Emotional regulation describes a person’s ability to effectively respond and manage emotions. It may be tough to work through stressful situations on our own and often times we may find ourselves resorting to unhealthy coping strategies. Emotional regulation is choosing how we respond to negative situations instead of avoiding them. Rather than acting on impulse, emotional regulation techniques can help us to manage stressful situations and diffuse emotional experiences.
The first process a person can apply to get their emotions under control is to take a breath, observe their feelings, think about the larger picture, and think about what a suitable reaction to the emotion should be. This process involves problem-solving and challenging unhealthy thoughts to reduce emotion and reconnect to your thinking. A great way to work towards this first step is to try breathing and meditating.
After breathing and taking a step back, some healthy coping strategies that you can take to express your feelings include:
- Talking with friends
The best healthy strategy is one that helps us express our emotions instead of suppressing them. In testing a few of the above coping strategies, you can identify what works to deescalate and safely manage your emotions. After identifying which strategies work best it is important to continue to practice the coping strategy whenever you feel overwhelmed.
By practicing strategies that allow us to face our feelings, they will continue to become easier to deal with!
Rolston, A., & Lloyd-Richardson, E. (n.d.). What is emotion regulation and how do we do it? Cornell Research Program On Self-Injury and Recovery. Retrieved July 13, 2020, from http://www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu/perch/resources/what-is-emotion-regulationsinfo-brief.pdf