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Are You Letting Your Emotions Control You?

Are you letting your emotions control you? Do you fly off the handle all too quickly? These 6 tips will help you have control over your emotions.

Jonah ran from God, when he got to the end of his rope he went back to God, then God recommissioned Jonah right back to Nineveh. Ouch, right? Running and hiding didn’t get help or change God’s will. Have you ever noticed the angry side of Jonah? This guys dramatics are as bad as a little girl with big emotions.

After the people of Nineveh changed God’s will about their destruction, Jonah was very angry.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. Jonah 4:1 

Why was he so angry? One would think that the saving of a nation would make a person happy. The fact that they repented from their sin and turned to God, should cause rejoicing not anger.

We serve a merciful God, this is a distinct trait of how loving and powerful He is. But Jonah is angered by God’s mercy.

I wonder if Jonah was taken back by his own reaction. God used him to be the instrument to show mercy to this land. God called him to do big things. I think this may be the greatest lesson of all for Jonah throughout this entire ordeal.

It was his pride that made him run away from the calling in the first place, it was his pride in waiting until he was at the end of his rope before calling out to God for help, and perhaps it was also his pride that pushed him to finally go to Nineveh after all. Maybe he wanted to be the center of attention as this land came so close to destruction. Perhaps he wanted more time to shine!

God knows every intent of our hearts. God saw that Jonah had a pride issue that needed to be brought out so he could then grow closer to God. Maybe Jonah wasn’t even completely aware of his own heart and God used the people of Nineveh to teach Jonah a little bit more about himself.

One thing is for certain, though, Jonah’s emotions were all over the place! This man is letting his emotions control him.

Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? Jonah 4:3-4*

And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. Jonah 4:6*  

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. Jonah 4:8*   (*emphasis added)

First, he was angry, then he’s extremely happy, then melodramatic. We’re seeing a man who has no control over his emotions. His circumstances are determining his moods. 

Proverbs tells us that man who has no control over his spirit is like a city broken down and without walls (Proverbs 25:28). It is a city that is easy to be taken over by the enemy because there are no walls to protect it.
Are you letting your emotions control you? Do you fly off the handle all too quickly? These 6 tips will help you have control over your emotions.


Having control over our spirit allows us to protect ourselves.

I don’t know about you but too often I am surprised at my own reactions in many situations. After everything is said and done, I often ask myself why I was so upset or why I reacted the way that I did. Wondering why on earth I didn’t have control over myself.

In the heat of the moment, it is so easy to allow the pressure to dictate our reactions, thus dictating our moods.

We don’t have to live this way!

We can be women who are controlled by the Spirit and not by our emotions!

It doesn’t do us any good to be angry, just like it didn’t do Jonah any good.

This has been an area in which I am constantly trying to improve myself. It’s easy to use the way you grew up, who your role models were and even what nationalities run through your veins as an excuse to allow yourself to act out of control. We need to own up to our sin, it doesn’t matter if we are a hot headed Italian or someone who grew up in a house full of yellers as our role models, we can and should aim to stay in control over our emotions.

How To Have Control Over Your Emotions

Realize that you are going to fail as you to try to improve.

You’re not going to win each and every battle. It’s the determination and willingness to change your behavior that keeps you moving forward when you fail. Give yourself grace (every day!) and keep working at it. Every time you have a victory, no matter how small, it will give you the confidence needed in order to see the change happening.

Realize that you can not be in control in your own strength.

Trying to change yourself without the help of God will get you nowhere while spinning in circles. We need His strength in order to change when it’s our own we will fail and ultimately give. We will begin to make excuses for our behavior (again!). We will start believing the lie that we can never change.

crying kid

Have your quiet time.

Having your quiet time with the Lord every day will give you the strength from Him that you need. You will be more prone to watch your emotions throughout the day if you are praying about in the morning.

Add self-control to your daily prayer list. Tell the Lord your struggles and how you want to be in control. Ask Him to help you in this area. This sets you up for success. Every morning you’re confronted with your tendency to loose it and you’re reminding yourself how letting God be in control of your day will make it easier for you to be aware of your reactions.

Study the fruits of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Being Spirit controlled and walking in the Spirit every day takes work. You have to know what kinds of behaviors are involved in order to live this way. You can’t just say you want to be controlled by the Spirit without knowing what kinds of attributes it takes to live in such a way.

Memorize them, meditate on them, study out every fruit-then apply them to your life.

Take a breather.

Are your kids making you feel out of control? Did your husband say something that makes you fume? Is there a confrontation about to occur? Did you just get a nasty text from a friend? Take a breather instead of instantly responding. Get alone for five minutes to breath, and pray.

Taking this time out will help you to get your emotions under control before you blow up. This step is so important.

Know your triggers.

Figure out what exactly causes the chain reaction to your emotions getting the best of you. Is it hunger? Lack of sleep? A messy house? A bad behavior your child has? Every time you lose it, try to figure out if it’s a scenario that keeps occurring and make changes to eliminate it. Eat regularly, take a nap, set up a cleaning routine, whatever it is that will help you, do it.

One resource that I have found to be the best help to me in this area is Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Unglued by . She gives you tools to help you make wise choices in the midst of raw emotions. She is real and you will find yourself relating to her stories throughout the book-I so love that about her writing! I have read this one a few times and I highly recommend it!

Being in control over your emotions is a hard skill but crucial to a peaceful life. We see men in the Bible struggle just as we do today, let that encourage you. Though, God plainly tells us that it does no good for us to so wildly out of control. Being Spirit-filled will allow you to have a more peaceful  home because if mama ain’t happy nobodies happy. It will allow you to have a better reputation among your peers and will allow you to further your reach for Christ. It’s not easy but it so worth it, my friend!

Your turn! Do you struggle with letting your emotions get the best of you? In what ways do you try to be Spirit controlled instead of controlled by your emotions?

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  • Reply
    September 7, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Awww yes such a great and needed post. We are going through “Unglued” at church right now…..convicting but oh so good to examine ourselves. Our God is awesome to point out and gently change us.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      It really is a convicting book, Melody, but she is so good at helping at make REAL steps at changing!

  • Reply
    Karen Del Tatto
    September 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I enjoy your blog posts so much. You have a gift of laying out Scripture and the practical side of it in a very humble and encouraging way.

    I don’t necessarily lose control much on the outside, but I do on the inside which is just as bad. In all besetting sins, I was encouraged when you said, “You’re not going to win each and every battle. It’s the determination and willingness to change your behavior that keeps you moving forward when you fail. Give yourself grace (everyday!) and keep working at it. Every time you have a victory, no matter how small, it will give you the confidence needed in order to see the change happening.” I tend not to give myself grace. Kind of like a diet that as soon as you cheat, you throw up your hands and say, “this will never work”. I can do the same thing when trying to overcome a besetting sin. But as you say, the key is not “me overcoming”, but God overcoming through me. The way this happens is by me daily praying and asking the Lord to help give me victory over the sin.

    It was a blessing to visit here today. 🙂

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      I struggle with the same thing, Karen! I usually want to throw in the towel too many times but when I do have a small victory it feels so good to remind myself that yes, I am slowly getting to where I want to be.

  • Reply
    Sandra J
    September 9, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I so love your points about our need to subject our emotions to God….let Him lead us, change our very hearts and minds to be more like His. As women, I know I struggle with ‘feeling’ things strongly, not always rightly, just strongly. To stop from acting or speaking on those feelings, requires prayer. Thanks for all the good reminders and scriptural lessons.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Yes, strongly but not right! Perfect way to describe our actions sometimes. Have a great day-thanks for commenting, it blessed me today!

  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    These are great points. It is so important to know your triggers. Also, practice, practice, and practice. When you make a mistake by not controlling your emotions, admit it, dust yourself off, and keep going, because there is not perfect one, but God.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 11, 2015 at 1:38 am

      I completely agree Betty! Thanks for joining us in the discussion! Have a great night!

  • Reply
    Tell It To Me Tuesdays - link up party #31 - F Dean Hackett - Foundational
    September 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    […] Read the post here: Are You Letting Your Emotions Control You? […]

  • Reply
    September 15, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    this was so needed. God’s timing is so awesome and more reliable than myself…. thank you. i am so bad at letting my emotions take me over…. I keep praying like it’s never ending prayer….. I keep failing and keep apologizing to God. One day we will over come this…. it’s just going to be a long journey apparently…. 🙂

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 16, 2015 at 1:12 am

      It is a long journey, Amy, but a good one to be on instead of giving up. I often feel like more days I am failing than succeeding but we can’t give up! I’m so glad you found this post right when you needed it, God is so good!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    These are great suggestions Anastasia! I loved the book Unglued too. I have been working on not allowing my emotions to control me. All of the tips you mentioned helped me to make progress in learning to become slow to anger. Thank you so much for sharing this at #100HappyDays!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      March 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      I often need to remind myself that my one child’s actions don’t dictate my reactions. I need to print it out and tape it up all over my house! It is definitely a learned skill. Thanks for hosting!

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