Examining the behaviors we have developed to prevent ourselves from being emotionally hurt.
~~ Watch the Video ~~
Controlling Your Emotions
- Proverbs 4:23
- Romans 12:2
- John 18:4-11
- Proverbs 29:25
- Proverbs 25:28
- Matthew 15:11
- Matthew 4:18-20
- Coping Mechanisms
- Controlling Your Emotions
- Proactive vs Reactive Shielding Behaviors
- Proactive Shielding Behavior
- Reactive Shielding Behavior
- The Emotional State
- The Cause
- Hidden Emotions
- The Goal
- Practical Approach to Manage Emotions
- Conclusion: A Vision of Wholeness
23Watch over your heart [leb] with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
In the wisdom literature the heart is the central organ of spirituality. It is often translated as mind. Embracing desire, emotions, and attitudes.
Leb (Hebrew): inner man, mind, will, heart
Guard your heart
Is it normal for someone to get a dog to guard the yard?
- What if they got a dog to guard someone else’s yard?
In order to guard something you have to own it. You have to own your emotions.
Stop saying things like “he made me mad“
Don’t give your power away to someone else,
We can’t guard our hearts if we don’t own our emotions.
- We’ve given someone else the key to our joy.
- we want someone else to be responsible for our state of mind.
- Your joy is your job.
Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world
Today I am wise so I’m changing myself
I can only be transformed after I acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses.
when I recognize my weakness I can
- begin a path of growth
- be tolerant of weaknesses in others
If we do not understand ourselves, we have difficulty understanding others.
We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness
How can we be _______ healthy
Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from past experiences/wounds
God is not only concerned with you going to Heaven and being righteous...He wants you to be whole.
- Righteousness, joy, and peace
Traits of Wholeness
- Not seeking external approval / validation
- Living by values and principles
- Setting Boundaries
- Living with purpose and passion
- Healthy relationships with both genders
- Not losing control of your emotions
- Free from addictions
- Addressing Conflict
- Not critical or Judgmental
- Not jealous
- Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
- Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
- Not afraid to fail
- Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
- Selfless encounters with others
- Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
- Don’t ignore warning signs
- Don’t give into peer/social pressure
- Can communicate directly
We want to not only to seek results, but also to value the processes of growing.
Habits to Renew Your Mind
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
- Stop Breaking Promises You Make to Yourself
- Practice of Gratitude
- Fellowship With Other Believers
- Read Scripture
- Memorize Scripture
- Quiet Time
- A regularly attended time that you spend privately with God
- private meditation
- worship of God
- study of the Bible
- Worship is Honoring God
- Praise God as if it has been done
- Sing a song that speaks to your situation
- Speak Positively
- Serve Others
- Focus on Eternity
Coping Mechanisms Review
Coping strategies are the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that you use to adjust to the changes in your life.
- response to psychological stress
- usually triggered by changes
- to maintain mental health and emotional well-being
3 Categories of Coping Mechanisms
- Moving towards people - pleaser
- Moving against people - rebel
- Moving away from people - recluse
These mechanisms are normal and everyone uses them to some degree.
- The problem arises when someone overuses one of these coping strategies
Moving towards people
- Nice guys
- Craves affection and approval
- Extremely sensitive to criticism and rejection
- People pleasing
- This leaves an open to exploitation and abuse
- Covert contracts
- Don’t address issues
- fear of being excluded
- Fear of being alone
- Don’t want to experience trauma again
Move against people
- Bad boy
- Neurotic need for power
- Moving against others in order to gain control
- They often need to compete, exploit, and defeat others in order to change the environment to their favor
This fear forces their need for control, protection and achievement
Moving away from people
- They have an extreme focus on self-preservation
- Need for self-sufficiency and independence
- Distance themselves from other people to decrease the chances of being hurt
These are the typical loner types
- Neurotic need for perfection
Now that we've examined common styles of coping, let us take a look at specific coping strategies:
Ineffective Coping Strategies
Ineffective coping mechanisms are counterproductive strategies applied to stressful events or internal conflict.
People who struggle with addictions often
- remain in denial
- don’t know how to cope with stress in a healthy way
- blaming themselves for a negative past experience
What are some ways people cope with stress and anxiety?
- Have a drink
- Get angry
- Yell at people
- Watch Pornography
- Drugs / weed
- Social media
Everyone has issues but it’s how you cope with them that is dangerous.
Coping mechanisms vs root issue
- Need to identity the root issue
Identity in Christ
I’m a sinner -> try hard -> eventually Our will power fails -> we fail/fall -> shame ->
I am a child of God -> the Spirit is in me-> depend on the spirit -> it builds my faith -> empowers the right actions -> brings me closer to God -> reinforces my root identity
Controlling Your Emotions
4Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out into the open and *said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6Now then, when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7He then asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you are seeking Me, let these men go on their way.” 9This took place so that the word which He spoke would be fulfilled: “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” 10Then Simon Peter, since he had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus.
Why did Peter cut off the man’s ear?
- He had a temper
- Jesus told them to bring a sword
The term coping generally refers to reactive coping, i.e. the coping response which follows the stressor.
