In his book Emotional Regulation: How to Train Your Brain to Control Emotions, John Tierney describes how you can improve your emotional intelligence and self-regulation.
Tierney uses a system of eight emotional regulation skills that are described in his book as ‘deeply rewarding’ and ’emotional training’.
Emotional regulation involves controlling your emotions using your brain.
Tierneys approach to the training includes: • Identify your ‘biggest emotions’ (a.k.a. your core emotions) • Set a goal for how much you can control those emotions in a week (a ‘goal time’ of 1-3 hours) • Identifies which areas of your brain are involved in the process of ‘sensing’ and controlling emotions • Sets a goal of ‘becoming more aware of what your emotions are’ • Sets goals of ‘improving your ability to self-regulate your emotions’ • Assesses your ability in a month to achieve a goal • Describes each skill individually and then discusses the research on the effectiveness of each skill in increasing self-control.
Tiermas article has a number of recommendations for how you might improve your ability and use of these skills.
Here are a few of them: • Don’t make yourself feel guilty if you feel frustrated.
If you feel you’re being self-centred, then you’re not doing your emotional regulation properly.
• Don-t take the easy way out when you feel guilty.
If a feeling of guilt is making you feel bad, it may be that you’re acting too quickly or impulsively.
• Avoid the feeling of regret when you regret something.
If it makes you feel worse, it’s time to stop and think about what you did wrong.
• Practice self-talk instead of doing it yourself.
This can help you become more self-aware and selfless, which can be incredibly helpful when dealing with emotional regulation.
• Use your body language.
You may find yourself making a mistake when you’re thinking about something, but you might not know why, and it may feel wrong to you to make a statement about that feeling.
Body language is all about telling your partner what you want.
In the book, John describes how he learnt to talk to his partner more clearly and naturally.
He says: ‘I realised that when I’m talking to someone, I’m not just thinking about the words I’m saying.
I’m thinking about their body language, and their body is telling me what they’re feeling and how they feel.
That was a real eye-opener for me.’
• Embrace the process and the process is about learning to do it for yourself.
It’s about having the discipline to not just be the person you are, but to do what you need to do to be more successful, more happy, more successful in life.
• Take the time to think about your goals and what you’re trying to achieve, and be aware that you don’t always know what the best outcome is.
• Work hard, and you’ll be more likely to succeed.
The book says that you can use this time to develop ’emotion regulation strategies’ which are ‘a combination of self-monitoring, self-help, emotional regulation and cognitive behavioural therapy’.
So, if you want to improve your self-awareness, to make better decisions and to make more progress, this is definitely something you should take a look at.
• If you want help with emotional skills, it can be helpful to check out the Emotional Regulator Training for Adults website, where you can find a number more advice and resources on how to improve emotional regulation as well as training videos.
• As the title says, ‘deep and rewarding’.
So what do you think?
Do you use this training or advice?
Let us know in the comments below.