Emotional self-regulation

Concept in psychology / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Emotional self-regulation or emotion regulation is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.[1] It can also be defined as extrinsic and intrinsic processes responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and modifying emotional reactions.[2] Emotional self-regulation belongs to the broader set of emotion regulation processes, which includes both the regulation of one's own feelings and the regulation of other people's feelings.[3][4][5]

Emotion regulation is a complex process that involves initiating, inhibiting, or modulating one's state or behavior in a given situation  for example, the subjective experience (feelings), cognitive responses (thoughts), emotion-related physiological responses (for example heart rate or hormonal activity), and emotion-related behavior (bodily actions or expressions). Functionally, emotion regulation can also refer to processes such as the tendency to focus one's attention to a task and the ability to suppress inappropriate behavior under instruction. Emotion regulation is a highly significant function in human life.

Every day, people are continually exposed to a wide variety of potentially arousing stimuli. Inappropriate, extreme or unchecked emotional reactions to such stimuli could impede functional fit within society; therefore, people must engage in some form of emotion regulation almost all of the time.[6] Generally speaking, emotion dysregulation has been defined as difficulties in controlling the influence of emotional arousal on the organization and quality of thoughts, actions, and interactions.[7] Individuals who are emotionally dysregulated exhibit patterns of responding in which there is a mismatch between their goals, responses, and/or modes of expression, and the demands of the social environment.[8] For example, there is a significant association between emotion dysregulation and symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating pathology, and substance abuse.[9][10] Higher levels of emotion regulation are likely to be related to both high levels of social competence and the expression of socially appropriate emotions.[11][12]