“Emotional regulation” simply means having the ability to appropriately express or manage when and how we show our emotions – which is a fairly simple definition of a not-so-simple skill! We’ve all been there, say when you’ve lost your temper, or rather than defiantly standing up to someone – you cried instead. Maybe you feel you’re too sensitive? Or too quick to react, only to regret your actions or words later.
Symptoms & signs of ineffective emotional regulation
Being emotionally impulsive can look different in different people. For some people, it means losing their temper, for others it’s a pattern with a highly emotional response followed by regret. See if the following apply to you:
- Outburst of anger – yelling, swearing, throwing things
- Crying at inopportune times – such as confrontations with strangers, family members, or colleagues
- Reliving interactions and confrontations with others and thinking of all the ways you could have reacted differently
- Frequently apologizing for how you reacted – in person, at meetings, in emails and social media (or other written communication)
- Feeling embarrassed or ashamed of your behaviour
When is it time to get help?
We are emotional beings – we are not robots! There is nothing wrong with feeling and showing your emotions. It’s okay to cry at work from time to time if you are truly moved by something. Displaying your anger in certain situations is the right thing to do. It’s important to be our authentic selves. However, if you find that your emotions feel out of control, or your intense feelings, outbursts, conflicts, or interactions with others are interfering with your daily activities, your job, your relationships, or your general satisfaction with your life, then it’s time to get help.
Treatment methods for dealing with emotional regulation
There are many ways to build up your emotional skills inventory. Your therapist will discuss various options depending on your individual circumstances. There are some treatment methods that are effective in helping you to deal with your emotions. They include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Behaviour Therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a treatment method that’s similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) but emphasizes building skills to manage stress, emotional response and regulation, mental health issues, and the psycho-social aspects of relationship building.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
Working with a therapist at Insight will help you to appropriately express your emotions. Your emotions will not control you – but rather, you can learn tools that will help you decide when and how to best express your feelings. This ability will serve you well in your relationships, at school or work, and in your life in general.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about emotional regulation.