4 Ways to Help Keep Your Emotions Under Control

Ways to Help Keep Emotions Under Control


For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~2 Timothy 1:7

I react.

When my husband runs late and doesn’t call, I panic. By the time he finally walks into the door, I’ve convinced myself he’s been laying in a ditch somewhere. I greet him not with the relief and joy I have because he’s home but instead with the frustration, anger, and panic that has built up in me as I’ve worried about his well-being.

image of upset woman with title text overlay

And then I feel bad because of the way I’ve reacted. It really hasn’t helped the situation at all, and I’ve pretty much just made a fool of myself.

Related Post: How Quiet Time in the Word Can Help You Be a Better Mother

When my 21 year old son fails to let me know he’s spending the night with a friend and just doesn’t come home, I panic. Yes, I know he’s 21, but he is living at home while working and in school. We have a house rule that because Mom worries (that’s me!), he is to be respectful of that and let either me or his dad know by 11:00 p.m. if he’s coming home or staying the night with his buddy. Sometimes, he forgets, and it’s maddening. And rude!

Besides worry, I feel disappointment over his forgetfulness, and anger and frustration builds up. In addressing the situation, I want to remain calm but firm; however, I tend to allow all of the negative emotions I’ve been feeling burst out of me. It’s not a pretty sight.

And then I feel bad because of the way I’ve reacted. It really hasn’t helped the situation at all, and I’ve pretty much just made a fool of myself.

I could write about so many more examples of my emotions raging out of control. When I worry and let fear and frustration build inside of me, they eventually erupt and I spew words and tone that reflect those negative emotions. Behaving in that manner never helps a situation, and it certainly doesn’t portray me to be the loving soul I’d like to be.

I’ve decided to take control of my reactions (or at least put this in my ‘work in progress’ agenda). I think these ideas will help you, too, if you’ve ever reacted too quickly, too negatively, or too ‘any way’ that came across as harsh or impatient. Here are four things to try to help keep your emotions under control:

1. Breathe. When your thoughts run rampant with worry, take time to stop and breathe.

2. Keep each particular situation in perspective. Remember the feelings of those you’re harsh with, and focus on all of the many, many wonderful traits they possess. Remember that in the grand scheme, all is well.

3. Talk to God about what you’re feeling. You can deal with your strong emotions without exploding into harsh words and actions when you pray for strength and guidance.

4. Rely on the strength God gives you to remain calm. Know that the message in expressing your worry will be better received when you’re steady and loving.

I want my heart to be changed, my reactions to be changed, His love to be conveyed. I know you feel the same.

I’m grateful that my son rarely causes me this worry anymore. He is growing up. That helps.

My husband also realizes how a quick text or phone call keeps me from panicking over his occasional lateness. That helps, too.

Related Post: 5 Favorite Verses to Teach Your Preteen Daughter

Even so, there will always be situations that arise in life at home, at work, at church, where we will worry, get frustrated, or get angry. Only with the knowledge of our relationship with God will we learn to control our reactions.

Personal Challenge: What ‘sets you off’ and causes you to react harshly? How can you better deal with your negative emotions? Be specific for your personal situation.

Be sure to share or pin for later!


  1. I used to react like that a lot, but as the years have passed and my children have learned to be mindful of others I’ve gotten better at not blowing up. One of my sons is bipolar and when I would blow up it would cause major strife that lasted days and sometimes weeks with continued out bursts, only through lots of prayer and acceptance of God’s will was I able to control my own feelings.

    1. Judy, we do find perspective after the passage of time, don’t we? What a blessing for your son for you to understand and adjust your reactions based on his needs. A mother’s love! So wonderful! I agree that lots of prayer and acceptance of God’s will is the best way to gain true understanding and control of our own reactions. God bless!

  2. Once upon a time I was that person that imagined the worst possible scenario when my husband or kids were running late and would be so worked up when they finally arrived! It took a while to learn to give all of my cares to the Lord. But once I did, I felt such freedom from worry and stress. I still have to remind myself to not react, but to respond.

    1. Yes, I definitely have to remind myself, but it’s so worth it for my peace of mind and for theirs. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *