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Emotional Lockdown

Have you ever felt like you were just "done?" Done with the worry, the fighting, the confusion, the anger, and the frustration. Have you ever just wanted to turn off how you feel or run and hide from your emotions? Do you want to shut-down, lay down, and pull the covers over your head?

When we reach the point of "no return" it's often because we've not taken care of ourselves. We've been so "other" focused that we get lost in the shuffle of things. It's like when our "In tray" is full of problems and we never can get to the bottom of it. It's usually everyone else putting their problems on our emotional desktop that creates these feelings of overload.

There is a term called “The Jericho Syndrome,” based on the Biblical account of the army of Israel blowing trumpets for 7 days while they marched around the city of Jericho. The Israelites followed God's instructions and the walls fell down giving the army easy access into the city.

Most pastors consider this account from the perspective of the Israelites; that with God's help anything is possible. But consider the people living behind the walls of Jericho for a minute. They're only defense was to lock it down:

“Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites.

No one went out and no one came in.”

Joshua 6:1 (NIV)

Sometimes in our relationships, we can lock down our emotions as a last defense. Sometimes we are so emotionally flooded that we can't even describe how we are feeling or give it a name. Our negative emotions are so powerful they can impact our health and well being. Speaker and author John Koenig believes that by giving our emotions a name and defining them helps us better understand them, “Whatever you’re feeling right now has been felt by someone else out there.” He is writing a dictionary of “made up words” to help label human experiences that have no current words or definitions called, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

When I work with clients who express overwhelming anger or sadness I help them label the feelings more accurately (hurt, fear, frustration, grief). Clients tend to respond and apply new coping skills when they can see a direct correlation between the cause and effect of their emotions. Clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania Seth J. Gillihan reports that to give our emotions a name, "...might not change the emotion, but it does allow us the possibility of choosing our response."

If you need help unlocking the emotional locks that imprison you, call Encouragers today.

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