Emotion regulation is a skill that helps people learn to cope with their emotions. Therapists can help you learn more about how to react differently to your feelings.
Many people think that emotional regulation is an anger management technique. Still, it can help you with any emotions that may seem overwhelming. Using this strategy, you can learn to express your feelings in constructive ways, rather than be reactive or hurtful.
People with mental illness, a history of anxiety or depression, or a history of trauma may have trouble controlling their reactions when they feel an emotion. Reacting to a situation quickly can cause a bad outcome, especially if you’ve misunderstood a situation or made an assumption.
Emotional regulation can even help you quit beating yourself up when you’ve made a mistake in life.
Benefits of Emotional Regulation
Many people who live with mental health disorders have trouble expressing their emotions while they’re going on. Learning to live with mental illness is challenging, but millions of people thrive with treatment and new tools. Emotional regulation is one of the most coping skills for people with mental health disorders because:
- Improved emotion regulation can benefit most areas of your life once you’ve had some practice.
- You’re more able to control your reactions, even if you’re feeling emotional.
- Emotional regulation can help you work harder and maintain your focus.
- You’ll have fewer conflicts and improve your relationships.
- You’ll learn to experience emotions and acknowledge them.
Emotions Have Triggers
Emotions are an important part of the human experience. Nobody is asking that you stop feeling or go numb. Sometimes, however, people’s brains cause them to overreact to their emotions or feel emotions that aren’t exactly true.
Emotional regulation helps you understand why you react the way you do in certain situations. Instead of reacting in a negative way when you feel certain emotions, you can now understand the triggers or “buttons” that can cause you to overreact.
For example, you may be angry that you missed the bus, but when you get to work, a colleague says something that annoys you so you end up exploding at them. Normally you get along with your coworker, but you’re so wound up that you explode at them in front of everyone. This type of behavior can jeopardize your relationship with them and how you’re viewed at work.
If you’re practicing emotional regulation, you’ll find an alternative way to cope with the anger you have about running late. You may need to start leaving for work earlier or taking a different bus so you won’t be so stressed out, to begin with.
Do you or somebody you love struggle with mental health issues or substance use? You’re not alone. People with mental health disorders can take back control of their lives. At The Livingood Center, we help our clients understand themselves and their diagnosis. We want to help you live life to your fullest in recovery. Please call us at 949-245-9812 to learn more about our programs.