Pleasure and well-being are states of satisfaction, which are currently sought constantly and tirelessly. However, in order to regulate our emotions, we often make the mistake of using tactics that mask our unpleasant feelings. In doing so, we have a tendency to suppress them, to deny ourselves the ability to experience them, and to prevent us from knowing ourselves and controlling them. So if we don't understand what's wrong, we won't be able to address it or determine the true meaning of what's causing it.
But to know ourselves better, we must allow ourselves to feel our emotions, pay attention to emotional signals and recognize triggers (understand what and why I find it unpleasant) to foster a healthy emotional existence of happiness and well-being. With this, we can take one more step to understand what to do about it.
What can we do to regulate our emotions?
Gonzalo Hervás (2011) proposes that we must assign an emotional name to a circumstance at the moment we understand it. And in order to properly digest this emotional response, we must follow these steps:
1. Being able to consciously access our emotions (emotional openness).
2. Pay attention to our emotions and ask: “What am I feeling? Are you sure that this feeling is the only one at stake? Does the name reflect my feelings?
3. Hug him (welcome him). It means refraining from criticizing or repressing our feeling, since it can be an indication of what is happening with our body or our mind. We will not be able to criticize the feeling itself, but we will be able to discuss the appropriateness of the action before that emotion (emotional control). We must understand that feelings are neither good nor bad, but rather useful since they alert us to events. Therefore, being open with them instead of rejecting them is the best approach to deal with them.
4.. Instead of repressing our emotions because they are unpleasant, we must think about them and understand what they imply and how they affect us (avoidance). What is my feeling trying to tell me? Is it a legitimate alarm or a false alarm?
5. Finally, emotion regulation consists of controlling our emotional reactions through various emotional, cognitive or behavioral techniques that allow me to react to both the cause of the emotion and its effect. Such as writing them, talking about it with a friend, listening to music or taking a bath.
If you want to learn better how to manage your emotions contact us and we will help you.
Source: Hervás, G. (2011). Psychopathology of emotional regulation: the role of emotional deficits in clinical disorders. behavioral psychology, 19(2), 347.
Written by Julia Herranz. Health psychologist (M-33168).