What is Emotion Regulation?
You may have read our information on ‘What are emotions’… if you haven’t, it might be helpful to read before going ahead on this section. Emotional regulation is a fancy way of saying ‘managing your feelings’. Because we know that feelings can sometimes be like sitting on a roller coaster, it is important to know how to make that roller coaster stop when we need it to. f we are having lots of big feelings, or yuk (negative) feelings, it can be good to know the ways to make them less dominating. Here are 3 tips to help you manage your feelings (emotionally regulate): 1. Share your feelings with someone else. It can be hard to know where to start when you want to say how you feel. What might be a good way to start that conversation? How about something like “Hey Michael, I was wondering if you would have time to listen to me talk about some stuff today?”. Or “I’ve been having a lot of big feelings lately, do you think we can talk about them?”. Maybe you could draw a picture of your feelings and start that way… “Can I show you this drawing, I would really like to explain what it is about”. 2. Remember that your feelings are usually temporary. It can be helpful to remember that what we feel doesn’t usually stay the same way. Feelings can change and grow and shrink throughout they days and weeks. Usually, if feelings have been around for a long time, it might mean that we haven’t talked about them, or acknowledged them (see point 1). 3. Make a list of things that you find calming. Here are some ideas that might help you feel calmer: writing in a journal, patting your dog, going for a run, playing a game, watching your favourite tv show, spending time in nature, catching up with a friend, asking for a hug from someone you love, doing something creative, listening to music. What are some things that you find calming? Write them on a list, so that next time you are feeling overwhelmed, you can choose which ones to do. Remember, feelings are important, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Feelings aren’t bad or good, but sometimes when they get too big, we need some good ideas of how to regulate them.