The Importance of Emotional Regulation

Various emotions flow through us every single day. These feelings- whether positive or negative- influence our thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. While experiencing emotions may be a natural experience, the process of managing them is a crucial step in everyone’s lives.

How we manage and convey our emotions significantly impacts both our professional and personal circles. Failure to manage these can have negative effects including elevated stress, damaged intrapersonal relationships, and poor judgment.

In fact, dysfunctional emotional regulation might even have a role in the emergence of mental health issues including depression and anxiety.


What is emotional regulation?

emotional regulationAbigail Rolston and Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson of the Cornell Research Program of Self-Injury and Recovery define “Emotional Regulation” as a term often used to describe a person’s capacity to effectively manage and respond to an emotional experience.

“People unconsciously use emotional regulation strategies to cope with difficult situations many times throughout each day. Most of us use a variety of emotion regulation strategies and are able to apply them to different situations in order to adapt to the demands of our environment. “ they explain. In reality, not all of these coping strategies can be deemed healthy. What might seem like a normal way of dealing with stress, can actually be detrimental to us. That’s why self-awareness and action are important.

Through these, we can take proactive steps to implement healthier alternatives, ultimately improving our emotional and physical well-being.


What are the common emotion regulation strategies?

There are several ways most of us do to manage our emotions effectively. Some of these might be activities that you already do on a regular but don’t really acknowledge as such.


Deep breathing and relaxation techniques

Deep breathing is a simple yet very effective way to slow down the mind when feeling overwhelmed with tension and stress. This practice increases the supply of oxygen to the brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

By focusing on our breath and slowing down our breathing rate, we can regulate our physiological responses to stress and activate the body’s natural relaxation mechanisms.


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According to the Center for Clinical Interventions, Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is one of the relaxation practices that has helped people in times of need. “In progressive muscle relaxation exercises, you tense up particular muscles and then relax them, and then you practice this technique consistently.” the article stated.


If you’re planning to start PMR, here are the steps you should follow:


Engaging in physical exercise

physical exercise for emotional regulationEngaging in physical activity has a positive effect on our emotional control in addition to our physical health. Physical exercise causes our body to release endorphins, which are organic mood enhancers. These endorphins work with brain receptors to lessen pain perception and increase feelings of well-being, producing a euphoric state that’s commonly known as the “runner’s high.”

This might be the reason why you can feel the release of tension and reduced anxiety after your workouts. A sense of accomplishment is also felt after completing a routine, and this is important for enhancing your self-esteem. Having that clarity can help you refocus and attack the matter from a different angle when you’re feeling overwhelmed.


Getting social support

social support for emotional regulationThis may be one of the most common and natural ways we do emotional regulation. As humans, we tend to reach out to others for support, enlightenment, and validation– especially if we’re experiencing distress or discomfort. This innate tendency reflects our need for belonging and understanding.

When people around us completely empathize with our feelings, a safe space is created, further alleviating feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Aside from comfort, our friends, family, and peers can offer an alternative viewpoint to us. They can provide another insight that could transform our feelings and ideas, bringing to light a new perspective we might have not thought of on our own.  Having a trusted support group can instill a sense of confidence and reassurance, making it easier to navigate through difficult emotions and situations.


Seeking professional help

Therapy to assist with emotional regulationTalking to a clinical psychologist can be a great way to get help and guidance in managing your emotions and creating practical coping strategies. These mental health professionals are experts in creating a safe and comfortable environment where people can explore their ideas, feelings, or behaviors.

Therapy sessions should be able to provide a space for you to examine issues, look for reoccurring themes or triggers, and discover more about your emotional experiences.

Therapists can assist you in acquiring practical techniques for improving overall well-being, managing stress, and regulating mood. Additionally, they can provide you with strategies and treatments that are supported by research and tailored to your particular needs.

This is also true for working with a life coach. Although life coaches do not diagnose or work specifically with mental illnesses in the same way that a therapist would (life coaching is not a substitute not for therapy), many people report having a coach can help them reach higher levels of emotional regulation and a more positive outlook on life.


Why is emotional regulation important?

Managing your emotions is critical to overall well-being and affects all areas of your life. How you process your feelings influences your perspective and approach in relationships. When you’re able to regulate your emotions effectively, you lessen the risk of experiencing mental health issues and dysfunctional relationships.

In addition, it has a significant impact on stress management, helping people to cope more effectively with adversity and reducing the negative effects of constant stress on their mental and physical health.

Emotional control helps us deal with situations in the best way possible. We can go into it with a clear mind, not with a clouded sense of judgment. Overall, emotion regulation promotes flexibility and personal development by encouraging self-awareness, self-control, and adaptability.



About Author:
Paul Jenkin | Life Coach & Somatic Facilitator
With 26 years of experience in alternative health and personal development, Paul coaches entrepreneurs and creatives to let go of limiting programming and empower themselves to reach greater levels of personal freedom, peace and success.

Author of ‘Powerful Manifestation Secrets’– he enjoys sharing information about a whole range of topics from LOA, optimal health, emotional intelligence, self-sovereignty and business. Schedule a 1-hr Expansion Call Today!






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