Managing the Emotional Storm Within

Manage Emotions - Terri shares 3 important ways to manage our emotions when a storm brews within. Click to read more! #emotions #quotes #expressing #identifying #marriage #selfcontrol

Today, while I’m still recovering from a recent surgery, friend and blogger Terri Hutchinson is stepping in to share her wisdom on how to manage our emotional world. I met Terri back in in 2017 at a She Speaks conference, and we’ve remained in touch ever since. I hope you’ll check out her bio below and make her feel welcome by commenting, as well as sharing her wise post all around the web!

Welcome to fall, and to hurricane season!

I like to call it “beauty and the beast” season.

Because I live in South Carolina, hurricanes get my attention. Storms, in general, fascinate me. I can remember, as a little girl, my dad and I monitoring a green-gray sky, showcasing an ominous funnel cloud. Very eerie and intriguing, to say the least.

With the onset of hurricane season, I’m contemplating how storms manifest within nature and within myself. As weather can be predicted and tracked, I wonder if I can predict, and manage, my internal turmoil before it develops into a destructive storm damaging another’s spirit?

I believe I can if I’m mindful of the signs.

In nature, atmospheric changes create weather disturbances, and we’re familiar with the signs. Treetops begin to sway. Birds become silent. Winds become strong. A deep rumble. A brilliant, jagged light. Crack! Boom! The power of any storm is directly related to the amount of energy available to it.

What energy source creates inner turmoil?

Perhaps, it’s when we want to be frustrated, irritated, or discontented. Or, it’s wanting to be offended and watching to find fault. Negative emotions and thoughts are the catalysts, and the energy source, sustaining inner turmoil.

For example, a negative mindset begins with a slight irritation transforming into a persistent frustration, turning into a smoldering infuriation, and, subsequently, unleashed in a burst of anger.

It’s a chain reaction I have experienced much too often. Maybe, you’re familiar with it as well.

Here’s what I know. I get to control the effort I put into being discontented, dissatisfied, and angry. It is my responsibility to take control of what’s going on inside my head and heart. And I can choose to manage my internal dialogue de-escalating irritation and frustration. By doing so, I remove the power source.

Of course, I have to want to.

Sometimes, I don’t want to control my thoughts or emotions. Don’t I have a right to express hurt, disappointment, and resentment? Why do I have to control the storm within myself when it seems my husband doesn’t do the same?

We know the answers to these questions. I’m responsible for me, and I’m accountable to Jesus.

Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel” (NIV).

Turmoil stirs, whereas peace calms.

The proverb raises a question: Do I want to be a wife, a woman, who brings calm and peace to my conversations and interactions?

Of course, I do!

Jesus knows I can and it’s not an impossible thing for me. When I listen to my heart, identify triggers, and initiate self-control, I take charge of the turmoil and negative energy sources.

It’s taken time for me to get on board with Jesus’ way: a slow-to-anger, peacemaker mindset. Too long, I followed my family’s example, slamming doors, going silent, or letting my mouth be an instrument of hurt.

The urge to revert to old ways always tempts me, so I take the storm to Jesus.

Who better to calm the storm within me? Since there’s no hiding my heart from him, I might as well lay it wide open.

Here’s what I do. Whatever is in my heart, I say aloud, such as: “Did you hear him? Did you see what happened?” Next, I tell Jesus what I want, or wanted, to say in retaliation. I let it out, and it’s not pretty. But what comes next is amazing!

By releasing the anger, turmoil is de-energized. I move from a place of anger to a position of confession. Then I confess in order to realign myself with Christ. I let Him help me work through my annoyance, frustration, and anger before I attempt to work it out with my husband.

Thankfully, I’m making progress and doing better with the practice of taking the peace-path.

The peace path involves …

  • Deliberate choices
  • Confession
  • Realignment
  • Reconciliation

Managing our thoughts and emotions is a daily practice. Daily.

Choosing tenderness over anger won’t always come instinctively. We’ll forget to activate self-control, or won’t care to do so. We’ll want to stay hurt, mad, or dissatisfied. In those times, we’ll face the truth of our choices, take it to Jesus, confess, and fine-tune our radar.

