How to practice self-regulation (2023)

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In terms of emotional well-being, self-regulation is the process of controlling your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When you self-regulate, you stop and think before taking any action related to an emotion or feeling. Everyone has some level of self-regulation, and improving this skill can help you improve your emotional well-being.

What is self-regulation?

Self-regulation has a wide range of definitions in subjects such as politics, economics and mental health. If we restrict the idea to mental well-being, self-regulation still has many nuances. In terms of emotional well-being, self-regulation includes these categories and elements:

  • Behavioral versus emotional self-regulation:There are two types of self-regulation: behavioral and emotional. Self-regulation of behavior involves acting in your best interests, even when your feelings suggest otherwise. Emotional self-regulation refers to controlling intense emotions such as sadness and anger.
  • The self-regulation process:The self-regulation process consists of three steps: monitoring your behavior, evaluating your behavior, and responding to your behavior. These steps involve thinking about your values ​​and how they relate to your behavior.

How to develop and practice self-regulation

There are many strategies you can use to improve your self-regulation skills. Everyone has an approach that works best for them based on our unique personalities and experiences. Self-regulatory strategies can include:

  • Conscience:Many psychologists suggest practicing mindfulness if you want to improve self-regulation. With mindfulness, you can observe your thoughts, feelings, and behavior without judgment to make informed decisions.
  • Cognitive reframing:The cognitive reframing process challenges your thoughts and replaces them with positive thoughts. By rethinking your thoughts, you can develop a healthier response to the situation.
  • Emotional Competence:Your emotional competence is your ability to identify and understand your emotions and the emotions of others. To improve your self-regulation skills through emotional literacy, you need to understand why you feel a certain way and find healthy ways to deal with that feeling.
  • Identify stressors and triggers:Everyone has certain stressors or trauma triggers that create difficult feelings.Identify these triggersThis can help you anticipate them and develop healthy coping strategies for them.
  • conscious thoughts:Keeping calm and thinking rationally before reacting to a situation can help you practice self-regulation.try to relaxbefore reacting to a situation and thinking objectively about the consequences of what you want to do.

The importance of self-regulation in recovery

The recovery process involves practicing emotional and behavioral self-regulation. During addiction, someone responds to a negative situation by abusing drugs or alcohol. Recovery specialists help patients learn self-regulation techniques that help them find new ways to control this response. During recovery, patients learn to regulate their feelings and actions through healthy behaviors rather than substance use.

Practicing self-regulation in addiction healing

If you're looking to improve your self-regulation skills during recovery, an addiction treatment center can help you learn how to manage your emotions and behaviors. Places like 7 Summit Pathways offer medications and therapies to help you deal with your addiction symptoms and learn new behaviors. For more information on self-regulation in recovery, seecontact our teamÖBook your first datehello.


How can you practice self-regulation? ›

How to improve your self-regulation abilities
  1. Practice self-awareness. One of the most important steps in self-regulation is to learn self-awareness. ...
  2. Meditate. ...
  3. Exercise. ...
  4. Align your goals with your values. ...
  5. Be kind to yourself. ...
  6. Keep a journal. ...
  7. Engage in positive self-talk. ...
  8. Seek feedback.
Oct 7, 2019

What are the four 4 self-regulation strategies? ›

There are four basic self-regulation strategies that all students need to be able to use: goal-setting, self-monitoring, effective use of self-instructions or self-talk, and self-reinforcement.

What is self-regulation short answer? ›

Self-regulation is the ability to understand and manage your behaviour and your reactions to feelings and things happening around you. It includes being able to: regulate reactions to strong emotions like frustration, excitement, anger and embarrassment. calm down after something exciting or upsetting.

What are examples of self-regulation skills? ›

Examples of Self-Regulation
  • Being able to handle intense emotions like frustration, disappointment, or embarrassment.
  • Being able to calm down after something exciting has happened.
  • Refocusing attention after finishing one task and starting another.
  • Controlling impulses.
Jul 13, 2022

What are the 5 steps of self-regulation? ›

The five steps are I Am, I Calm, I Feel, I Choose and I Solve. The objectives for children when conducting the five-step self-regulation process are: To recognize they have been triggered and take themselves to the Safe Place. To begin calming themselves enough to identify the feeling they are experiencing.

What are the three techniques of self-regulation? ›

The individual set of self-regulation strategies that are usually used by successful students fall into three categories: personal, behavioral, and environmental.

What are the 6 components of self-regulation? ›

Therefore, it is composed of: (a) cognition, (b) motivation, (c) self-concept, (d) affect, (e) volition, (f) metacognition in the form of metacognitive knowledge, and (g) metacognition in the form of metacognitive skills.

Why can't I self regulate? ›

The most common circumstances under which self-regulation fails are when people are in bad moods, when minor indulgences snowball into full blown binges, when people are overwhelmed by immediate temptations or impulses, and when control itself is impaired (e.g., after alcohol consumption or effort depletion).

What are the 5 attributes of self regulated learning? ›

Self-regulated learning refers to one's ability to under- stand and control one's learning environment. Self- regulation abilities include goal setting, self- monitoring, self-instruction, and self-reinforcement (Harris & Graham, 1999; Schraw, Crippen, & Hartley, 2006; Shunk, 1996).

Which activity can build self-regulation skills? ›

Along with Simon Says, here are five more of our favourite self-regulation games to get you started:
  • Freeze dance. Have a dance party with a small group of kids or family members and tell everyone that when you stop the music, they must hold very still. ...
  • Traffic lights. ...
  • Musical chairs. ...
  • Orchestra. ...
  • Jenga.

What are the key aspects of self-regulation? ›

Self-regulation requires self-awareness and monitoring of one's own emotional state and responses to stimuli. Being conscious of your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior is the foundation of self-regulation; without it, there is no ability to reflect or choose a different path.

How do you teach self-regulation skills to adults? ›

Use these tips to teach your clients self-regulation techniques to maintain their mental and physical health:
  1. Emphasize the importance of identifying the specific emotions they/others feel. ...
  2. Enhance self-regulation through goal setting. ...
  3. Encourage adaptability. ...
  4. Practice strategies for self-awareness.

Can self-regulation be trained? ›

Self-regulation is a skill that children need to be taught and practice. The trick is not to avoid hard situations. Instead, parents can coach kids through tough situations. Breaking an activity into smaller, more doable parts can help.

What is a self-regulation activity? ›

Any game that requires controlling impulses and movements can help kids increase their control over their own thoughts, emotional responses and actions.


1. Trauma Causes Emotional Dysregulation: Here's How to Heal It
(Crappy Childhood Fairy)
2. How to practice emotional first aid | Guy Winch
3. Why Practicing Can Help with Emotional Regulation
(Cognitive Supports)
4. Emotional Regulation for Kids | 4 Strategies for Calming Down
(Jesus, Help Me Parent)
5. How to practice Self Regulation - The art of calming body, mind and emotions
(Center for Healing and Life Transformation)
6. Cookie Monster Practices Self-Regulation | Life Kit Parenting | NPR
(NPR Podcasts)


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