Emotional Regulation Skills

Emotional self-regulation is psychology speak for an ability to control your emotional responses in an acceptable and productive way. You know how to take charge of your thoughts, feelings, and physical responses to stress.

If we grew up without consistent parenting, or lived through difficult circumstances as a child, our capacity to emotionally regulate can be poor, called ‘dysregulation‘. Our impulsive reactions can damage our relationships and career.

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Emotional Regulation Skills - How Not to Be at the Mercy of Your Feelings - Harley Therapy™ Blog

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Emotional Regulation Skills

They include things like the ability to:

  • think before you speak or act
  • stay calm in the face of stress, pressure, and unexpected events
  • not let other people get to you
  • continue progressing towards your goals despite your emotions.

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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) was created for people with emotional dsyregulation or borderline personality disorder (BPD).

It offers a scientific-based set of set of techniques for emotional tipping points, designed to knock you out of thought and emotions and into your body, which creates a small break that gives you the opportunity to choose a healthier reaction.

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Emergency Emotional Regulation Techniques

When we are first learning how not to ‘freak out’ emotionally emergency tactics can be a godsend:

  1. Hold your breath and plunge your face into cold water, triggering what is called the ‘human dive reflex’ (or try holding ice in your hand).
  2. Do about 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, at about seventy per cent of your ‘all out’ point.
  3. Breathe in a measured fashion right into your diaphragm and keep it up for several minutes. As you do this scan through your body, clenching then releasing a muscle with each in and out breath.

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