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

One Key to Happiness, Success, and Resilience

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Web of Violence
What is your goal in life? To be happy? Successful? Resilient? How about “psychologically regulated"? That last one might not be a popular response to the question I posed, but it should be. And I will tell you why.

Higher Rate of Depression in ADHD College Students

College students with ADHD are more likely to experience depression than their non-ADHD peers.

My Daughter and I Are Both Depressed

Yes, depression is contagious

How to Cope with Side-Effects of Medications

Many of us who suffer from chronic pain and illness are on medications with side-effects that, in some cases, can be as difficult to cope with as our initial health problems.

What Makes You Say You’re Lonely?

By Peter Toohey on March 26, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
What does it mean to be lonely and how do say that you are lonely? Is language enough to describe it? Are you lonely just because you think you are lonely and say you are lonely? Or are specific circumstances required for there to be loneliness? What does loneliness mean for the animal and human brain? Is loneliness and the word “loneliness” common to all cultures?

Recovering From Seasonal Shifts in Mood in Bipolar Disorder

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on March 26, 2015 in Take Control
For people who have bipolar disorder, seasonal changes in mood can disrupt your health and well being. You can learn to recognize and address these seasonal shifts before they cause harm. We examine the effects of these shifts on motivation, thinking and identity. Early recognition can help you gain better control of bipolar spectrum disorder.

To Everything There Is a Season: A Time to Smash the Ice

By Julie J. Exline Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Light and Shadow
Is there a time for rage? After a brutal winter and an attempt to come to peace with the ice that wouldn't leave our streets and sidewalks, here's what happened when I finally had a chance to do something about it.

Did You Hate the Ice this Winter? An Exercise in Reframing

By Julie J. Exline Ph.D. on March 21, 2015 in Light and Shadow
Have you ever found yourself starting to hate something in nature, like ice? This winter I noticed that many of us here in my wintry city were not only afraid of the ice; we really started to hate the stuff. It became almost like a personal enemy. This entry describes an exercise that I used to try to make some sense of peace with the ice.

Say What? Why Do People Forget They Have a Live Mic?

What is it that makes this universal faux pas in attention and concentration so easy to occur?

Overcoming Relationship Anxiety and Feeling Good About It

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
Worrying about your relationships all the time and wondering if you are going to be marginalized or rejected is no fun. If you have an anxious attachment style then you know this all to well. The good news is that now you can learn to override your automatic emotional responses and have more positive experiences in relationships.

The Two Main Barriers to Self Knowledge

By being mindful—observing yourself in an unbiased and non-elaborative way—you can counteract informational barriers and motivational barriers to self-knowledge.

Why Intimacy Is Hard for Some, and How to Make It Easier

By Duana C. Welch Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Love Proof
Feeling unlovable, or afraid of loving? The answer could be in your attachment style.

Does Your Partner’s Bark Feel Like a Bite?

The closer your attachment to someone, the more an effect their words will have on you. So assuming you’re in a committed relationship, how your partner addresses you can closely connect to how good, or secure, you feel about yourself. Moreover, given the nature of intimate relationships, your partner is as likely to be reactive to your words as you are to theirs...

The Second Myth About Positive Emotions

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on March 10, 2015 in Curious?
By unraveling myths, we will make substantial inroads into emotional problems and emotional well-being. In my first post, I described the first myth about positive emotion regulation. In this second post of the series, I describe the second myth.

Gamify Your Life

Computer games make it fun to confront obstacles. Wouldn't it be great if your real-life obstacles were as much fun to tackle? Now there are tools that "gamify" everyday life, to tap into the motivating power of computer games.

You Are What You Eat

By Temma Ehrenfeld on March 07, 2015 in Open Gently
You brain gets a constant flow of information from your digestive track.

Are You Mentally Strong Enough to Combat Stress?

We can't get rid of all the stress in our lives, but we can choose to increase our resilience to stress. Building mental strength protects us from the harmful physical and psychological toll stress can take.

Balancing Inhibition and Exhibition

By Gregg Levoy on March 03, 2015 in Passion!
The desire to keep your spark, your life-force, intact, will always have to contend with agents of decay and distraction. All the forces of resistance and inhibition, from within and without, that can rob you of your vitality if you let them. Here's how to referee that boxing match.

The First Myth About Positive Emotions

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in Curious?
Learn about one of the big myths about positive emotions. Don't make the same mistakes that the majority of authors, journalists, and scientists are making.

How to Feel Better When You’re Feeling Bad

When you feel down, discouraged or frustrated, Buddhist concepts and techniques that focus you in the immediate present can offer surprising relief. Here's some starter key ideas, and info on an accessible and engaging guide that can help you to learn more.

Chasing Happiness May Leave You Unhappier than Ever

Pursuing happiness for the sake of feeling better tends to backfire. But, research shows there are some concrete steps you can take to boost your mood effectively.

Finding "The One" Is Overrated: Emotionships Matter More

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in Living Single
New research shows the power of having different people in your life who are good at helping you with different kinds of emotions. People with a diverse portfolio of "emotionships" are more satisfied with their lives. People who put all their emotional eggs into one relationship basket get celebrated by all the sappy love songs but they are not necessarily better off.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Minimize Distraction: When Customers Feel They Aren’t Heard

By Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Attention Training
As you shift from one situation to another, pay attention to how you are paying attention.

Is Your Job Ruining Your Marriage?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Most of us have had the impulse to yell at our boss or even burst into tears at work—but we typically don’t, because we don’t want to get fired. But suppressing our emotions at work can have a big impact on our home lives. Here's why:

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

Use 'One Good Thought' to Change Your Harmful Habit

By Meg Selig on February 20, 2015 in Changepower
To improve your life, connect with your core values. Try this simple, 5-minute technique right now!

Emotions As a Second Language - Or Should They Be Our First?

Emotional literacy is being able to feel and identify one’s feeling states. This fluency enhances emotional self-regulation, lessens over-reactivity to negative emotions such as anger, and is the basis of interpersonal emotional modulation.

Jealousy in Street Art

By Peter Toohey on February 19, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
Does jealousy have a role in street art? Can it help to keep things fair?