Maria V. Gallagher shares four spiritual tips for dealing with emotional meltdowns.
It was just one of those days — a day when the stress just became unimaginable. Ironically, I cannot even remember the trigger, although chances are it involved a pressing family matter. But what I do recall is the feeling of being on edge, of teetering on the brink of meltdown. I desperately did not want to show my emotions at that moment — they were far too unruly, like a 3-year-old in full temper tantrum mode. The preschooler within me wanted to scream, while the mature mother whose dogged determination I put forward to the world desired to remain in complete control.
Perhaps you have had a similar moment in the last week. The child you dearly love just wasn’t loving cyberschool … or a project at work was imploding before your eyes. It was a moment that called for supernatural grace in the face of disappointment, heartache, maybe even a feeling of despair. The dangerous cocktail of emotions might have included a mix of anger and anxiety, and you felt as if you had reached your limit.
I come from a clan that fully unleashed its emotions at a moment’s notice. Restraint just was not in our vocabulary. Over the years, I concluded there must be a better way, a constructive way to deal with the pain within.
I offer the following tips that have been borne out of my personal struggles to avoid meltdowns in those trying moments of the day:
- Before I do anything else, I need to calm myself, and nothing works better for me than a little deep breathing. It is so therapeutic and soothing, and it helps me remember what’s most important — the precious life God has given to me, to be lovingly shared with other people.
- Say the Our Father — slowly. This is my favorite prayer, and a proven stress-reliever. It reminds me that the Almighty is always in control — especially when I’m not. He will provide all that I need to get through my day, including the grace to get through a difficult moment.
- Try some music therapy. I come from a home where the radio was on constantly, and my father wrote amateur love songs. I find great solace in listening to music, whether it be an upbeat pop song or a comforting Christian hymn. I believe strongly that music is medicine, and can alleviate all sorts of emotional ills.
- Access a livestream of perpetual Adoration. Just Google “Adoration Chapel Live” and you will find a number of options. Being with Jesus, even if it is through an Internet connection, is a powerful salve to my hurting soul.
With just a little preparation, and a lot of prayer, we can overcome those moments of stress and anxiety and find the peace that God intends for us. With God on our side, we can triumph over the mother of all meltdowns!
Copyright 2020 Maria V. Gallagher
Image: Engin Akyurt (2020), Unsplash
About the Author
Maria V. Gallagher spends her days advocating for women, children, and families. She is the mother of a beautiful ballerina and a member of the worldwide Cursillo movement. In her spare time, Maria likes to blog, walk, sing, dance, and fill the room with laughter. Read her work at MariaVGallagher.com.