3 Ways to Control Emotional Dysregulation — Restore Balance and Peace
Wouldn’t it be cool if we had an on-and-off switch so we could control emotional dysregulation? We feel ourselves losing it…click…we turn it off and reset. Well, I’m going to share with you three tips that work to get emotions under control quickly and effectively, like turning a light switch off, so keep reading…
Emotional dysregulation is something we’ve all experienced. Situations happen that push our buttons and we experience out-of-control reactions and responses. You see it when people fly off the handle, lose their cool, or can’t resist an urge. Their responses are disproportionate to the situation at hand. We struggle with regulating, controlling, managing our emotions. What can we do?
3 Quick ‘n Easy Ways to Control Emotional Dysregulation
We need immediate solutions or coping tools to calm ourselves in times of stress. While the following tips are easy to do, they engage complex somatic processes throughout your body and mind to restore your balance. So simple…so powerful!
When you feel like you’re overly taxed or losing control, do one of the following:
- Close your eyes and take one deep breath. Follow up with another, if needed.
- Go for a 5-minute walk.
- Do a 5-minute stretch.
These three things shift your physiology (your body state) and psychology (your mental state) simultaneously, giving you space to reshape how you’re dealing with the situation. This gives you a chance to restore and harmonize your mind/body connection.
However, these three tips shift your emotional reactions and responses to a calmer place after you’re emotionally engaged or enraged. Wouldn’t it be better if you could prevent emotional dysregulation from occurring in the first place? Is there a way to become a calmer person in general, so things don’t bother you so much? Yes! Let’s dive deeper…
Center Yourself to Connect with Your Calm Space and Keep Your Balance
Learning to channel your energy and control your emotions begins with learning to center yourself.
Rather than getting caught up in mindless activities, choose to intentionally use your time for developing what really matters to you, like enhancing your skills and improving your health and inner being. And when you’re distracted (as will happen often throughout the day) becoming centered once again brings you back to being intentional.
This practice of being intentional and centering yourself becomes a self-perpetuating circle that you put into motion and keeps you balanced. It’s like riding a bicycle…you’re wobbly at first, but once you get going momentum makes it easy.
However, don’t be surprised that learning to mindfully center yourself is a challenge. A lifetime of being slightly off-balanced physically, emotionally and spiritually may feel natural to you. It’s going to take time and effort to develop new muscle memory in your body and in your mind for your new way of being balanced.
Also, once you are centered, you can’t expect to stay centered for very long. You deplete your energy resources throughout the day, especially during stressful situations. That’s why it’s important to have a committed practice that keeps you refueled and replenished. Over time you’ll even expand your reserves so you can live life more richly. Consistency is essential to your centering practice.
Continue to develop a centering practice to control emotional dysregulation
Anything that helps you feel still and mindfully aware can become your centering practice. It’s a way to connect with your “calm center” – that space within you that is always calm and at peace. Decisions made from this calm center will be more in alignment with your values; actions taken from this place will be more deliberate and purposeful.
Through weekly practice, you’ll want to explore ways to stay centered in your body and mind, to use your center to interact with others and to harmonize with the world in ways that are both self-promoting and life-enhancing. Cultivating a center is useful when you need to be calm, resourceful, and able to perform at your best level. A strong, calm center will help you control emotional dysregulation.
Over the years, I’ve had several practices that help me with centering. I use a daily Feldenkrais practice to sense myself through slow, mindful movements. I’ve also practiced Aikido at a local dojo and enjoyed mounted archery. The harmony of four elements – horse, rider, bow, and arrow – is a powerful centering practice and a metaphor for life. It’s about moving forward with purpose.
In order to perform any centering practice you choose, start small, exploring what you enjoy and can practice consistently with ease and pleasure.
When you’re in a calm, safe place you can delve deeper into why your emotional triggers were pushed by the situation. This understanding will open new ways of coping. If there are deep underlying conditions, it would be wise to work with a professional who specializes in somatic counseling and coaching, because this helps your mind and body create the harmony and balance you crave. Feel free to contact me for a 30-minute, free consultation to see which of my services will work best for you. If you’re a DIYer, my Intro to Stepping Forward is an invaluable tool.