Regulating emotions is not something that always comes so easily. As many of us know, our emotions are things that are best, when kept under control. It is a good thing to learn about the process and find out a couple things. For instance, what the reasons may be for why emotions can be hard to regulate, as well as ways in which there are, on how to regulate those emotions.
The official DBT Training Manual discusses several reasons that all in some way can contribute to causing different difficulties towards regulating our emotions.
First off, there are biological and Environmental reasons as a factor in the problems we have with the regulating. When we say environmental, we are not just speaking about it as in the weather, forests, humidity, animals, plants etc etc.
Environmental sometimes doesn’t go far from the word at all, and it in the literal sense, speaks of Environmental causes, as literally the environment surrounding you, as in, household, family dynamics, upbringing, relationships, etc etc. Those type of things can be a huge factor in personality disorders, where a behavior is one that is actually a learned behavior. It’s a trait of doing, what we once learned, by watching it happen throughout childhood. Abuse can also be an environmental factor.
Biological factors can be factors that are physical or genetic. Our own habits as well, also affect our own emotions as well. An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, bad sleeping habits can all contribute to problems with emotion regulation, in a biological sense.
Not all things related in a biological sense are things faulted by our own choice. Many things are biological, but with an origin that is no fault to the person. Many mental health diseases can be inherited, which in turn can cause long term problems. An example of an effect could be something like anxiety attacks, or insomnia. Both of those, can create their own problems as well.
There are many issues we aren’t always able to get under control, and when that’s the case, it becomes our responsibility to work with our doctors to correct. Left untreated, unregulated emotions may be deemed as our future.
Mood most certainly, has be largely affected by biology, and the environment around us. With the presence of “moodiness” can bring plenty of fuel that can jeopardize a steady sense of emotion. With unsteady, comes no regulation.
When those times of unregulated emotions come, don’t react in an irrational way, as that will just risk the developing of even more emotional problems. That related anxiety can hit us in a moments notice, and it’s prudent to get a solid grasp of it immediately.
It may sound a bit too simple, but stop, and take deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Close your eyes, and take a big picture in your mind of the problem. Try to make that picture what the visual truly is. Don’t feed into impulses. Practice this for at least several minutes. Remind yourself, that this episode will not last forever.
Keep in mind that it’s important to keep our Higher Powers present through all of this. Pray, and ask for guidance. Know that, you are in good hands; even when the scene seems so chaotic.
A lot of Mindfulness training will say things like, “See the bigger picture.” I feel that one of the best ways to do this, is to a bit of journaling. Just give it a try. That’s is one of the things I tried last winter, and as you can see what positive thing that blew up into. Now, it’s thanks to writing that I have begun to feel so incredibly grounded, every single day.
When a life with regulated emotions, and a mental and physical grounding can be established, and enjoyed, it becomes the type of blessing that we just must hold onto with all our strength. It’s a blessing, that is thanks to a higher power. As well as a result of our continued faith.
To Regulate Our Emotions was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.