April 2, 2020

Feelings Management

April 2, 2020

Marjorie Thompson, Presbyterian minister, author, and spiritual director, recently shared this four step process to feelings management during difficulties that I have found useful during this COVID19 pandemic.

  1. Name: What is this crisis making you feel? Is it panic, anxiety, fear, stupid, anger, shame? Identify it and name it.
  2. Notice: What is this feeling trying to teach you and is what it is saying actually true? Our feelings can be great teachers, pointing out things that our conscious mind hasn’t fully comprehended yet. But they can also tell stories which are not true (for example many of us are hearing: whatever happens just remember that the most important truth is that you do not run out of toilet paper!)
  3. Breathe: Take some deep breathes and try to locate this emotion in your body (headaches, clinched fists, tight shoulders, back pains, upset stomach). Breathe and begin to release some of the tension caused by this crisis.
  4. Befriend: The key to these “negative” emotions is to not get rid of them (they can be in the car, they just can’t be behind the wheel) but to befriend them. Jesus tells us to befriend our enemies, and this can include the “enemies” within us as well.


God, for many of us, this pandemic is not bringing out the best in us. Give us eyes to see what our emotions are trying to teach us but also help us discern when they are leading us astray. Amen.


How are you doing during this pandemic? What’s the primary “negative” emotion you’ve been feeling?


How has being stuck indoors made you feel? What are creative ways we can be kind to each other when we’re feeling stuck?