In a time when there are so many events, people and things that could affect our emotions, it’s important to be aware of our emotions and how to regulate them. Emotion regulation is the ability to exert control over our own emotional state. It is a form of down regulating and reducing the intensity of emotions experienced or can be a form of up regulation or amping up one’s emotions. This includes behaviours such as rethinking situations, hiding visible emotions or focusing on reasons to be happy.
There are two categories of emotion regulation which can be utilized to control emotions; reappraisal and suppression. Reappraisal can be described as changing how one thinks about something that prompted an emotion in order to change one’s response. However, suppression has been linked to more negative outcomes. Mindful acceptance of emotions, shifting attention away from the source of negative emotions or reframing emotional situations are all habits that can be practiced to assist in managing emotions.
Emotion regulation doesn’t just benefit adults, it is advantageous for children as well. By modeling effective strategies for coping with emotions, parents create an open dialogue with children for further education. This usually includes learning how to label emotions, how to respond, how to express and ultimately how to practice managing emotions appropriately.
If you or someone you know would benefit from talking to a counsellor to learn more about emotion regulation, please contact Safe and Sound Therapeutics.