Just as weathercasters rely on radar to predict storms, we rely on the Holy Spirit who identifies and tracks turmoil within us. Our act of stillness lets us hear the Spirit’s warning and guidance.

Three Steps to De-escalate Frustration and Turmoil Within …

1. Listen to Yourself

Tuning in to our thoughts and verbalizations reveals much about the atmosphere within us. Tune in, so you may recognize the early clues of irritation and frustration. Hold yourself accountable and submit the negative to Christ.

Here are some telltale signs to watch and listen for: a curt response, accusation, sarcasm, assuming negative intent, silence, glares, avoidance, rejection, a disrespectful retort or gestures.

2. Identify Triggers

Pay attention to trigger events sparking annoyance or dissatisfaction. Ask yourself why you feel this way. Questions like these help to tease out truths.

3. Self-control

I store my frustration from work while at work, but I let it come out in odd ways once I’m at home. My husband, too, had a very high-stress job and he did the same. We know it’s not fair to the other. Self-control goes out the window as we release the pressure within.

Often, we want to let loose the negativity stored inside because we’re tired of stuffing. Self-control is not stuffing. It’s choosing a proper avenue to express negative feelings. We can find respectful ways to express discontentment and dissatisfaction. When, where, and how are all critical to consider.

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:4 (NIV)

The end goal is storm neutralization.

You’ll know you’re becoming a storm neutralizer when you …

  • Perceive the signs of internal turmoil and want to take control, before it escalates.
  • Slow down to listen to your internal dialogue, and how it’s energizing turbulent emotions.
  • Assess for trigger events and determine if you’re triggering your spouse’s frustration.
  • Desire to find common ground bringing peace to the moment.
  • Choose not to justify your position, but desire meaningful conversation to move the issue forward to resolution.

In every attempt we take to transform ourselves more and more into the likeness of Christ, we have to ask for His help. We can ask over and over because Jesus wants us to succeed!

Peace to you,



Terri Hutchinson is a wife, nurse, and believer in Jesus Christ who recently relocated to South Carolina. Be sure to check out her blog at, where she writes about and advocates for holistic wellness—mind, body, and spirit. You can also find more of her encouragement and inspiration on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Reference: How Tornadoes Gain Power



What is one of the first internal signs you notice that a storm is brewing within?


Which of the three steps Terri shared above do you want to give more focus to in your life?


Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayKingdom BloggersLiterary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdayPurposeful FaithTell His StoryInstaEncouragements LinkupRecharge WednesdayPorch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdaySitting Among FriendsTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementGrace and Truth Faith and Friends Faith on Fire FridayFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday


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30 responses to “Managing the Emotional Storm Within”

  1. Hi Terri! So good to see you here at Beth’s blog this week. Great post that I’ll be sharing on Pinterest and Twitter, friend. Treasuring memories of our time together at She Speaks today!


    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for sharing! One day we’ll get face to face again.


  2. It’s a blessing to read this post and to note the ways in which I’ve “grown up” over the almost thirty years of marriage. That’s not to say that I’ve arrived by any means, but the storms are fewer and further between and that’s definitely a God thing!


    1. Hi Michelle, A God thing is a great way to put it. I’m still learning not to let my emotions manage me–a lifelong process for certain.


  3. Dear Terri, Thank you for your post.

    “Take the storm to Jesus” – I should try that, I should really try that. My prayers tend to be heavily editted and circumspect, and inconsequence I think I am not getting the full benefit. It’s silly to try and hide things from God of course. As you say, it’s all very well to know the triggers and to be self-aware, but sometimes I want that storm raging inside me. Perhaps I should let rip with both barrels in prayer.


    1. Hi David, Prayer is a safe place. God knows my thoughts so submitting these and surrendering my emotions to him keeps me hurting someone else. God can take my anger and he won’t judge me if I’m seeking his help.


  4. Terri, such an excellent post! I would say a majority need this advice because we can all slip up and let our emotions tumble out of our mouth and at times it only adds fuel to the fire. Ouch, the “choose not to justify your position” is an area I need to work on. Thank you for sharing with us and Beth, I just prayed for your recovery!


