How to Develop Emotional Regulation Skills?

Not a day passes without bringing us plenty of various emotions. They often lift us up and let us slide down as we move from a situation to a situation, feeling as if we were on a Ferris wheel. Pleasure and resentfulness supersede each other. Usually, we don’t lose our grip on life when we get tossed by our emotions; but with some individuals, highs are extremely high and lows are immensely low. They can switch from one mode to the next, so rapidly they are unable to consciously follow the changes in good time. Should you find yourself immersed in your emotional shifts, consider working on emotional regulation skills.

There exist techniques through which we can master self-regulation of our daily range of emotions.

Slow down

Don’t respond to a stimulus at once – draw in a deep breath and keep a pause.

Notice what you feel

Your physical response has already manifested itself. Go over your body in your mind and find the area that is most affected: is it a pounding heart or a queasy stomach? Are your neck muscles too tense? Register your sensations.

Name your feelings

Once you’ve registered your feeling, try and put a name to it. What word will you use to call it – irritation, resentment, dissatisfaction? See if you are afraid – fear often conceals itself behind a more evident emotion.

If you have figured it out, it is fear or anger. Try to pin down its source. What is it that made you angry or fearful? You would be able to share your sensations much more clearly if you learned as much about them as you can.

Accept your emotion

Don’t waste time passing judgments. Your feelings are there to be acknowledged, for they constitute a natural human response. Let them be grounds for self-compassion.

Practice mindfulness

You are mindful means you are perfectly aware of what is happening to you at this point in time. Without judging your feelings, take a careful account of them. Once you have mastered being mindful, you can gain better control over your feelings and stave off any negative train of thought.

You can also use techniques like feeling gratitude and concentrated breathing to increase mindfulness. Thereby you insert a space between the stimulus and the response, which helps you relax and feel calmer.

Cognitive reframing

Cognitive reappraisal, also known as cognitive reframing, can be of further help with establishing efficacious self-regulation. Reframing means you undertake to change your patterns of thinking. You reappraise or put a different interpretation on the existing situation so that you can come up with a different emotional response.

Like in a situation when somebody fails to get back to you or reply to your texts over a day or two. The temptation would be great to believe that it is a case of ignoring caused by bad feelings toward you. But actually, you may tell yourself that your interlocutor might be up to their ears in work and totally unable to answer. Employed in this way, cognitive reappraisal can help you get rid of negativity and turn to positive emotions.

Manage your stress

Make a point of rearranging your lifestyle so it can be more laid-back and relaxed. If you give enough prominence to the “rest-and-digest” mode, your parasympathetic nervous system is sure to enable you to make more helpful pauses.

Lifestyle changes that redound to getting more emotional control:

  • ensuring about 8 hours of sound sleep every night
  • going for food that provides proper nutrition and is not processed
  • taking regular meals which will make the blood sugar better balanced
  • working out at least five days a week in half-hour sessions
  • receiving emotional encouragement from loved people and pets
  • walking and sitting in the open enjoying sunshine
  • employing different relaxation practices

Be bent on constant improvement

This advice does sound very demanding. Yet once you have set the wheels in motion, it becomes a mechanical process. Even with a well-developed habit of stifling strong emotions, you can teach yourself to acknowledge and accept them. Of course, it won’t turn your negative emotions into positive ones, but it will surely make them more natural and acceptable, not so destructive as they used to be.

Therapy may work best for you

It does involve a lot of effort to engage emotional regulation properly, and you may find you need help to do this. Experts can lead you to a far better understanding of your own reactions, as well as get you rid of some habitual reactions that are no longer productive.

An experienced therapist can do a lot toward cultivating acceptance, practicing cognitive behavioral therapy with you so as to make you conscious of what you feel and how you are going to react.

A mental health expert can assist you in discovering the deep-set reasons behind your emotional responses and find explanations of why they are the way they are. The expert can also diagnose a disorder (like bipolar disorder) you may be laboring under that causes undesirable emotional reactions.

Should it prove to be the case, you may need to undergo professional treatment and have medications prescribed for you to deal with the condition.

Your feelings are very natural and very real, but your expression of them may be influenced by hidden and harmful emotional aspects. Emotional regulation techniques can go a long way towards proper managing of your responses, and make them more socially acceptable and understandable to your relatives and friends. This will make a great development, teaching you to calm yourself down, soothe your emotions and stay mindful all the way.

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