This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
Have you ever wondered how some people manage to resist their temptations so easily while others struggle? Or how someone can remain calm in an emotionally tense situation?
Issues with discipline, healthy emotional expression, impulse control, and delaying gratification can all be linked to one skill: self-regulation.
In the most basic sense, self-regulation means controlling your behavior, thoughts, and emotions to achieve long-term goals. It helps you manage strong and disruptive impulses and emotions. Self-regulation is also what allows you to act consistently with your deeply held values and pick yourself up after a disappointment.
If you are struggling with regulating your emotions, maintaining healthy connections with others, and achieving your goals, speaking with a relationship coach may help. In the meantime, read on to learn more about self-regulation and how you can learn this vital skill.
What Is Self-Regulation Behavior?
Self-regulation can be understood as your ability to manage your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts to boost your well-being, maintain loving relationships, and facilitate learning. It is how you deal with stressful situations in your life. How you achieve your goals and lay the foundation for long-term success. Self-regulation requires self-awareness, effective stress management, emotional intelligence, sustaining focus, and overcoming temptations.
How you self regulate in your adulthood is directly related to your childhood experiences. As a toddler, you probably threw a tantrum or two. Ideally, kids learn to tolerate strong emotions and grow into adults who can control their impulses.
Unfortunately, not all children receive the same level of affection and support. If you struggle with keeping your emotions in check now, it is likely that one or more of your needs were not met when you were growing up. And there’s no shame in that. By learning effective self-regulation strategies, you can develop the ability to face social, cognitive, and emotional threats with thoughtfulness and patience.
What Is An Example Of Self-Regulation?
If you can effectively self regulate, you’ll be able to understand and adequately manage your behavior and emotional reactions. Here are some more specific examples:
- You are able to regulate reactions to strong or uncomfortable emotions such as excitement and frustration.
- You can calm down after a distressing or exciting situation.
- You are able to focus on a task as well as start new tasks.
- You can control your impulses.
- You can manage your emotions in a way that helps you connect with others.
What Are The Benefits Of Self-Regulation?
How does this improve your everyday life? Actually, in a number of ways. You can:
- Improve your self-esteem and confidence
- Capable of handling frustration and stress more often
- Keep your anger in check
- Express yourself authentically and thoughtfully
- Act in accordance with your deepest values
- Be more effective at achieving academic and professional success
- Bounce back from failure more easily
- Overcome anxious attachment patterns
- Stay calm under pressure
- Learn to cope with arguments in your relationships
- Establish and maintain healthier bonds with family, romantic partners, and friends
All of these skills can boost your overall well being and help you achieve balance in your personal relationships. Self-regulation is a step toward healing your inner wound. It’s a step to becoming a confident, healthy adult who relies on thoughtful compassion to create lasting bonds with others and achieve their long-term goals.
Can Self-Regulation Improve My Relationship?
What if you can’t regulate your emotions effectively in a relationship with a partner? You may be likely to struggle with an array of potentially damaging behaviors. You might be prone to denial and avoidance. You may have a tendency to withdraw from conflict and distance yourself from your partner. Or you might isolate yourself to avoid stress or rejection. While these are all normal behaviors in some situations, they can damage your relationship over time and make it difficult to maintain intimacy and set healthy boundaries.
Effective self-regulation can help you communicate with your partner honestly and openly. It can also help you build trust and intimacy, as well as learn how to effectively deal with conflict. If you can manage your emotions and impulses, you’ll find it easier to be vulnerable and maintain a relationship based on integrity, openness, and trust.
How Do You Develop Self-Regulation?
There are several ways in which you can learn how to better self regulate. It is possible to overcome certain behavioral patterns and develop this important skill. Here are some common strategies that may work for you:
By allowing you to observe your feelings, thoughts, and behavior without judgment, mindfulness practices can help you improve your self-regulation skills.
- Identifying triggers and stressors
Try to determine which situations and stressors trigger difficult emotions. This can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms.
- Cognitive reframing
The process of cognitive reframing entails challenging your negative thoughts and replacing them with positive alternatives.
- Deliberate thinking
Try taking your time to think things through rationally before you react to a situation. This will help you stay calm and consider all the consequences of your actions.
- Emotional literacy
This means being able to identify emotions, understand them and find healthy ways to resolve difficult feelings. Emotional literacy helps you better understand both yourself and others and regulate difficult feelings.
In addition to learning better self-regulation skills, you can also get support from a knowledgeable and compassionate professional. Speaking with a relationship coach can help you improve these skills and build and maintain healthy relationships.
Speak With A Compassionate Remote Relationship Coach Today
At PIVOT, we strive to help couples and individuals develop healthy mechanisms for managing emotions and facilitating positive behavioral change. Do your emotions get the best of you? Does struggle maintaining lasting bonds sometimes seem impossible? Joining our carefully designed and tailored workshops can be a great first step to meaningful change.
We are here for you, ready to offer insightful guidance and support on your path to achieving emotional wellbeing. Our team is experienced in helping individuals like you embrace their worth and overcome relational wounds. Contact us now to learn more about our modules and take the first step towards healing.