  5. I look within and find a calm,
    a kind of peaceful victory,
    although you may not find it balm;
    I look within, and find no Me.
    Cancer has my life consumed,
    with losses I could ill-afford,
    but I, in turn, have been subsumed
    unto the Loving, Living Lord.
    And so, the trials of homely days
    has lost their caterwauling power
    for I journey on the way
    to David’s City’s shining tower.
    I have found blessed life in pain,
    and in my death, there will be gain.


    1. Andrew, what a beautiful outlook and faith in the life the Lord promises all of us.


  6. Hi Terri! Thanks for sharing so much wisdom on this subject. I especially liked the sentence: I get to control the effort I put into being discontented, dissatisfied, and angry. What a great reminder this morning! Blessings!


  7. Blessings to you as well, Deb!


  8. This is very helpful. Your analogy of a brewing storm resonates with me. I experienced this just a few days ago – unrelated to marriage – but I knew I had to deal with my emotions before they got out of hand. I love your practical tips. Great post!


    1. Hi Jana! So glad you found these helpful. Life is full of relationships so we get to practice ALOT when it comes to managing our emotions.


  9. Great tips for storm control, Terri! I’ve learned to pour out my storms in my journal–and they always end up a conversation with God about surrender and reconciliation.


    1. Hi Anita, The journal is an excellent place to pour out hearts. Thanks for sharing!


  10. Love your steps to de-escalation, Terri! Especially identifying the triggers. Great post!

    Pinned & tweeted.

    Beth, I hope you’re healing well!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!


  11. Terri, I appreciate your list of “telltale signs.” I find a simple exercise that can help me see them for what they are is to read 1 Cor. 13.4-7 at the end of the day and ask how I did with each thing listed there. Was I patient? If not, with whom was I impatient? Did I ask for forgiveness? Was I kind? … Was I envious … and so on. If we’re not examining ourselves in light of God’s word, it can be very easy to justify, minimize and blameshift to others when it comes to our unloving behavior. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Donna, your introspective questions are excellent. I’ll be using those for a self review. Thanks for contributing.


  12. This was so helpful to me today as I have been learning and trying to teach my daughter coping skills for dealing with her anxiety. Visiting you from crystal storm’s link up.


  13. Terri, I think this post was full of excellent things to consider when experiencing times of turmoil in marriage. I have learned over our “mostly” happy, 49 yrs. of marriage, that when a conflict starts to brew I tended to shut down, go quiet and keep the explosion inside. As a result we did not have an overabundance of “knock down drag-outs”, but damage was done just the same. I stuffed at lot of my frustration and hurt, and let it turn into a destructive buildup of anxiety and negativity. Looking back the “Peace Path” would have provided such a more healthy way of dealing with conflict. At the time I was just allowing the evil one to get a foot hold in my heart and emotions. Instead I should have taken it straight to God, confessed my part in the conflict, asked Him to show me my sinfulness towards my spouse and asked God to help me to reconcile our issues with His grace.


    1. Hi Kris, Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. Wisdom is one key to healthy relationships.


  14. Thank you, Terri. I especially related to the self-control step. It’s so easy to take out our frustrations on the people closest to us…under our roof. And, no, it’s not fair. So when you go on and practically flesh out what to do: “self-control is not stuffing. It’s choosing a proper avenue to express negative feelings. We can find respectful ways to express discontentment and dissatisfaction. When, where, and how are all critical to consider.” Awesome insight. I pray to become a storm-neutralizer!


    1. Hi Karen, me too! I’m a work in progress with managing my emotional storms.


  15. Hi Karen, me too! I’m a work in progress with managing my emotional storms.


  16. Thank you for sharing on Grace & Truth Terri & Beth. I have chosen your post, Terri, as my G&T feature this week. I appreciate everything you said – it is vital for us to take responsibility for our emotions. If we don’t, then we are powerless to make changes for the better.


  17. This advice is so practical. I LOVE it! The idea of being a storm neutralizer is such a great picture of the kind of person I want to be.


  18. […] on her site, but I knew I was still going to enjoy the post.  And I did!  Terri’s post, Managing the Emotional Storm Within is well written with practical tips to help us manage those emotions that can sometimes get the […]


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