounts with dread and anxiety. My breathing becomes shallower and my shoulders tense up. I’m like, “Okay.” Sigh. “What will I find here today?” I’m gearing up for obstacles and resistance. My adrenalin levels increase. I try to encourage myself that I’m putting out fires, but still I’m not exactly enjoying the experience.
Too often, there is a cost in emotional energy, and I need my emotional energy tank to be full, not depleted as a result of answering emails! After prayer and greater consideration, I isolated 5 tips to help me foster new coping mechanisms when dealing with complaints and negativity.
5 STEPS TO HANDLING COMPLAINTS & NEGATIVITY WITH GRACE
A few weekends ago, I discovered something. Something big.
My to-do list was a mile long, and every thing I tried to cross off wouldn't budge. And if you're like I am, when you hit resistance, you push back a little harder, kick it into high gear, and with grit and gumption you clinch your jam determine to figure it out even if it takes you an inordinate amount of time and energy. You're gonna make it work at all costs.
Example: I could NOT and can NOT for the life of me uncover why a pop up form I created on Mailchimp (I have the free account which does not offer email or chat support, zilch!) is malfunctioning. You know what a pop up is - it's a small box that pops up on your screen when you first visit a website. Often, there's a freebie or something of value to you that is available in exchange for your email address.
Needless to say, I spent about 3 hours trying to figure this out--I went to goggle, youtube--and nada. I read on Mailchimp's site, rewrote the form, disconnected and reconnected my website using code, over and again--and no dice. Finally, I bailed.
Defeat and feelings of overwhelm crowded in on my mind and heart. Okay, fine. Next on the list? It gets worse.
Discussing the sensitive topics of suicide, attempted suicide, and suicidal ideation* can be quite challenging because they are emotionally charged. Sometimes it's hard to find the words to express our thoughts and feelings about these issues.
Choose 2 Think Podcast guest Stephen Johnson, a licensed social worker who has been in practice for decades, reduces the charge on this issue by addressing it in a loving and God-honoring fashion.
During the interview, Stephen answers these two overarching questions:
1) Why might someone choose to take their own life?
2) What can the survivors (family members, friends, the community) do to deal with their grief and any guilt they may be feeling as a result of losing someone they know to suicide?
His answers may surprise you.
I absolutely LOVE studying the psalms!
And today’s Choose 2 Think podcast episode highlights Psalm 46 coming in at the 14th most popular psalm.
An overarching theme is God is with us. He's with us even in the hard times of life.
Yeah, we could say tensions are really running high these days.
With good reasons, I suppose.
And exactly how are we feeling?
Fear and Anxiety keep knocking at the doors of our minds and hearts as well, so the recipe seems ripe to ruffle a few feathers.
Divisiveness is racking our country, from hate-filled racism to the mask debate. Our dear "neighbor" is at wit's end, too, and it doesn't take much to set them off.
Whether we're on the offensive or defensive end of the shortened fuse, there are a few things you we can do to help ourselves calm down just a bit.
In general, my anger "meter" is a good indicator of my internal condition. Often if I find myself rattled at the smallest thing, I know that it's time for me to slow down and come to grips with what's churning inside.
Perhaps God's trying to get my attention. Maybe He'd like me to see an issue from a different perspective. Or it could be my Father is calling me to mature in wisdom and to understand what it means to operate with the mind of Christ. Is now the time I learn how to lay down my "rights," hold my tongue, avoid a quick retort, and choose humility and patience instead?
Putting aside anger doesn't always come naturally or feel easy, but having peace inside my heart and mind are pretty much priceless in my book.
Have you noticed heightened anger these days, too? Leave me a comment here or shoot me a DM at email@example.com if you'd like to chat a bit more. I'd love to hear from you!
But everyone must be quick to hear,
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