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Emotional Regulation: Reduce Vulnerability to Emotional Reactions & Increases Emotional Responding.

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

Develop the ability to effectively exert control over your emotions, through a wide range of approaches. With emotional regulation skills, you can influence which emotions you have as well as how you express them.


The #CopeAhead skill is intended to have us consider how we might be prepared in some way to help us reduce stress ahead of time. When we are asked to do some task, it is helpful to think through to the completion of the task. All of us at one time or another have had to give a presentation. Before the presentation, we likely wrote up some notes or did some research on the subject. We do this in order to increase our chances of communicating a message to others successfully. This is an example of coping ahead of time.

Rehearse a plan ahead of time so that you are prepared to cope skillfully with emotional situations.

  1. Describe the situation that is likely to prompt uncomfortable emotions. Check the facts. Be specific in describing the situation. Name the emotions and actions likely to interfere with using your skills.

  2. Decide what coping or problem-solving skills you want to use in the situation. Be specific. Write out in detail how you will cope with the situation and with your emotions and action urges.

  3. Imagine the situation in your mind as vividly as possible. Imagine yourself in the situation now, not watching the situation.

  4. Rehearse in your mind coping effectively. Rehearse in your mind exactly what you can do to cope effectively. Rehearse your actions, your thoughts, what you say, and how to say it. Rehearse coping effectively with new problems that come up. Rehearse coping effectively with your most feared catastrophe.

  5. Practice relaxation after rehearsing.


The practice of #surfing your own intense emotions. Think of it this way: a surfer doesn’t fight the powerful ocean wave that comes their way; they move with the wave, riding its natural tide. This skill is just like riding a surfboard during the emotions – knowing that it will last only temporarily and then subside.

Just as the waves in an ocean change, so do your emotions. Like waves, your emotions might be calm and peaceful one moment and at another moment, intense and unpredictable. In times of distress, one can cope with intense emotions in a harmful or ineffective way that can make the situation worse and cause someone to neglect long term priorities, goals, and values.

Fighting emotions such as sadness and anger delays the acceptance of these emotions. #RidingtheWave is about #acceptingyouremotions to be with you without acting ineffectively. Riding the Wave encourages us to experience our emotions like waves in the ocean. Here are a few tips to help you practice “Riding the Wave”


Observe your feeling. Step back and just notice it. Get unstuck. Experience it as a WAVE, coming and going. Don’t try to GET RID of it or PUSH it away. And don’t try to HOLD ON to it.


Notice WHERE in your body you are feeling emotional sensations. Experience the SENSATIONS as fully as you can. You don’t need to ACT on the feeling. Remember times when you have felt differently.


Radically accept it as part of you. Invite it home for dinner; name the emotion. Practice willingness to experience the emotion.


Treat PhysicaL illness
Take care of your body. See a doctor when necessary. Take medications as prescribed.
Balance Eating
Don’t eat too much or too little. Stay away from foods that may make you overly emotional. Avoid mood-altering drugs
Stay off nonprescribed drugs such as marijuana, other street drugs, and excessive use of alcohol.
Balance Sleep
Try to get the amount of sleep that helps you feel rested. Stay on a regular schedule in order to develop good sleep habits. Get Exercise
Do some sort of exercise every day, including walking. Start small and build on it!

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