A stressor can be events or environments that individuals might consider
- threatening individual safety
Proactive coping, in which a coping response aims to neutralize a future stressor.
Proactive vs Reactive Shielding Behaviors
Two approaches to protecting ourselves from emotional hurt.
- Proactive Shielding
- reactive Shielding
Proactive shielding is preemptive
- anticipate anything that might upset or hurt you
- control your environment to keep you safe
- pleasing people
Reactive shielding kicks in when you start to experience the negative emotions
- unconcerned about the consequences
- feel out of control
- displeases people.
Proactive shielding may revolve around shame whereas the reactive shielding rebels against the shame with destructive behavior.
Proactive Shielding Behavior
The primary function of proactive shielding is to protect us from getting into any situation that can trigger past memories that hurt us
We try to avoid interactions or situations that might cause us to leak feelings, sensations, or memories into consciousness
They generally come online at a young age
Examples of Proactive Shielding
Some common proactive shielding behaviors include:
- approval seekers
- hi criticism
- people pleasing
- avoiding risks
- being pessimistic
- constantly striving to achieve
- Avoid conflict
- Being an Achiever
- Being Antisocial
- Staying Single
- Ignoring people
- The philosopher
Controlling Relationships and the Environment
The goal is to control relationships and environment so you won’t be
- or anything else unexpected and harmful.
It’s about controlling your
“never again” philosophy
“Never again will I let you be so
Managing Your Image
Proactive shielding is also an attempt to manage how you're coming across to others.
They create stories like,
- “I'm a nice person,”
- “I'm a hard worker,”
- “I’m a good Christian”
It’s based on feedback from the outside world.
- A nice person hides their angry parts,
- a hard worker doesn't give time for playful or intimacy loving
Taking On Popular Values
Proactive shielding takes on the voices of authority in order to get us to behave appropriately (for example, parents and cultural standards)
Proactive shielding looks like
- the constant inner chatter that keeps us from concentrating,
- the self-hating voices that never let up,
- the fear that holds us back in relationships,
- the impulse to do for others that makes us neglect ourselves,
- the drive for achievement that consumes all our energy,
- the feeling of victimhood that others tire of,
- the sense of entitlement that makes us inconsiderate
The fear of man brings a snare, But one who trusts in the LORD will be protected
Reactive Shielding Behaviour
Like a city that is broken into and without walls So is a person who has no self-control over his spirit.
Reactive shielding has the same goal as proactive - to keep you from experiencing hurt
Proactive behavior wants you to look good and be approved of, reactive behavior only cares about distracting from the pain so they are often in conflict
Reactivate behavior can be triggered by
- traumatic memories
Example: Have you ever had a nice coworker who just blew up one day.
- Or Christian brother or a sister who just blew up one day.
- Have you?
Proactive shielding is intended to avoid emotional pain.
- When that fails reactive shielding kicks in
Reactivate behavior aims to eliminate the
- Bad feelings
- sensations and memories
without regard for the consequences.
The person goes into autopilot.
- Do things against the person’s best interest.
- Acting In your emotional mind.
Anything that will distract them and make them feel better
Reactive Shielding Behaviors
What's your first impulse when you begin to feel hurt, emptiness, worthlessness, shame, rejection, loneliness, or fear?
Which urge do you act upon to take away that pain?
Which ones do you only fantasize?
Many of us binge on something socially acceptable
- prescription drugs,
- thrill-seeking activities
When our effort doesn't work, resort to more drastic and less acceptable means,
- illegal drugs
- suicidal thoughts or behavior
- rage and acts of domination
- compulsive sexual activity
- getting into punitive relationships
Many times, people resort to the second list immediately because they have found over the years that the first list doesn't help ease their emotion.
Afterwards you feel feeling
Unconscious Physical Responses
For some people, reactive Shielding happens in the body.
- Sudden pains or illnesses can be effective distractions.
- Our bodies amplify physical pain or disease that already exists,
- lower resistance to bacteria,
- push psychological buttons that trigger genetic conditions.
- To avoid rejection...run or push the potential rejecter away.
- Suddenly bolt from a room in a threatening situation
- get sleepy, confused, dizzy, or numb.
- Have to go to the bathroom
Your body do anything to make emotional pain go away.
Reactive protection can
- create obsessions or distractions
- deny reality
The Emotional State
Preventing the Emotional Outburst
Reactivate behavior will do anything to make emotional pain go away.
Proactive shielding ...ignore the person.
- triggered > reactive shielding comes
- prevent the emotional part from coming out.
We resort to extreme measures to guarantee physical and emotional safety. all of the things that they do are to prevent us from dealing with the emotional pain that they have been repressing for so long.
Most of us live our lives trying to avoid going into an emotional state.
There are some who live in that emotional state.
- Always crying
- Always afraid
Expressing Our Emotions
We hold Memories and emotions associated with this perceived trauma.
- Like shame fear, pain.
When we enter the emotional state there may be extreme crying and shaking.
This happens when we feel the emotions so strongly that the proactive and reactive shielding can’t hold it back
We have locked out the memory and emotions but we haven’t locked up the hurt part.
