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When Things Seem Out of Control

An Education Specialist, Denise teaches the principles of Emotional Health for the establishment and maintenance of high quality families.

We never know when an emotional disaster will happen and where it will come from.

We never know when an emotional disaster will happen and where it will come from.

Life Happens

Sometimes, life throws us a curve ball, and no matter what our physical condition, the hours we have practiced, or the protective gear we have donned, we are thrown off balance and loose our footing. It may mean that we are down for the count, on the sidelines for an inning, or maybe even out of commission for a while. Life is going on all around us, but we feel numb, insignificant, hurt, betrayed, or sick inside.

It seems as though our world has collapsed, crushing us underneath. We wander around aimlessly, scared and unable to reason. Whether we are caught up in the whirlwind of a broken relationship, washed away in a tidal wave from the death of a loved one, or thrust through the windshield of terminated employment, emotional disaster affects us much the same way as natural disaster. We are left to ask ourselves:

  • Why me?
  • How did this happen?
  • What do I do now?

Our Response

We lose track of our resources, our support network seems to have taken a vacation, and our goals and dreams are shattered like broken glass after a hurricane. We are unable to determine a productive course of action and feel a deep sense of loss. The paragraphs that follow help us to:

  1. Assess the damages
  2. File an insurance claim
  3. Start the rebuilding process

Assess the Damages

Once we are out of the game, we need to assess and take stock of the damages.

Once we are out of the game, we need to assess and take stock of the damages.

Physical Symptoms

Our emotions are inseparably connected to our physical bodies. They are physical manifestations of the things that are going through our brains. As such, when things are awry, we have an increase in physical symptoms.

At first, we may think that we are coming down with some type of serious illness. Remember, stressful events increase the body's susceptibility to infection, disease, and mental health problems. A thorough medical evaluation will reveal anything serious that needs prompt attention.

The table below lists some of the physical symptoms we may be experiencing. These symptoms are common during emotionally trying times, and do not necessarily mean chronic illness, but that things are going on that are not easily resolved. As we assess, we can look at possible causes and places to target intervention.

SymptomProbable Cause

Crying for no apparent reason

Grieving over missed opportunities, lost relationships, or unfulfilled dreams

Difficulty sleeping

Over analyzing what is happening and trying to figure out what to do about it

Poor concentration

Pre-occupation with matters that have deep life significance

Susceptibility to infections

Body's increased need for nutrients, coupled with lack of rest

Communication problems

Poignant emotions are blocking feelings of empathy and causing misunderstanding of others' situations


Impatience due to unresolved issues

Feeling numb

Fatigue from being on an emotional roller coaster

Digestive disturbance

Increased level of adrenaline speeds up the digestive process

Unexplained aches and pains

Muscles are responding to increased blood flow and presence of stress hormones

Low feelings of self-worth

Unresolved emotions resulting in negative self-talk

Understand the Effect

Assessing the damages gives us an understanding of how the troubling event or circumstance is affecting our current health and well-being. It also helps us to see that assistance is warranted. We cannot live life alone. We need others to help, inspire, and uplift us, no matter who we are and where we find ourselves.

The information we obtain as we assess the damages also gives us the basis for filing an insurance claim. There are many well-meaning people who will take advantage of us when we are in a vulnerable state of mind. Knowing where we are and what needs to be done arms us with the ability to recognize when others try to swindle us out of our time, energy, and resources.

File an Insurance Claim

Once we have assessed the damages, we need to find the resources that will enable the healing process.

Once we have assessed the damages, we need to find the resources that will enable the healing process.

Emotional Insurance

We have many types of insurance we can file when things go wrong in life: auto insurance on our vehicles; health insurance for issues in our physical health; homeowner's insurance for things that happen to our property; and life insurance when loved ones leave this world.

Insurance purchased from these types of companies is dependent upon the premiums we have paid and the contingencies associated with our policies. When it comes to our emotional health, however, we are only covered by our insurance if we are having serious enough issues to need psychiatric or psychological intervention.

The support system we have formed throughout life as we have developed relationships with others, namely our friends, family members, co-workers, fellow church members, and neighbors becomes our emotional insurance. If we have treated these people with kindness, respect, and love, they will respond by forming a buffer zone of protection around us.

Our Support System

When difficult things happen, we file an emotional insurance claim by turning to these people. They care enough to listen, understand, and assist. We have to be wary, though, as our feelings may be easily hurt, or unknowingly swayed in the wrong direction.

The only thing that will help us know what is best for ourselves in these situations, is to turn to God for assistance. Whether we acknowledged God's presence previously or are just now realizing that we need him, it is time to file a claim. He will listen and hear, no matter what we have done and where we are in life. Third Day tells it like it is in the video below.

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Our Core Self Worth

When we acknowledge that God is our Father, and we are his children, and build our core self-worth around this belief, it does not matter what happens in the rest of our world, we still are able to feel a sense of self-worth.

