Regulating the self

Photo by Malachi Cowie on Unsplash

Emotional self-regulation refers to the ability to manage emotions in a healthy and productive way. It is essential for a happy life because emotions play a significant role in our overall well-being and affect how we perceive and interact with the world around us.

Volatile emotions can lead to negative outcomes such as stress, anxiety, depression, poor relationships, and even physical health problems. On the other hand, emotional self-regulation can help you achieve emotional balance, build resilience, and enhance your relationships.

There are several strategies you can use to better regulate big emotions that can contribute to a happier life:

  • Self-awareness: Self-awareness involves paying attention to your feelings and understanding the triggers that cause them.
  • Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness involves being present in the moment and accepting your emotions without judgment.
  • Cognitive reappraisal: This involves changing the way you think about a situation or event to reduce the emotional impact it has. I teach students and clients to talk to have a conversation with themselves.
  • Regulation strategies: There are various strategies that you can use to regulate your emotions, such as deep breathing, meditation, exercise, and talking to a supportive friend, therapist, or coach.
  • Emotional expression: Expressing emotions in a healthy way. This involves finding appropriate ways to communicate one's feelings, such as in groups or through exercises like journaling, art, music, or shadow work.
  • Consciously increasing one’s tolerance for distress. Distress tolerance is the ability to sit with difficulties without becoming overwhelmed. Distress tolerance can be learned.

Emotional self-regulation is vital for a happy life. I'll elaborate on each of the bullets above in subsequent posts. One of the best ways I know to learn how to manage big emotions is by taking my Project SkillfullyAware class. Check it out. Or, if you think you need more support, consider reaching out to me. I want you to be happy.

Wishing you health, happiness, and abundance,


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