The Basics of Emotional Self-Regulation
Each time we reflect on what we did in the past and why we react in a certain way, we are exploring our emotions and how they affect our lives. Emotions aren’t just a feature of life, but they are essential tools for our improvement. We can make use of emotions that are not simply “to feel something”, but to focus on our daily tasks, have more energy and determination, and improve our memory as well.

What does Emotional Self-Regulation mean?

Emotional self-regulation is the ability to identify, understand, and manage your emotions. It refers to the ability to deliberately try to change your emotional state. Most people want to feel happy, and energetic, but sometimes we feel sad and overwhelmed instead. So if we could learn to control our emotions, we could have a better impact on our overall mood. Besides the possibility of emotional self-regulation, it is also important because it increases our ability to solve problems, be more creative, and be more flexible in dealing with life’s challenges, as social psychologist Daniel Goleman argues, using yet undisputed notions and known dynamics from human biology and our psychology.

Emotional regulation is part of building emotional intelligence, different from your IQ by simply being modifiable, and it’s also related to how we interact with others and ourselves, rather than with schemes and puzzles.


Image description: a crown of concepts surrounds the words “emotional intelligence”, suggesting that emotional intelligence is composed of self-regulation, self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Why is emotional self-regulation important?

If we have poor emotional self-regulation, we can’t control our emotions. It’s a fundamental part of self-development.

We may react to situations too quickly and strongly. If we’re upset, we may not be able to think straight or be creative. We may say things we regret or make decisions without thinking. If we have anger problems, we might be too anxious to do well in school, as this study shows, or at work, as other research verifies. If we have good emotional self-regulation, we can reduce stress, improve friendships, and be more successful in our careers. We might also feel better about ourselves. Good emotional self-regulation can help us feel more confident, optimistic, and satisfied with life.

How to regulate our emotions?

There are many ways to regulate our emotions. We can use our thoughts and behaviors. Thoughts can be very helpful in directing our emotions to the positive if we are aware of our thoughts. Behaviors are healthy habits that help us regulate our emotions.

There are many healthy habits that improve emotions and relationships and are associated with effective self-care. These habits focus on our thoughts, our breathing, and our actions.
Remember that your personality, which can be described through a combination of the Big Five personality traits or another common model called MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), also requires a different approach to mental health than others.

There are many ways to improve our mental health and emotional well-being; for the sake of clarity, here are a few examples.

  1. Meditation, winding down and intentionally removing negative thoughts
  2. Identification: which ones of your traits you do not desire to possess and you would rather change, and which ones deserve more spotlight while showing yourself to others.
  3. You can also use mental health tools to improve your mental health, as they are designed to channel professional advice for your strength.

Checking out the best approaches for your personality is also important, that goes without saying.


The basics of emotional self-regulation are important for our daily life. If we are aware of our emotions and how they affect our thoughts, behaviors, and relationships, we can better regulate them. There are many ways to improve emotions, but they all require self-awareness and mental strength. If we are self-aware, we can learn to regulate our emotions and have a happier and healthier life.

To be self-aware, it’s helpful to start a daily reflection practice. Take time each day to sit in silence and reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Practice mindfulness and observe your emotions without judgment. Ask yourself questions like – “What are you feeling right now?”, “What triggered these feelings?”, and “Where do you feel this in your body?”. You can find these questions ready to be answered on your MindBank Ai, where you will be able to express, reflect, and discover yourself.

Description of the image: a brain-shaped “Intelligence quotient” mixes with “Emotional quotient”, similarly to a Venn diagram
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