What is Self Regulation and How Can it Help Mental Health?

  • Posted at Oct 21, 2021
  • Written by Rebecca
What is Self Regulation and How Can it Help Mental Health?

Self regulation is an important part of gaining mental health stability. So, it is an important thing to practice for many seeking mental wellness, including those in treatment for mental health diagnoses. But, what is self regulation, and how does therapy help people to gain it? Here at Yellowbrick, we provide treatment and therapeutic services that allow individuals to gain skill sets and coping mechanisms, including self regulation, that help them in the outside world in order to balance their lives and maintain healthy lifestyles in order to obtain mental wellbeing.

What is Self Regulation?

So, what is self regulation? Basically, it’s when a person is able to regulate personal feelings, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Additionally, self regulation is about adjusting all of these personal aspects of oneself in order to reach goals for personal relationships, careers, identity, and health. Practicing this skill means thinking before speaking and acting in order to regulate the things that you do that could affect your own life and the lives of others.

Why It’s is Important

Without being able to control your own emotions and behaviors, a person can face a number of different issues. For example, children who act out in frustration due to an inability to self-regulate may not be very popular amongst their peers. In another example, adults who have trouble with self-regulating may have issues with their own self-confidence, which can result in difficulties with maintaining healthy relationships and even jobs. Furthermore, not being able to self-regulate can mean developing mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and other issues. But, when a person has the skill of regulating themselves, they can benefit from being able to manage feelings and emotions in relation to social scenarios, emotion-evoking situations, and other things that life throws at them.

How to Gain the Skill Set of Self Regulation

The way to learn how to self regulate is to practice. As humans, we begin to practice self-regulating when we’re young children. But, for children who experience disabilities, trauma, or mental health issues, learning how to properly self-regulate can be a challenge. And, for these people, these issues can stem into adulthood. So, it’s important to practice self-regulation behaviors in order to adopt them into daily life.

Some Methods of Practicing Self Regulation

There are a few methods that can help people better learn how to self regulate. Some of the ways to practice self regulation include:

Mindfulness: This is the concept of living within the present moment. This can help with self regulation as it emphasises being present and thinking about what you’re going to say and do before you actually do it. Learning how to be mindful is also greatly helpful in learning how to deal with emotions that are related to the past and future, as it focuses on addressing only the emotions and thoughts that you have currently. This allows for stress reduction, anxiety management, and even helps with depressive symptoms as well.

Cognitive Reframing: This is the term for practicing how to regulate one’s thoughts. Since thoughts can often lead to negative emotions and behaviors, it’s important to learn how to rephrase negative ones. Essentially, practicing cognitive reframing involves thinking about responses to thoughts and working to adjust these thought patterns in order to get more positive emotions and behaviors from them.

Therapy for Self Regulation: Counseling can assist people who have trouble with self regulation to pinpoint issues in their lives with managing thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors. At Yellowbrick, we give people in our care the information and environment they need to practice self-regulatory techniques. This way, they can use these techniques and reframe their response to thoughts and emotions outside of treatment.

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