How to Act When Feelings Attack - Kathryn C. Lang

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How to Act When Feelings Attack

Just because it feels like it doesn’t mean it is. Feelings can be deceiving. Feelings can distract you from something better. Feelings will hinder focus.


focus on encouraging


I had been talking to my husband for ten minutes without a reply. My last nerve threatened to give out. The last couple of days I have struggled with my husband not listening when I talked.

I’m sure I’m the only one that feels that way.

I felt neglected. I felt frustrated. I felt like he needed to pay attention to me no matter what he was doing.

I walked out of the office still talking to him. My middle son walked out of the next room at the same time and stood in the hallway smiling.

That’s when it hit me. My husband wasn’t home.

I had been talking to myself the whole time. My loving and supportive older sons both knew I didn’t realize my husband couldn’t and wouldn’t reply because he wasn’t even here. Instead of pointing out his absence, they just sat back to watch me explode.

I blame this trait of theirs on their dad . . . because he’s not here to defend himself.

I confess that when I realized what I had done, I laughed too. It turns out feelings aren’t always what they want to be.

How to Tame Feelings

  • Take a breath. When feelings begin to take off, a deep breath will help rein them back in. Breathe in through your nose and mentally count to ten, then breathe out through your mouth to a count of 15. Breathing out longer than you breathe in will help to flush your system with oxygen. Oxygen is good.
  • Take it in. Take in the whole situation before you let your feelings tell you what to think. Are you seeing it all? Are you hearing it all? Are you understanding it all? It’s easy for feelings to boil when they are allowed to focus on less than all.
  • Take a moment. Hold back on responding in the heat of the moment. When feelings are bubbling up, walk away (figuratively or literally). Wait until the feelings smooth down so you can respond with intention instead of with feelings.

  • Take a chill. It’s rarely as intense as your feelings make it out to be. Relax. If it’s not essential for your well-being or the well-being of someone close to you then let it go.

Feelings are going to happen. Feelings will come on even stronger when you are tired or your body might be fighting off infections. Feelings don’t have to be in control.

You can tame the feelings if you take a breath, look at the whole picture, refuse to respond in the moment, and relax.

Next time, I won’t let my feelings stir my annoyance at my husband’s lack of response because he may not even be in the house.

Be blessed,

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