Healthier Responses

Steps to Healthier More Productive Responses

Do you ever wish you could rewind the clock and handle something differently?  Unfortunately, time machines are only in the movies.  However, life does have a way of putting similar circumstances and situations in your path.  Unless you intentionally take steps now to change, you will probably respond out of the same pattern and get the same results.  Following the examples below, you can use your situations as catalysts of change to healthier more productive responses.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. 
  • If you sinned or made a poor choice, remember, it’s the enemy that wants to control you by bringing you under condemnation.  Condemnation will drive you away from God. Submit to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  Conviction will draw you to God.
  • If you feel yourself pulling away from God and beating yourself up, recognize that you are listening to the enemy rather than to God.  Stop going down the path you are headed on.  Turn around and start heading towards God.
  • Admit your mistake.  Confess your sin.  Repent.  Take deliberate, intentional, positive steps forward in the right direction.  Receive God’s forgiveness.
  • Come into alignment with God by forgiving yourself.
  1. What happened?  (Example: I yelled at my spouse)
  •  Describe the events leading up to the situation. (I was at work and came home late for dinner)
  • What triggered your reaction? (My spouse said I am missing out on some really important time with the family)
  • Describe your reaction (I got upset at myself for coming home late again and took it out on my spouse)
  • How did the situation end? (I snapped at my spouse and walked out of the room)
  1. What were you feeling?  Describe not only the events that took place, but also your feelings.
  • What were you feeling just before you entered the situation? (Upset about letting myself get roped into working late again.  Guilty for not being there for my family like I want to be.  Afraid my spouse would be upset)
  • Describe how you felt during the situation? (Frustrated, not understood)
  • How did you feel after the situation ended? (Frustrated, angry at myself, not good enough)
  1. Validate your feelings (I understand that you are feeling frustrated with yourself for getting home late again and taking it out on your spouse.  I know that’s not what you want to do.  I’m here now to help you process those feelings and find healthier ways to deal with situations like this. It’s OK to make mistakes.  Everybody makes them.  I know that you will be wise enough to learn from them.   It’s going to be OK.)
  1. Check your “glasses”
  • Possible affect of other recent events.  Look over the events of the past few days.  Is it possible that a recent event was affecting you and that you filtered the situation through those feelings/glasses?
  • Possible affect of historical events.  Can you think of any other times in your life when you had similar feelings as to what you felt in this situation?  If you do, it could still be “unfinished business” that is contaminating the present.  What were the circumstances of that past event?  Who was involved? Do you need to go back and view that situation as an adult and ally yourself?
  1. What are some healthier ways you might have handled the situation?  Take time to write out some alternative ways you might have handled the situation.  As you do, remember the principals of change: Nobody can change you; you can’t change others; you can only change yourself; as you change, those around you end up changing as a reaction to the changes in you. If your thoughts and energy are focused on trying to get other people to change, you will remain stuck, living as a victim of circumstances.  You don’t have control over other people’s actions, but as an adult, you do have control over your actions and reactions.
  1. What do you need to tell yourself in order to help dig a new, healthier mental riverbed?
  • If you want to respond to something differently, you have to carve out a new mental riverbed for those things to flow through.
  • Take time to read back over your Christ-In-Me and Christ-Through-Me identity statements.
  • Is this something that is already addressed in your identity statements and you just need to be sowing more of that seed into the field of your mind, or do you need to write a new one for this particular issue?
  1. Bring your mind into alignment with what God is showing you in your spirit by sowing more seeds of healthier, new patterns into the field of your mind; seeds that reflect the reality of Christ living in and through you in each and every situation, including situations like the one you just went through.
  1. Write out what you will say or do the next time you face similar circumstances.  Whatever you write should reflect the changes going on inside of you.  They should reflect Christ living in you and coming through you into this situation.  If you rehearse your reactions ahead of time, when you face a similar situation, and “the curtain goes up,” you will be prepared with the right “lines” to say.

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