What is Emotion Regulation?

We all experience moments when our emotions control our actions. When this happens, we often regret the things we say or do and wish we had been able to keep our emotions in check. There are techniques—like meditation—that can allow you to do just that, along with various other benefits like, mood improvement, and increased compassion and empathy.

Recent Posts on Emotion Regulation

Does Your Face Communicate How You Truly Feel?

The phenomenon of “Resting Bitch Face (RBF)” is a new take on an old problem; namely, that women need to smile to be seen favorably. This raises the question of how we communicate our feelings through our faces and what we can, or cannot, change about how we’re perceived.

Why Do People Like Sad Songs?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on July 31, 2015 in Hot Thought
The emotional impact of music does not come from imparting particular emotions, but rather from being emotionally engaging in general. So it does not matter whether a song is happy or sad, only whether it has an emotional impact on the listeners.

The Value of Sadness

We tend to pass on the message that sadness is bad and should be avoided. Yet, research has shown that sadness can be an adaptive emotion with real benefits. Sadness can make us feel more vital and centered within ourselves. So, why is it that we are so afraid to feel sad?

Punk Music Isn't "Bad"

New research explores whether extreme music (e.g. heavy metal and punk) makes you angrier, or helps you process and regulate your anger.

What's Your Joy?

We might be happier if we spend more time thinking of our joys rather than our miseries. Writing about our joy is one way to bring about healing and establishing a sense of harmony in our lives. It can be a way to tap into our subconscious mind. In addition to writing, sometimes trying to do something different as a way to break routine.

The Trouble With "Shame On You! You Shouldn't Feel That!"

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Ambigamy
Some people shun negative emotions to purge them. It doesn't work.

The "2-minute Miracle"?

Even very short amounts of time engaged in expressive writing are healing. Both psychological and physical benefits have been found. Here are a few tips if you want to get the benefits of expressive writing for yourself.

In Marriage, It's Compassion or Resentment

Marriages die a slow death from too little compassion. Most marriages end in a whimper, not a bang.

I May Be a Jackass, But I Can Be Taught to Care

A jackass is an ornery animal. You can lead it to water, but you can't make it drink. Are kids the same way?

Finding a Secure Base and Rewiring Your Personality

One way to change your insecure attachment style to that of having an “earned” secure style is to find and nurture your own secure base in adulthood. Learn what to look for and how to create for yourself the experiences that naturally instill mental health and well-being. It is never too late to rewire your personality in a way that works better for you and leads to more h

5 Ceremonies of Healing

Simple ceremonies that you create and enact can help you heal emotionally and maintain your mental health.

Stuck in Mute: How Do You Cope?

Why do words fail some of us most of the time?

Can Using Xanax When Flying Cause PTSD?

“We barely made it. After we landed, they closed the airport. Thank God I had my Xanax to get me through it.” Though life-threatening events happen rarely in aviation, they happen routinely in the Xanax-fueled mind of an anxious flier. Threats to one's life, whether real or imagination-based, can lead to PTSD.

Anger Problems

It is nearly impossible to understand other people's perspectives when angry or resentful. You're bound to oversimplify and see only the negative aspects of something.

No-Face Day in the Cheery Workplace

Modern workplaces expect workers to be happy, and are developing ever-more sophisticated tools for making sure that employees are positive, engaged, and productive. But one Chinese company's "No-Face Day," in which employees were allowed to wear masks that excused them from the demand to be happy, suggests just how exhausting-- and unnecessary-- this can be.

A Better Way to Combat Anti-Semitic Bullying

By Izzy Kalman on July 16, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
A recent settlement of $4.5 million in the anti-Semitic anti-bullying lawsuit against the Pine Bush School District in Upstate New York is a questionable cause for rejoicing. The taxpayers will pay, the lawyers are the biggest beneficiaries, and it will probably do little to reduce bullying and anti-Semitism. My free manual can do a much better job with less effort.

My Absent Mother Wants to Be My Mother Now

What To Do When Your Mother Re-enters Your Life

Is Your Team Effective?

What scientists helping NASA prepare for a Mars Mission can tell you about running an effective team - whether a workgroup, a Girls' Scouts troupe, or a family.

The Difference Between Rationalization and Rationality

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 13, 2015 in Ambigamy
Thinking fast; thinking slow is a hot topic these days, but it may be two topics confused with each other.

Living With a Resentful or Angry Partner

The biggest challenge of living with a resentful or angry person is to keep from becoming one yourself. The high contagion and reactivity of resentment and anger are likely to make you into someone you are not.

4 Things to Do When Your Brain Is Tired

By Polly Campbell on July 09, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
Mental fatigue can make it hard to focus and manage our moods. But a few simple tips can help prevent this kind of brain drain.

5 Steps for Managing Your Emotional Triggers

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on July 08, 2015 in Wander Woman
When you can identify what is triggering your reactions in the moment, you give yourself the chance to feel differently if you want to. Naming your emotional triggers also gives you more clarity on what you need to do or ask for to change your circumstances. Choose your triggers from a list of needs and learn the steps for gaining emotional freedom today.

Tylenol Blunts Positive Emotions Too

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 07, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
A while back, I wrote a blog entry on studies demonstrating that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) can dampen people’s responses to negative events. So, if you experience social pain, you may actually be able to medicate yourself for it in the same way that you take pain killers for a headache.

Completely Alone

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 07, 2015 in Living Single
A huge proportion of Americans want to have at least some time when they are completely alone, away from everyone else. But what about the small minority? Are there really people who want no time at all to be completely on their own?

Arousal: Must It Mean Fear and Danger?

We can feel fear when safe. We can feel no fear when in danger. It takes more than feelings to determine whether we are safe or not. A sophisticated system hosted in the pre-frontal cortex does that.

12 Signs That Your Partner Lacks Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent/competent people (high-EQ) make better relationship partners. Here are some signs that someone lacks emotional intelligence.

"Love Hormone" Oxytocin Linked to Domestic Violence

Oxytocin, which leads to trust and attachment, may also lead to possessive and abusive behaviours.

Venting Your Feelings Isn't Enough

Research suggests that venting might make you angrier, but a process called pendulation might actually decrease angry feelings.

How to Finish What You Start

Practically everybody has started something that they've put off finishing. What's your main unfinished task? Can you use extra help?