Turning to God gives us a chance to heal from our emotional wounds. He loves us with a love that is unconditional and unchanging. Our relationship with him also forms a system of checks and balances in our relationships with others. As we trust in God, we will be guided to know who else we can trust.

God is the only constant in the universe. The seasons change, our relationships come and go, and the things of this world rise and fall, but the love of God, manifested through the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ, will carry us through. It gives us hope for a better tomorrow, a light to follow, and a place of peace amid the turmoil.

Start the Rebuilding Process

With the support and help of our loved ones, and the Lord, we can get ourselves back where we need to be.

With the support and help of our loved ones, and the Lord, we can get ourselves back where we need to be.

Getting Back on Track

When the storms of life pull us to our knees, with the help of others, we can get back on track and move forward. It doesn't happen in an instant, and patience is necessary, not only with ourselves, but the situations we are facing, and the loved ones who are trying to help. We may think that because it happened in a moment, we can get back up in as short a time, but that is usually not the case. A step-by-step approach works best for most people.

First, Focus on Physical Health

Emotional difficulty becomes disastrous when it disrupts life to the point that we loose track of our daily routine. Before we know it, we are suffering physically. Now is the time to re-establish the habits that have held our lives together through the years. They give us daily substance and structure. It is time for:

  • Adequate rest
  • Nutritious meals
  • Plenty of water
  • Daily relaxation

As the emotional roller coaster slows down, and things start to settle, the best thing we can do is to get some rest. We may have to find ways to help ourselves relax in the evenings before bedtime. Warm baths, listening to soft music, reading enjoyable material, or meditation allows our bodies to unwind.

Nutrition is Vital

Nutrition is vital for rebuilding the mind, body and spirit. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of protein give the body much needed nutrients for re-building our emotional health. Avoiding addictive substances is also wise. Although they may dull the pain, they leech nutrients from the body. Hydrate with water rather than commercial drinks containing additives.

Emotional health must be maintained regularly through creating enjoyable experiences in life. Oftentimes after emotional trauma, we think that we don't deserve to have fun, when the opposite is true. We need wholesome recreational activities to recreate who we are at the core of our being when our identity has been through a crisis. Laughter and enjoyment release life-giving substances in the brain.

Second, Develop New Hobbies and Interests

Life changes after emotional trauma, and we need to change with it. Our view of the world has changed to the point that it needs a make-over. We re-define ourselves in terms of our new reality. As we do so, we are able to re-kindle faith and hope in humanity and our place in it. We are able to make plans for our own future, and the future of those we love.

We may find that our interests change as the people in our world change. Our feelings of vulnerability can be used to our advantage if we allow ourselves to experience new things, places, and people. At the same time, we build our own feelings of worth as we trust our instincts in what would be best for us. Our foundation of stability and structure has been shaken, and it is time to re-establish our identity and purpose.

We are all interconnected and need each other, especially in a crisis.

We are all interconnected and need each other, especially in a crisis.

Third, Re-kindle Relationships With Friends and Loved Ones

Those around us may not understand what is happening to us, especially if they have not been involved in the emotional trauma that we experienced. It is up to us to assure them that we love them, and help them to still be a part of the new world we are building. They may question some of the decisions made, and we, too, must respect that they want what is best for us. Only time will tell if things are working to our advantage. If not, we can backtrack and try something else.

Just like a forest that has been burned with fire, our emotional disaster is now growing new seedlings. Our ability to incorporate the old world into the new will depend on keeping our loved ones and friends close to us. Life is a precious gift, and we have been given a second chance to make something of it.

When things seem out of control, remember to assess the damages, file an insurance claim, and rebuild.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Denise W Anderson


Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on August 09, 2020:

That is so true, Ms Sharma. Our emotional health is dependent on our ability to take care of ourselves physically and mentally. If affects our problem solving ability and how we handle crisis situations. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Swati Sharma from India on August 08, 2020:

Very Impressive article by the author.

We should make a balance in our physical health and mental health to live a happy life.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 19, 2014:

Yes, many people feel that way, I know there are times when I have. We seem to re-examine our own lives at these times. Sometimes we make positive changes, other times, we just get down on ourselves. That is why it is so important to assess the damages and file an insurance claim! Then we can get back on our feet and move on. Thanks for the compliment!

swilliams on April 18, 2014:

Thanks for your insightful article Denise! Sometimes we can feel punished when bad things happen. You have such a knowledgeable way of looking at life, and your ability to display your knowledge through words is a blessing! Thanks! Voted up!

