Emotional regulation is a term that describes the process of becoming aware of the emotions a person has and their ability to check in with themselves to monitor them. The ability to understand and manage your emotions is important for development and can increasingly improve your wellbeing and quality of life.

Listen to “Calm: Emotional Regulation – Feelings Matter Episode 11” on Spreaker.

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s daily lives have changed drastically, leaving many feeling uncertain, stressed, and anxious. The ability to check in with yourself and practice emotional regulation can help you understand that these feelings are normal to experience but that you are capable of improving your emotional health during this unprecedented time.

While our emotional experiences can include a large variety of feelings, both positive and negative, emotional self regulation comes into play when a person is able to check in with their emotions and think through them before acting out on them. During childhood, children are at the preliminary stages of self-regulating and managing their emotions.  rather than thinking before speaking, children often react impulsively when faced with discomfort. Overtime, practicing self-regulation can aid in the reaction and choices we make in negative situations. Teaching children about actions and consequences while modeling the right behavior can help teach emotional regulation to children to help them deal with unavoidable stressors of everyday life.

We don’t always have control over what happens in our lives but emotional regulation can help you have control and how you react to anything that triggers you. Here are some skills that can guide you in the right direction of emotional regulation and sustaining it during challenging times in life.

  1. Self-awareness: Try to notice what specific emotion you’re feeling in the moment and identify it. You need complete awareness of what you’re feeling without acting upon it or  judging the cause and effect of the emotion.

  2. Mindful awareness: While becoming aware of the thoughts and feelings you’re having,  try to focus on the present. Mindful exercises such as breath control or sensory relaxation can guide your actions in the right way.

  3. Cognitive reappraisal: When facing a difficult situation, it may be helpful to alter the way we think. Next time you’re in this position, try looking at a stressful situation from a different perspective and practice thought replacement to get a better perception of the problem.

  4. Adaptability: As our lives change, our adaptability can be affected by emotional dysregulation. Objective evaluation can be a great exercise to build adaptability.

  5. Self-compassion: A great way to build emotional regulation skills is to put time aside to focus on yourself everyday. Some compassion tasks include regular self-care, gratitude journaling, compassion meditation, and daily positive self-affirmations.

  6. Emotional support: If you’re having difficulties with self-regulation, know that you don’t have to figure out your emotions alone. Consider seeking help from a therapist or professional.

Feeling overwhelmed by your emotions can be especially stressful when you’re in the workplace. Oftentimes, you may find it challenging to think through a situation when your emotions catch you by surprise. But these emotional regulation skills can be applied in this setting as well. The best way to regulate your emotions in the workplace is to regularly assess your environment while incorporating these skills into your own life and relationships with the people around you.

Additional resources: Emotional Regulation on Positive Psychology

BONUS CONTENT – During the live broadcast, we also discussed how parents can help our children learn emotional regulation skills. Don’t miss out on this information available on the YouTube video.

By Shreya Kondapallli,

Writer for Mindful Appy

Hi, I’m Shreya! I am a senior at the University of Florida pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minoring in Computer Sciences.

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