fbpx How can you improve your emotional regulation? - ART Blog

Very simply, emotional regulation is a person’s ability to exert control over his or her emotions.  While it is generally recognized that emotions themselves are involuntary reactions to thoughts or situations, responses can be managed to lessen the intensity and duration in practice.

Tips to improve emotional regulation:

  1. Take a Pause

Taking a breath once an emotion is observed can allow enough space to begin healthy processing.  The act of taking a pause and a breath allows the decision center of the brain to come back online where more beneficial choices can be made about how to proceed in a favorably calm and emotionally healthy manner.

  1. Practice Emotional Awareness and Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of living in the present moment without judgments. Observing sensations, situations, and feelings from this place allows a person to enter a state of equanimity or mental calm.

As mindful awareness is the first step in practicing emotional regulation, emotional intelligence is a key player in this skill.  Those who have keen emotional intelligence and awareness are able to recognize:

  • When certain emotions arise
  • Where the emotion seems to be “sitting” within the body. Is it in the stomach, in the heart, or in the throat?
  • The “shape” of the emotion- is it liquid feeling, sharp, round?
  • Physiological sensations brought about with the accompanying emotion:  racing heart, queasy stomach, or tension in neck and shoulders.

Observing these emotions and sensations creates presence and immersion without impulsivity.

  1. Label what you feel

Labeling emotions helps identify what is being felt at the moment and gives greater emotional awareness, literacy and potential information on how to respond and react.

UCLA’s Matthew Lieberman refers to naming emotions as “affect labeling”.  Brain scans show that labeling…

Imported from Accelerated Resolution Therapy Blog – Read More

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