Spiritual Practice


Alina Kanaski

Emotions are complicated, and making space for them is important. Making space doesn’t mean being driven by our emotions or assuming that it’s always appropriate to act on them. It means being able to say, “This is what I’m feeling right now.”

So what practices can help us make that space?

  • Check in with your emotions—journal, meditate, talk about them.
  • Practice naming your emotions.What does anger feel like to you? What about sadness? joy? If you’re not sure, do some reading or talk with your friends.

Jesus wept.
John 11:35 (NIV)

  • Pray through your emotions. Need help? Find a psalm that expresses how you’re feeling, and make it your prayer.
  • Recognize how you usually respond to emotions. Does sadness make you want to eat? Does anger make you want to hit something? Learn to notice your emotional triggers without acting on them.
  • Think of next steps. What is a healthy way to respond to your emotions? You can run to burn off anxious energy or write a letter to express your anger (even if you don’t deliver it).


REMEMBER: Our emotions are part of who we are. Making space for our feelings helps us to be more authentic people and enables us to connect in deeper ways with God and others.


—from devozine (January/February 2020). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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