3 Emotional Regulation Mindsets to Adopt in 2022

The Nystrom & Associates provider consulted for this article is Brett Cushing, MA, LMFT, Outpatient Therapist 

Emotional regulation is important to your emotional health. Emotional regulation refers to how you cope with your feelings and what strategies you use to manage them effectively. When you experience heightened emotions, do you immediately say the first thing that comes to your mind, or act out from an emotional place?  

There are many unhealthy ways to self-regulate. For instance, individuals can turn to substance abuse, avoidance, or aggression. Healthy emotional regulation means you are able to cope with circumstances and build resilience.

Certain mental illnesses can make emotional regulation difficult, however, there are skills that can be taught to improve emotional regulation and resilience.  

Related: 5 Ways to Prevent Substance Abuse 

How Do You Increase Your Emotional Resiliency?  

When we talk about increasing emotional resiliency, we are really talking about changing the way we think. Emotional resiliency means being able to be stretched, and after being stretched, being able to return back to its original form.  

Brett Cushing, Outpatient Therapist at Nystrom & Associates, describes emotional resiliency. "When we go through difficult times and we have had a lot of stress, trauma, etc., resiliency refers to our ability to return - like a rubber band when it is stretched has that ability to come back to its original shape."

Here are three emotional regulation mindsets to increase your resiliency and improve your mental health. 

Related: Mental Health Awareness 

1. We need to have a growth mindset. 

A growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset. It means we believe things are going to change, that you can change. A fixed mindset includes the belief that things are the way they are. For example, you might tell yourself that you are never been good with your finances, so you believe you never will be.  

A growth mindset, on the other hand, looks for options and opportunities and doesn’t see things as fatalistic. Even though you haven't been the greatest with your finances in the past, you are trying to get better every day and believe it is possible to do so. To increase emotional regulation and therefore emotional resiliency, we need a growth mindset.  

Related: A Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset 

2. We need to have a mindful mindset. 

When we are mindful, we are living in the present. 

When we live in the past, we are living in the land of the would of, could of, should of’s.

When we live in the future, we are living in the land of the what’s if’s.

And when we are mindful, we are living in the land of today.

That’s important because the only thing you and I have control over is right now. 

We can’t control the past or the future, but we can control this moment in time. Having a mindful mindset means we are grounded in something we have control over, which improves our emotional regulation skills.

Related: How to Reset Your Mindset 

 3. We need to have a balanced mindset. 

Think of your thoughts like a teeter-totter. Leaning one way into negative thoughts and another into only positive thoughts. You don’t only want to always lean toward one way or another, you want a balance between the two. Something can be hard, however, you can also recognize the positive. For example, Brett mentions you can say to yourself, “Yes, things are difficult and hard AND I’m going to get through it.” 

In other words, with a balanced mindset, we can hold both positive and negative viewpoints without relying on one altogether.  

A Word From Nystrom & Associates 

Adopting growth, mindfulness, and balanced mindsets all work together to improve your emotional regulation skills and, overall, your mental health. If you need help working on these skills, the therapists and counselors at Nystrom & Associates are here for you.  

Request an appointment online or call 1-844-NYSTROM to get scheduled with a qualified professional.   

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