Do you struggle to regulate the “feeler” in you, especially this time of year? Do you tend to “absorb” or react to all the emotions at family gatherings or people in general? I have some tips that I’ve collected over a lifetime of being a “feeler” that I’d like to share with you. Some of these tips are from my own toolbox as well as from others walking this gift out.

Feelers are discerners, and discerners are feelers. So what is a discerner?

What is a Discerner?

A discerner is someone who can distinguish between the spirits angelic, demonic, and human). We use the term discerner interchangeably but there’s a difference between DISCERNMENT and THE GIFT.

Discernment Vs.The Gift of Discerning Spirits

Discernment is more perceiving. It’s the ability to judge well. Many times this is referring to what we can perceive with our natural eyes, what we see in front of us. If a person is slumped over and their face downturned, it’s not hard to discern that they are either sad or depressed.

The gift of discerning spirits means that you pick up on what’s below the surface. For example, let’s say that you are around a person who is always smiling and laughing. But you see their sadness. By the power of the Holy Spirit and the gift of discerning spirits, you see their heart condition.

The term I’m referring to here is the gift of discerning spirits described in 1 Corinthians 12:10 and Hebrews 5:14. It’s a Holy Spirit gift that causes us to discern good from evil through our senses, smell, hear, touch, taste, see, and FEEL.

Now that we have that straightened out let’s talk turkey…or rather how to regulate the feeler in you.

Tips to Regulate the Feeler in You

Some of what I’ll share comes from my own toolbox developed over a lifetime of carrying this gift. I also asked some friends to share how they regulate the feeler in them.

Keep Your Filter Clean

Keep your “filter” clean. As a “feeler,” we often process the world around us and others through our soul (mind, will, and emotions). Our soul can act as a filter. When we hold on to junk, whether it be ours or others that we’ve absorbed, the filter gets dirty. Over time, a clog develops, making it almost impossible to feel what’s going on around you but not take it on and carry it around like a pet.

If you haven’t done inner healing and freedom ministry work before, I highly suggest it. Beyond that, I ask the Lord to search my heart and create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me regularly. (Psalm 51:10) When Holy Spirit reveals an area, we deal with it together.

Operate Out of the Overflow

Make sure you’re operating out of the overflow. You’re more prone to spin out or absorb your environment if you aren’t staying filled. This isn’t a last-minute run to the gas station. This is continually keeping your tank filled with Holy Spirit fuel.

Develop Good Sleep Habits

Poor sleeping habits wear you down mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you are a high discerner, you can’t afford to have bad sleeping habits. It lowers your ability to separate what’s yours and what’s someone else’s.

Guard Your Ear and Eye Gates Like Fort Knox

“Feelers,” make sure you’re guarding what you watch and listen to as a lifestyle, but even more so when you know, you are walking into a challenging situation. Avoid riding the rollercoaster of emotions, limit your time on social media and news sites, and set limits for being the sounding board for others.

I suggest this be a lifestyle for everyone, but it’s crucial for “feelers.”

Don’t Catch and Hold

It’s important for high feelers to feel it and move on. Practice the skill of releasing emotions you pick up to God instead of holding on to things that aren’t yours.

This one takes some practice. The first thing I do is ask, “Is this me, someone else, or the atmosphere?” If identified that it’s not me, I ask the Lord what He wants me to do with it. Sometimes He says to release it to Him. Other times He wants me to pray and release His heart. For example, if I pick up on depression, then I pray and release the joy of the Lord over myself, the person, and the room.

The most challenging aspect of this is learning to recognize that something has shifted in you. I know for me, in my past, I would walk into a room and ten minutes later be angry and not even know why, but chalk it up to that I must be angry.

No, I was perfectly fine before. What happened is I absorbed someone’s anger in the room and came into agreement with it that it must be me. That gave it legal access and permission to ride home with me too!

This brings me to my next point, gauge your temperature.

Take Your Temperature

Take your emotional temperature at the onset. Whether you are starting your day, or preparing to be in a social situation, know how you feel. It will help you gauge what is yours and what is not. Take time to be intentional about assessing where you are that day.

Prepare Your Heart

Hopefully, you are keeping your tank filled regularly. But it never hurts to top off the tank just before going to things. I asked some friends what they do to fill their tank. Here’s what they said.

  • Take time for yourself to get away, pray, and get your head straight before going into family events or big groups. (Jaime)
  • Turn on worship music and get alone with God (Linda)
  • I call it a preemptive strike. If I know, I’m going to be around or even talking to certain family members or in a certain environment. I hit the enemy first! I take authority over the enemy and forbid him to speak to or through my family members or me, people, or situations. (Janet)

Erect the Wall of Fire

One of my favorite instructions the Lord gave me was to declare Zechariah 2:5. I speak out loud, “I declare that the Lord is a wall of fire around me. Nothing gets in that He doesn’t allow.” I use this one quite a bit because it helped me not shut down the gift God gave me and still discern what I need to discern. But the wall of fire acts as a Holy Spirit filter so I can still be effective without being overwhelmed.

