Four Emotional Regulation Techniques

December 21, 2018
Knowing how to manage your emotions is a key skill that can improve your quality of life. In this article, discover four emotional regulation techniques.

All emotions arise due to a specific reason and it’s never a good idea to suppress them. It also isn’t a good idea to allow them to take over. In this sense, there are emotional regulation techniques that can help us keep them at bay.

Anger is an emotion that’s really hard to manage because of the energy it gives us. There are many people in the world who let anger overcome them and, thus, end up doing and saying things that hurt others. Likewise, fear can also take over and not allow us to grow. Both of these emotions can affect our quality of life.

Therefore, it’s important to know some emotional regulation techniques that can help us manage our emotions in a better way.

“He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.”

-Lao Tzu-

1. Vipassana: An emotional regulation technique

Vipassana meditation is based on self-observation. It means “to see things as they are”. For some cultures in India, it’s a means to develop “the art of living”. The technique basically consists of dedicating some time to see oneself from another perspective.

The idea is to go to a peaceful place, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. You should pay close attention to the way the air enters and leaves your body. The next step is to scan every part of your body. It’s ideal to do this every day for just a few minutes. It’s a daily exercise that helps develop self-control.

Meditation is a good way of auto-regulating emotions

2. Virtual environment

Another emotional regulation technique consists of using virtual or imaginary environments. This technique consists of virtually exposing yourself to different situations that make you feel particularly vulnerable. After this, you have to evaluate these situations and the emotions you felt.

Some psychologists and institutes are equipped with the necessary technology to reproduce certain situations digitally. However, this isn’t the only way of doing so.

If you don’t have that technology at your disposal, you can use your imagination. You can draw or describe with words some of those situations that you feel you don’t have control over. The idea is to identify triggering stimuli or situations. Then, you must try to understand the emotions they make you feel, why they arose, and how you can control them.

3. Art therapy

Art therapy is much more than just a fad or trend. In fact, it’s been around for a long time. It consists of using different artistic channels as a means to express emotions in order to achieve an emotional balance.

This is one of the most effective emotional regulation techniques because it encourages emotional expression through creative channels. Emotions first have to be thought out and questioned in order to be able to express them through writing, painting, sculpting, or any other type of art. When practiced regularly, art therapy helps develop self-control.

Art therapy is a great way to teach self-control.

4. Self-assessment

A lack of control over emotions is often caused by a lack of self-recognition and self-worth. We feel stressed out because we tend to ask too much of ourselves and because we punish ourselves for our mistakes instead of focusing on the positive. This stress makes us more sensitive to certain elements, such as criticism, indifference, and demanding situations.

It’s a good idea to evaluate ourselves weekly or monthly. However, it’s not about identifying the things that we have failed at in the last week or month. The objective is to identify our successes and the reasons we may have to congratulate ourselves. This simple exercise helps us have a better image of ourselves. In turn, it makes us emotionally smarter.

Self-evaluation is a good emotional regulation technique.

These emotional regulation techniques aren’t magic recipes. However, we may start to see changes in our life if we start using them. They can help us learn to manage our emotions and, consequently, improve our quality of life.