Learn to Regulate Emotion

Stabilizing Our Inner World


Often stress and our emotions can overwhelm us. We might struggle with anger, feelings of helplessness, guilt, shame, or other complex and intense emotions and feeling states. We might even struggle with positive emotional states. Often these feelings are a combination of emotion and our attempts and struggles to manage them. For some, these emotions can be more pronounced occuring more frequently and intensely. These difficult emotional states can take hold of our lives and can interrupt our capacity to function and deal with the day. 

At a fundamental level each emotion conveys information about the environment to us. For example, fear signals that there is a potential danger, guilt that we have transgressed in some way, while sadness might signal a loss. Numerous factors can influence our emotional constellation. First we might have a dispositional tendency to experience emotions a particular way. Second, our environment, that is the responses from parents and others can influence how we come to experience emotions and feelings. For example, If we grew up in family where criticism was used frequently, we might then grow up to experience excessive self-criticism and shame. At some level these feeling might also serve an adaptive purpose. Taking the previous example, we might then resort to perfectionistic patterns to avoid or offset criticism and rejection from others. Or coming from another family anger might be excessively used to cover feelings of vulnerability. Finally, feelings such as helplessness and frustration might amplify if a parent does not properly attune to a child's needs. The list of examples can go on as to how our emotional experiences arise, develop and are responded to. 

Fortunately, we can learn new ways to regulate emotion. Indeed, we can all benefit from learning new ways to feel through life. By carefully examining and tracking our emotions in the moment we can start to acknowledge, build curiosity about, regulate, and process our emotional world in a slightly different way. This might involve regulating certain unhelpful emotional states while increasing or amplifying adaptive emotions in other instances. If you are curious about understanding your emotional world more deeply then feel free to call on 0451 491 395.