Emotional regulation is a key tool to learn as an adult, as it can affect the way we interact with others, as well as the experiences that we have and how we feel about ourselves afterwards. It also creates space to make choices about how we respond to situations and people, and to be more intentional. Obviously, there will be times when this feels harder, for example when you’re in a time of stress or at certain moments in your cycle if you’re a woman. However, there are benefits to working towards greater emotional regulation in your life overall.
Much more intentional decision-making.
When you’ve worked to develop better emotional regulation you can make intentional decisions in situations, rather than simply reacting. Your behaviour isn’t driven by emotions and emotional reactions but coming from a calmer and more intentional place. This can make life feel less out of control and more manageable.
Making different choices.
Being in a state of emotional dysregulation can often lead us to behaviours that aren’t that healthy - and which often end up making the situation worse. That could be anything, from binge eating in response to emotional pain to picking up a bottle of wine or a cigarette. Being better emotionally regulated doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t do those things but it creates the space for you to choose what is healthy for you and what is not.
When we are in a place of emotional pain we rarely communicate well. You may not be shouting or lashing out at people but if you’re struggling it’s unlikely that you’ll be in a place to listen or be solutions-focused. Better emotional regulation will make you a more effective communicator, as you’ll be able to communicate calmly, listen to what’s being said to you and say what you actually want to say in return.
A much more peaceful life.
The way that emotional regulation impacts communication is especially important here. Being able to speak to the important people in your life in a constructive and positive way will mean your relationships are much more peaceful. You’ll be less likely to feel the need to be hurtful or to manipulate and people will find you much easier to be around, even when circumstances are hard.
Improving self-confidence and self-belief.
Emotional dysregulation can make us our worst critics and mean that we are listening to internal messages that are constantly undermining us. As you learn better emotional regulation skills you can begin to understand more about what is true for you as a human being. There will be flaws and weaknesses but also attributes and positives and learning to accept and embrace yourself as a whole, without criticising or minimising the parts of you that you find hard, can give you a big confidence boost overall.
A more consistent mood.
Emotional regulation can mean that your lows are not as low as they used to be and your highs are not as extreme. The end result is a consistently better mood.
Emotional regulation is a skill that can have a huge impact in many areas of your life.
That’s why The Grove shows our clients high-impact tools and techniques to achieve better emotional balance. We also train therapists how to teach these skills to their clients too, using The Grove’s unique “Regulate” programme.