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Emotional Regulation: The Skill We All Need

You feel emotions every day. From being happy upon seeing a cute puppy on the street to feeling sad after watching the finale of your favorite show, emotions are undoubtedly a part of your life.

Many people move along the scale of best and worst days depending on internal and external factors.

Despite the big role external factors play in emotion regulation, you actually have more internal control than you think.

Emotional regulation, as its name suggests, is your ability to properly manage and respond

to an emotional experience. Whether you are aware of it or not, you regulate your emotion to cope with hard situations every day. Some emotion regulation strategies are healthy, while others are not. And it’s the unhealthy ones that you should watch out for.

The ability to regulate emotions is easily one of the most in-demand skills of the century because it is an important aspect of emotional intelligence, which is an essential indicator of mental health, academic achievement, social relationships, and work performance.

In addition, regulating your emotions well allows you to know exactly what you’re feeling and what to do about it in any situation. By doing this, you can easily face whatever life throws at you.

So when you find yourself raising your voice or saying something offensive when you’re under stress, you might want to know how to manage your emotions properly. Here are some important emotion regulation skills:

  1. Identifying what you feel.

    This is tricky at first, but asking yourself a few questions to know exactly what you feel greatly helps. Ask yourself:

    • What do I feel today? (There are often many.)
    • What feeling is the most prominent? (Avoid just saying "fine" or "okay." Describe what “fine” or “okay” means to you)
    • When was the last time I felt this way?
  2. Identifying what the other person feels.

    What others feel is also crucial in emotion regulation. You should know how other people react during certain situations. For instance, does your significant other easily get mad when you don’t do things as promised? Is the salesperson getting impatient when you look at products closely for a long time?

  3. Knowing how to wait.

    Waiting means you understand that not all things go the way you want, when you want them to.

    For example, are you patient enough to wait for a few minutes to get the history report of the secondhand car you’ve been eyeing? Or can’t you wait for a few minutes to get the said vehicle report?

  4. Knowing how to tame your emotions.

    Last but not the least is knowing how to make yourself feel better when things don’t go as expected.

    For instance, if you want to go for a jog and it rains, do you find alternatives or just sit down and stay frustrated? How about when you’re stuck at traffic for hours?

When you become good at emotional regulation, you can relate better with your family members, significant other, friends, and colleagues.

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