Emotional Triggering Cycle
Traumatic incidents can cause us to adopt proactive and reactive shields.
For example a child could react to abuse by Becoming hurt, frozen, and carrying pain, terror and betrayal. The child develops proactive and reactive shields to protect itself.
In so doing they take on some of the energy of the abusers.
If you have a critical parent you can create a critical proactive shield that is the achiever. or a shield of a rebel.
When the reactive shield comes out people are not in their right mind.
- They regress to whenever the trauma occurred.
- you are now dealing with an eight-year-old.
- They are very irrational and they are very much in their emotions.
In a romantic relationship It most closely resembles the first relationship love of your initial caregivers and is therefore the most emotionally impactful.
When you lock part of yourself away it’s usually also the most
- intimacy loving,
- lively parts.
People who live primarily behind their proactive shield may have it all together on the surface but at the end of the day they are missing
- the playfulness
- The innocence
This is why some people may seem to live successful lives but at the end of the day they are missing their playfulness and creativity.
The goal is wholeness. A whole person will have proactive, reactive and emotional behavior but won’t over rely on one.
A whole person is generally confident, curious, calm and compassionate.
They know which conversations are the most difficult and it knows that they must have them.
- They know how to lead with emotion because they aren’t driven by fear.
- They don’t blame others for how you feel when they can’t control how you feel.
The first step is to identify the different triggering emotions.
- “When this happens I feel this way“
Practical Approach to Manage Emotions
1.) Specifically identify the emotion/stronghold with a biblical label
In order to let the Word speak to our weakness of fear, anxiety, bitterness, unforgiveness, drunkenness, fornication, etc., we need to confess it for what it truly is.
2.) Identify satan’s battle tactics
What does the enemy want you to believe about this stronghold? What false teaching is he encouraging you to believe about the gospel or character of God?
Satan wants me to believe I am owed the comfort and ease of permanently obedient children.
3.) New creation implications
What does your relationship with God through Christ mean for this stronghold? What is true about Christ and how does that impact heart change in this area?
In Christ, I have the ability to respond to the temptation to anger in a new way. (2 Cor. 5:17, Romans 6:11) I can remember God is in control (Romans 8:28). Christ loved me when I was a sinner, and because of this amazing grace, I can choose to demonstrate mercy to my children. (Eph. 4:31-32)
4.) relevant Scripture
What truth does the Word have to offer regarding the identified stronghold?
5.) Pre-planned escape route.
When we are tempted to succumb to our strongholds, what truth about God’s character or our identity in Christ will be our battle cry to fight against it by grace?
My anger is not about what is being done to me–it's something coming out of me. I can chose to respond differently because Christ lives in me, and because God is faithful to provide a way to endure this present frustration. (1 Cor. 10:13)
It is not what enters the mouth that defiles the person, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles the person.”
If Peter wasn’t impetuous would he have quit his job and left to follow Jesus?
18 Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (his other name was Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were putting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. 19 Jesus said to them, “Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!” 20 At once they left their nets and followed Him.
You are perfectly made to fulfill the assignment that God has for you
A Vision of Wholeness
Think of what your life might be like if all the energy you spent, for example, angrily dwelling on what others have done to you, or obsessively daydreaming about your missing soulmate, were available to you in the present moment and were channeled toward fully enjoying whatever you are doing right now. What if the strength and urge to binge became a confidence and focus that helped you connect with people?
These three behaviors (proactive shield, reactive shield, and emotional state) exist because of all the pain and shame you accrued in your life and the ways you were taught to relate to that pain and shame. Since you didn't learn how to heal that pain and shame, you had to bury it, which led to the need for all these shields.
These three groups are polarized such that when one takes over, it tries to dominate your experience for fear that if it gives you access to other parts behaviors, you'll do or think something dangerous.
When you function in this way, you experience the world incompletely. For example, many people dominated by proactive shields live bland lives planning their safety. Those hijacked by reactive shields have minds in constant agitation as they move from one distraction to another, never slowing down for fear of emotions emerging. Those who live in an emotional state are constantly in acute and seemingly regressed states of fear, sadness, or shame.
Anyone dominated by a single shield exhibits a rigidity and narrowness because only a small, extreme portion of them is present. As you become whole, you gradually find that you no longer have proactive shields, reactive shields, and emotional states. Not that your shields come down – they just transform into behaviors that suit you better. As that happens, you feel more integrated and solid, but with a wide range of emotion and expression. When life becomes stormy, you sense the deep peace that lies beneath the waves you are riding. You can be the “I” in the storm and, from that centered place, can calm your behavior and the people around you. Because you no longer carry burdens of fear, shame, rage, despair, and so on, you are whole, you trust your emotions.
Things that used to trigger automatic responses in you lose their charge, and you can break lifelong patterns related to work, intimate relationships, your body, creativity, addictions and more.
Instructor: Michael Leadon
The key to controlling your emotions
How to handle emotional triggers
5 Steps for Fighting Emotional Strongholds
2 Peter 1
5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral [h]excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.