The Art of Self Regulation

According to Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury from Positive Psychology, there are six ways in which people can practice and get better at their emotional regulation skills. 

Before diving into all of this. Let’s talk about what emotional regulation is to the extent that an individual is able to have control over which emotions they have, it is considered to be either an automatic or controlled process. With this in mind working on emotional regulation skills will start off by taking steps to control the emotions that we experience and deal with them, and eventually, the goal would be to have them as an automatic process. 

Now onto the 6 Key Things to help with emotional regulation: 

  1. Self- Awareness 

Having self-awareness would be noticing how we are feeling in any given moment and honouring that emotion- especially when it’s painful. A lot of the time when something makes us sad, we are quick to move on to the next distraction to try and get us out of our heads. What this does is not allow us to properly process how we are feeling and this just builds up over time to cause more problems for us in the long run. 

  1. Mindfulness 

This helps us control how we are feeling as well as helps us to properly explore the world around us. The best thing we can do to help us with mindfulness now- put DOWN those phones. Make sure that you are present, especially when with people you love and care about. I myself am a big fan of breathwork- if anyone is interested in exploring this make sure to check out Box Breathing! 

  1. Cognitive Reappraisal 

This is the art of altering the way we think. If you find that your mind often wanders to the negative aspects of things helpful strategies such as thought replacement might be helpful for you. This is the act of attempting not to take things so personally and replace negative self-talk with giving the emotions of others back to them. 

  1. Adaptability 

When we are in a state of dysregulation as individuals we are more prone to distractions, and not following through on our coping mechanisms. With this in mind the first step is knowing what destructive habits we might take part in, and to avoid these things consciously think about what you would do if a friend of yours was asking for advice on your current situation. 

  1. Self-Compassion 

We need to be our biggest fans if we want to achieve full emotional regulation. Making sure that we are taking the time to honour our mental, physical and emotional needs is of the utmost importance. Saying goodbye to that negative self-talk and hello to self-love. For me personally- self-love is doing a fitness class with a friend and writing in my gratitude journal at the end of the day. What does self-love look like to you? 

  1. Emotional Support 

Having a solid support system in times of emotional dysregulation is so important. Relying on friends and family that you know you can trust and have your best interests at heart is a game-changer. In times of turbulence, they might know you better than you know yourself. 

Always remember that there is no shame in seeking professional help when you’re personal coping mechanisms aren’t enough. 

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Interested in Learning More? Check out the full article here

Chowdhury, M. (2019). Emotional Regulation: 6 Key Skills to Regulate Emotions. Positive Psychology.

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