Are you feeling stuck in the cycle of unhelpful coping tools like binge eating, impulsive shopping or ignoring your problems hoping they’ll go away?
Managing your emotions isn’t always easy, especially if you haven’t had healthy coping skills role modelled to you earlier in life, or have had traumatic events occur that have left you feeling dysregulated and overwhelmed!
So if this is something you need to work on, here are some easy and helpful ways you can manage your emotions and develop the skills to self-regulate 🤍
1 – Breathing techniques
Noticing when you’re feeling heightened emotions, particularly stress, anxiety, overwhelm and panic, and any physical symptom you may be experiencing is a great way to learn to regulate your nervous system.
One of the most simple, do-anywhere strategies is deep breathing.
Aim to breathe in through the nose, then exhale through the mouth, with the exhale being a few seconds longer than the inhale (ie 7 in, 11 out).
2 – Journaling
If you’re prone to overthinking, ruminating or catastrophising with swirling thoughts that overwhelm you, try brain-dumping them on to paper!
If you aren’t naturally a “dear diary” free-flowing journaller, that’s okay! If you dump your thoughts in dot points or short sentences it can help bring more clarity and rationality to the situation, as writing things down (pen and paper is best) helps activate the part of our brain that is responsible for logical, decision-making thoughts, which helps quieten the emotional part of our brain!
3 – Music/Meditation
Whether you’re in the zone and great at meditation, need guided audio to talk you through it, or simply find comfort from soothing music, using our hearing can be a great way to self-regulate!
If you tend to find it difficult to stay in one spot and focus, try “binaural beats” or 8D sounds – there are some great free playlists on spotify, and the way the music moves from ear to ear can help keep you more present and in the moment.
Pair this with a visualisation if you can – take yourself to a calm, happy place like a sunset walk, beach or imagining a memory with your favourite person!
4 – Social Connection
For those who struggle with self-regulation, reach out to your loved ones for support and comfort!
If you don’t want to tell them everything that’s going on, even sending a text, making a phone call, or getting out of the house to meet a friend for dinner can help calm your nervous system.
If you do have a pet, partner or family member you can cuddle up to, even better! Slow, rhythmic, deep breathing together can be incredibly calming – this is called co-regulation.
5 – Movement
If your fight-or-flight mode (our body’s stress response to a perceived threat) is activated, you’ll likely feel edgy, shaky, nervous or full of adrenaline.
This is due to your body cuing you to MOBILISE – to either move towards the threat to fight, or escape from the threat in flight.
By simply moving your body- doing some laps around the house, taking yourself on a walk, dancing to a song for a few minutes, stretching, or even simply relocating to another room, you’ll signal to your body that you’ve mobilised, and you’ll find it easier to self-regulate from here!
Need more help cultivating your own coping toolbox for emotional regulation? Click here to book in a 1:1 session or free 15 minute consultation – I’d love to help!