Emotional Regulation may conjure some funny notions in your mind. Let's make sure we are speaking the same language here when we talk about what Emotional Regulation is.
Emotional Regulation is a term that may not actually exist in the world of psychology the way that I'm using it. It is the notion that ALL emotions are important and useful IF AND ONLY IF we know HOW to use them to improve our lives.
Emotions can be manipulated in varieties of ways. This is why it is so very important to be able to discern what your emotions are trying to tell you in any given moment. The only way to be able to understand or integrate the information your emotions are conveying is to be able to be curious about them, rather than be reactive when emotions bubble up inside of us.
Sounds easy, right?
We have been expressing our emotions as if they were True Facts in the world since we were born. And it WAS True when we were babies. When our bellies were empty, we felt world-ending pain. When we experienced pain, it tore through our sensory system with swiftness. We learned from every one of those emotional outbursts (cries) that we got taken care of when we cried.
Our parents and the rest of the world did their best to try to break us of these emotional demands over the years, and we mostly did ok. But there are these core things, these triggers, that get pulled and suddenly we are de-evolving into those screaming, crying, messes, feeling like the world might really and truly end....
We tell ourselves stories about what could have or should have happened.
We eat something, and feel a little better (ding).
We rest, because we haven't been sleeping much (ding ding).
We feel guilty, embarrassed, ashamed, angry at ourselves....
We (maybe) return to some of the things that we felt worked a little before.
The cycle begins again.
But if we had the power of Emotional Regulation, the power to understand what our emotions were trying to telling us, BEYOND simply that we didn't like what just happened, we could predict that we would respond better next time.
The power of Emotional Regulation is that it allows you to recognize emotions for what they really are:
The painful emotions you experience are telling you about your beliefs. They indicate to you when something you experience is acceptable to you or not; if what you saw, heard, tasted, smelled or touched was safe for you.
We are driven to behaviors that can be ruinous when emotions like FEAR, GUILT, ANGER, and HOPELESSNESS are at the wheel. WE are not in control, the emotion takes control and our behavior will reflect the most efficient way that we avoided or escaped that feeling, or a similar feeling, in the past.
This is how emotions get "generalized" to other focal points. Fear of one thing can lead to fear of another. Guilt over one behavior can lead to guilt over many. Anger at one issue may lead to greater anger regarding other issues. Hopelessness in love can lead to hopelessness in future and all that that entails... it gets big FAST, but it doesn't have to.
The SKILL of Emotional Regulation with our data-driven and evidence based practices can be either learned through our signature 6 week program, or you can choose to let the experts do the science and meet weekly for guidance at your convenience.