On Emotional Health

This week marked the 1-year anniversary of my “retirement”. I have said many times over the years that retirement is not a biblical concept, but that the day would come when I stopped working for money. That’s where I am. Yes, the Healthy Rhythms Life Coaching website does have a price list and occasionally I do work for which I am compensated. But I am not working FOR money any longer.

My emotional health, as a result, has never been better.

I define emotional health this way: exhibiting self-control over our thoughts and feelings. When we are emotionally healthy, we can cope with life’s challenges, involving circumstances as well as outside voices that may desire to disrupt our emotions.

Let me reiterate a point I made a few weeks ago about mental health & emotional health. We tend to think of these as somewhat synonymous, however our mental health is often not within our control due to physiological or psychological conditions within our bodies & minds. When that is the case, please avoid feeling shame, but seek out sound professional counseling and medical care. They can restore you to a position of being capable of exercising control over your overall health.

Emotional health, or lack thereof, most often manifests itself in our relationships. I invest a lot of my writing on how we treat each other because it is my observation that this is our most serious shortcoming as a society. Our social media interactions, political divisions, broken family relationships, and infighting as a global church all point to a general lack of emotional health.  This is a matter of self-control and I believe there are two major factors that contribute to our inability to exercise it.

First, stress. We face many stressors, not the least of which is the expectations placed upon us by our vocation. We were created for work, but man has perverted this purpose. Rather than work, we toil. Rather than accomplishment, we feel shortfall. When we are toiling, our work robs more than its share of our time and energy. Healthy rhythms cannot be in place when one aspect of our life is so far out of skew. Restoring rhythm is at the heart of my chosen purpose – true work – and drives my desire to serve you. It would be my pleasure to have you engage with my life coaching, life roadmap or discipleship offerings.

Then, sleep deprivation. If being honest, I think nearly all would agree that you do not get enough sleep. Work, even purposeful work, devours time. This means we must simplify our lives. Weed out unnecessary activity to allow yourself enough rest. This is why a life roadmap is so crucial. When you are sleep deprived, you are unable to make good decisions. Poor decisions lead to more wasted time, and to lack of peace, joy, and self-control. Ultimately, relationships suffer.

But, when we are emotionally healthy, we are able to interact with people that think differently than us or disagree with a particular belief we hold. To be certain, sometimes exercising the self-control I am talking about means we need to pull ourselves out of certain interactions – and I completely respect that, hoping for the day when you will be back in a place of being able to re-engage. Emotional health, like joy, cannot be taken away from you, but you can give it away. You are (need to be) in control.

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