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 18, 2014:

Thanks, DDE. You are right. Daily challenges can make life difficult. We have to take the time to figure out what is happening, and learn how best to deal with it. It starts with ourselves. Once we get back on track, then we can work to help others. I appreciate you stopping by.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 18, 2014:

Yes, Purpose Embraced, we all face adversity in our lives, and the types of adversity changes as we get older and have different experiences. Taking care of ourselves often goes by the wayside when difficult things happen, and that is the first thing we have to concentrate on getting back in order to regain our emotional health. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 18, 2014:

Our daily challenges helps us through all times you have covered all aspects here and what a helpful hub to all.

Yvette Stupart PhD from Jamaica on April 17, 2014:

Thanks Denise for your helpful article. We all face various forms of adversity at different seasons in our lives. You article gives helpful advice as to how to respond to challenging times and situations.

Self-care is an important ingredient in the mix, as you pointed out, there is need to pay attention to our physical and emotional health.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 09, 2014:

Thanks, CraftytotheCore. So often, when we have things going on in our lives that take our full attention, we have difficulty dealing with menial tasks. Our ability to set these things aside for a few moments enables us to take care of day-to-day activities as well. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 09, 2014:

Thanks for your comments WriterJanis. Our bodies express our emotions, and what we do physically affects them, as well as our emotions affecting our bodies. We all need encouragement in our lives. I'm glad that you found some in my article.

CraftytotheCore on April 08, 2014:

Great article! I have a lot going on with my son so sometimes I do have poor concentration. I like how you interpret that to mean "pre-occupation with matters that have deep life significance". It's true, when I'm focused on the issues we face at hand, it's very hard to concentrate on anything else.

Janis from California on April 08, 2014:

You're so right about how our feelings can influence our body. Love the encouragement this article brings.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 07, 2014:

Thanks, Teaches. We never know when it will be our turn to ask for a miracle, and thankfully, God hears all prayers! Take care!

Dianna Mendez on April 04, 2014:

Excellent advice, Denise. Love the Third Day song and your encouragement to reach out to God for help. Blessings.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 27, 2014:

You are right, ChitrangadaSharan, most of the time, things are out of our control. Thankfully, we are not in charge of how the world works, or our lives would be very different indeed! You have hit on the key, and that is remembering that difficult times will be followed by good times. If we can keep that in mind, we ill have the patience and self-belief that we need.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 27, 2014:

Thanks, catgypsy. Unfortunately, crises aren't on our schedule! They come when we least expect them, and usually knock us off our feet. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 27, 2014:

You are welcome, MsDora. Patience is probably the hardest thing to have, especially with ourselves. We want things to be resolved quickly, but that isn't always possible. Take care, and God bless.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 27, 2014:

That is the most important thing to remember, mdgardner, that our mental and physical health are connected. When we make changes in one area, the other is affected. When we are experiencing difficulty, our physical health is usually the first thing we notice slipping. As we focus in getting that back in order, our mental health will improve as well.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 27, 2014:

Yes, Eliza, we can face our problems! Faith and confidence will help us to do so! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 27, 2014:

Excellent analysis and useful advice in this hub!

Most of the times, things go out of control. But this is part of life and unfavorable times do not remain always, just as good times they come and go. Patience and self belief is the key to handle such situations and you have tackled this subject very efficiently.

Very interesting and useful tips! Voted up!

catgypsy from the South on March 26, 2014:

Wonderful hub, with some great advice and tips on getting through a crisis. There are so many things to consider and you covered them all, very well.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 26, 2014:

Thank you for tackling this situation. You give really good counsel: "patience is necessary, not only with ourselves, but the situations . . . and the loved ones. . . So relevant for me, right now.

Martin D Gardner from Virginia Beach on March 25, 2014:

Great hub and good information on the physical symptoms. Besides the crying I think I've experienced just about all of those physical symptoms. Mental health and physical health are definitely connected.

Eliza Anderson on March 25, 2014:

thank you for your hub, mom. It is time for us to face our problems with faith and confidence.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 25, 2014:

Thanks for the up vote, swilliams. We have more things in common as human beings that we realize, and emotions during difficulty are one of the most prominent. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 25, 2014:

Thanks, billybuc, I appreciate your analysis of the metaphors used. I thought long and hard about what would be most descriptive of the message I wanted to convey.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 25, 2014:

Yes, raymondphilippe. Everyone experiences times in their life when things do not go the way we have hoped. With a little help, we can get through it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 25, 2014:

Thanks, ologsinquito. I appreciate the compliment. We all go through tough times, but it doesn't mean all is over. We can make a comeback.

swilliams on March 25, 2014:

This is a great Hub Denise plenty of helpful insight. I love how you broke down the emotions of what people go through. Thanks! Voted up.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 25, 2014:

I love your approach and angle in writing this. Powerful message of hope here, Denise, and well-written as always.

Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on March 25, 2014:

Thanks for this thoughtful hub. Many if us are touched by misfortune. But as you quite rightly pointed out there is often a way out.

ologsinquito from USA on March 25, 2014:

This is excellent advice for regaining your equilibrium and your perspective.

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