Zechariah 2:5, “And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’”

Set Healthy Boundaries for Yourself

Boundaries are meant to be guardrails for you, not for other people. The truth of the matter is that some people can carry such an intense atmosphere about them that it’s difficult to keep their junk from seeping into your emotions. I call these people spiritual or emotional vampires. They tend to suck the life out of you and get you caught up in their whirlwind.

The best way to deal with this is to have firm boundaries for yourself. Mine, for example, is to limit my time with them. If you’re at a family gathering with a relative that’s like this, keep your conversation short. You don’t have to be their captive. When the conversation starts to creep into your emotions, or drag you into their lair, have a way to gracefully but firmly end the conversation.

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts

What are you thinking? Pay attention to shifts in your thought life around people. They may not be your own and could be an indicator of what’s working in the room. This is where knowing your “temperature” beforehand is useful.

Don’t Spin Out!

My husband has a great way to describe when I “spin out.” He describes me as a race car. When I start to spin out, it’s like a race car burning rubber in place. It heats the tires and smokes everyone out!

When you start to feel overwhelmed by the atmosphere, or perhaps you aren’t on your game and feeling weak in your defenses, train yourself to have a quiet spirit.

When this happens, it’s time to DO MORE LISTENING AND LESS TALKING. It takes some discipline, but I’ve trained myself to be quieter when I feel the atmosphere isn’t optimal. My friend Alessandra says, “be in a silent mode just to hear the Lord and the Holy Spirit.”

Create a Baseline Statement

What is a baseline statement? A baseline is a minimum starting point. A baseline statement is a phrase that you develop with the Holy Spirit that reminds you of who you are in Him and helps you return to your starting point.

I’ll share my baseline statement with you so you can gain more understanding. Mine is, “I am the Lord’s victorious channel of heavenly light moving and flowing in peace and love.”

Ok. Let me break that down for you. The first part is the name the Lord has for me, “Victorious Channel of Heavenly Light.” It reminds me of who I am in Him. The second part, “moving and flowing in peace and love,” is all about what I need to return to when things get heavy.

My peace and love tend to be the first things out the door when I get overwhelmed. First, the peace goes, then the love. So it reminds me to hold onto the Lord’s peace and love for others.

Other Tips from “Feelers”

  • Find a scripture that balances or connects you to Holy Spirit. Speak it out loud, even if you have to do it under your breath. For example, Allessandra likes Song of Solomon 4:15, “You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.” I like that one. Plus, if you abbreviate Song of Solomon, you get SOS!
  • Take frequent breaks alone to breathe, refocus, pray, and receive peace. Set me up for success with boundaries. Boundaries are about self-control, not control of others. So I set limits about who I Interact with, how long, what I’m willing to discuss, when I will excuse myself, etc. Stepping away from the frontline of the battle for a few minutes can help a lot!” Kristyn
  • “Taking time to spend good time with God and be sure my heart and head are in a good place with God. Then towards those, I’ll be around. It goes a long way. Even spending time asking God for His heart for people who have hurt me or are hurtful and blessing them and meditating on His thoughts towards them helps a lot. Making sure my head and heart are at peace with God first.” Deborah
  • Take alone time after big gatherings to recharge. Carrie says, “I need alone time after big gatherings to recharge and just talk to God and spend time in His Presence without any input.”
  • “I have developed a lifestyle of constant debriefing. I have to have time away to sort information and soak and debrief and collect the prayer points if God is giving me what to pray. Or what to flush…Seek the Lord. Ask him what the opposition is? How can you partner with him? Be patient. When love is involved, you will see through and stand for them and pray for them.” Stephanie
  • “Jesus said we could release our peace, so whenever I feel that anxiousness or stress, fear, etc., I practice releasing peace, love, kindness, etc., and also, as Jennifer Eivaz and Graham Cooke say, try to stay in Peace and Rest everywhere.” Rebecca
  • “I pay attention to when I flip all of a sudden! If I hadn’t been thinking of anything, letting my mind wander aimlessly, I figure it’s not mine and then go searching through prayer.” Cheryl

Be a THERMOSTAT, not a Thermometer

Last but not least, let me share with you something the Lord told me a while back. He said, “I created you to be a THERMOSTAT, not a thermometer.” YOU are a THERMOSTAT too. Take authority over the atmosphere and set the tone.

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