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Emotional Self-Regulation: An Important Life Skill

Emotions

By: Karen R. Thompson, LMSW, CEAP, CAADC, EAC Clinical Specialist – Emotional self-regulation is an important life skill and plays a significant role in our relationships both at home and at work.  People who possess the ability to manage their emotions and behaviors often have healthier relationships and develop more resilience in managing life stressors.

Emotional self-regulation can be simply defined as the ability to manage emotions and impulses. It is being able to effectively process intense emotions and respond with appropriate behavior. The first step in developing self-regulation skills is learning to take a pause between emotions and actions. This can be especially challenging when the emotional reaction is intense. A pause offers the additional time needed to formulate an appropriate response. During the pause, an individual may choose to use relaxation skills, positive self-talk, redirection, or other helpful techniques to manage the emotional reactions.

An essential component of emotional self-regulation is self-awareness, which involves taking the time to explore one’s own emotions. One of the ways to become more self-aware is through Mindfulness.  Mindfulness allows an individual to calmly acknowledge and accept their thoughts and emotions, without reacting to them.  An easy way to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life is simply to…

Slow. Things. Down.

Slow down eating your meals and really take the time to taste the food. Slow down your walk and take the time to notice your surroundings. Slow down your quick responses to interactions (take the pause).

Cognitive restructuring is another skill that can be used to enhance your self-awareness. This skill involves adjusting one’s thinking and perspective of a problem which, in turn, can help change the emotional reaction to events.

The skills and techniques shared in this post can be learned and practiced until they become second nature and a way of life.   EAC can help with learning basic skills for emotional self-regulation. Reach out to set up your appointment!  We’re here to help!

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