Overcoming Our Impulses

Have you ever looked back and regretted something that was said or done, out of your emotions? Well you are not alone.  Many, times in life, prior to surrendering to a Higher Power, there were things we did impulsively that we came to regret later.  In the process of renewing my mind, I began to see where I reacted to things too impulsively, that lead to me having a lot of regrets of how to handle some things. 

There was an individual who reacted out of impulsiveness and then later regretted it.  He had been working massive amounts of overtime and was extremely stressed one day, when his boss came into his office and started nitpicking one of his reports and pointing out errors.  The man had just about had it.  He lashed out at the boss, “if I am not doing a good enough job for you, then find someone else, I quit.”  Now the man regrets it because he is out of a job and running out of unemployment.

What the man should have said, “I am sorry, you are right I will watch out for that on my next report.”  It was the correct way to react.  Impulsiveness always gets us in trouble.  Instead of being impulsive and mouthing off the first thing that comes into our heads we need to learn self-restraint. Of, course our friend may have every right to feel angry with his boss, but in the long run his impulsiveness has cost him dearly.

While impulsiveness may bring a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension, it is usually followed by guilt and shame and the return of painful emotions.  Because acting without thinking is often done impulsively, it can be considered an impulse-control behavior problem.  Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity and unpredictability
  • Pervasive difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness

By the time we fully surrendered to a Higher Power we have been through a lot of heartache, brokenness and betrayal.  We tend to take anything anyone says that sounds the least bit negative personal.  We will lash out, say and do things that later we regret all because we were too sensitive to criticism.

We see this behavior all the time, individuals who are stressed to the max, go off when someone at Burger King forgets to put pickles on their hamburger.  Impulsively they strike out and make fools of themselves.  We need to learn to overlook slight mistakes and save our energy for the bigger problems we have in life, losing our jobs, losing our home or life threatening illnesses.

You may be at a point you do not think you can take it another moment. Take a moment to calm down, relax and do just the opposite of what your emotions are telling you to do.  Say this statement, Father; Help me today to not react impulsively to the words and actions of others.  Help me to react as I should act and not as I feel like acting.