Emotional Regulation is your ability to manage strong emotions and soothe yourself even when your environment is stressful or chaotic. Imagine how a toddler responds to a stressful environment; they might cry, shout, or have a full-on tantrum on the floor when faced with demands, sudden changes, or disappointments! While this is normal and expected in toddlers as we grow older it’s expected that we master our emotions and response appropriately in times of stress or conflict. Those tantrums just don’t cut it anymore! For most of us emotional regulation develops naturally as we mature, however for some the development takes longer, and many can benefit from extra support and coaching to move things along.
Emotional regulation is not stifling your emotions or even trying to change them. It is accepting them, acknowledging them, and ensuring that they do not lead to impulsive or self-destructive behaviours that can hurt you or your loved ones or damage your relationships. My approach to improving emotional regulation often includes using Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) tools which include mindfulness, improved communication skills, and distress tolerance.
There are so many factors that can affect how we develop emotional regulation, including how dealing with emotions was modeled by our families, experiencing trauma or abuse, and concerns such as depression, anxiety, substance use, or certain personality traits and disorders.
There are so many benefits to improving emotional regulation; increased resiliency, bouncing back quicker from upsets and disappointments, and an increased sense of self-efficacy. Imagine that you alone have control over your emotional responses and feelings and not those around you. This can be very powerful if you have struggled with your emotions being pushed and pulled by people or circumstances beyond your control.
Contact me at 778-237-1451 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how counselling can help you or a loved one learn how gain control over strong emotions.