Frequently Asked Questions About Emotion Regulation Skills

Anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear are some of the emotions that anyone may find difficult to handle. But coping with the loss of a loved one can be among the most daunting things a person may have to go through. Although upset and death are natural life occurrences, no one comes prepared for when it happens. It can lead to long periods of sadness that can lead to depression and other mental health problems. 


Different people deal with loss differently. In 1969, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross said five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Since each grieves differently, these stages do not necessarily happen in order. Moreover, some people may not go through all of them. 

Emotions are strong stimuli that can heavily impact our self-esteem and relationships. Emotional regulation is a mix of temperament and learned behavior. It understands what your emotions are and knowing that you can control and regulate them.

Honing emotion regulation skills improves the internal dialogue we have with ourselves, perceiving lapses in emotional regulation as part of the skill-building process rather than failure. Even for people who don’t have diagnosed psychological conditions, knowing how to regulate emotions is a skill that can improve our quality of life. 

Here are some frequently asked questions about emotion regulation and how practicing it can be helpful for you: 

What is emotional regulation skills?

Emotional regulation skills demonstrate a person’s ability to understand, manage, and respond to an emotional experience. It is exercised through the ability to control emotions in a way that wouldn’t elicit stress or tension, both internally and externally. These skills influence one’s emotional coping strategies in various social situations that naturally arise in daily life.

Emotional regulation helps process emotion-provoking stimuli in a mindful and socially-appropriate manner to gain clarity and good judgment when making decisions and taking action.

What are emotion regulation strategies?

Emotion regulation strategies are tools and techniques that help individuals manage and process emotions to minimize stress. These strategies come in handy when choosing how to respond and act on a particular emotional experience or social situation. These strategies can help an individual cope with difficult or unpleasant situations in day-to-day life.

Emotion regulation strategies can aid in better decision-making, positive behavior and emotions, mindfulness, and overall well-being.

What are DBT emotion regulation skills?

Emotion regulation skills are one of the four skills that make up Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The other three DBT skills are interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and mindfulness skills.

The emotion regulation skills in DBT focuses on recognizing and accepting emotions, especially the painful or unpleasant ones. It involves acknowledging all emotions, positive or negative, to develop healthy coping mechanisms and better emotional responses to everyday life situations.

Why is emotion regulation important?

Our emotions can largely influence our thoughts, behaviors, and decisions, so emotion regulation has a crucial role in everyday life. It helps minimize stress and enhances mental well-being and overall health.

Emotions are like a compass that guides us to make decisions and actions to keep stress, tension, and regret at bay. Emotion regulation can lead to positive relationships with self and others, independence, resilience, productivity, and happiness.

What causes poor emotional regulation?

Various factors cause poor emotional regulation. Individuals diagnosed with mental health conditions like a borderline personality disorder, clinical depression,  post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety can have poor emotional regulation. Excessive fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness can cause this, as well.

Addiction is also associated with weak emotional regulation because it affects behavior and self-control. Lastly, temperament and attachment styles are two underlying characteristics that can provoke it as well.

What does emotional regulation look like?

Emotional regulation is knowing how to control emotions in any given social situation, whether positive or negative. It is portrayed through a calm and mindful disposition that can navigate effectively through heightened emotions, usually brought by daily challenges and interactions. Not everyone is raised to be good at it. However, emotional regulation is a skill that can be learned and honed through practice.

What are good coping skills?

Good coping skills are ones that help bring out the best in you. They are techniques and habits built over time that positively impact one’s mental health and overall well-being. There are various coping skills that one can learn and adapt to overcome daily stressors and problems. Some of these include meditating, engaging in physical activities, honing hobbies, eating healthy, reading, taking mental breaks, and maintaining friendships.

What are coping skills for stress?

Coping skills for stress help keep the mind and body calm amidst any situation that may arise. Journaling, meditation, and breathwork are practical ways to check-in with your emotions and gain more mindfulness. Honing hobbies, engaging in spirituality, and doing physical activities can also help alleviate stress.

There are many quick-fix ways to cope with stress, but building a well-balanced, stress-friendly lifestyle for you is a long-term solution that can be nurtured through daily habits and routines. It includes learning and incorporating time-management, proper communication, good nutrition, and self-care.

What are 5 emotional signs of stress?

Anxiety, irritability or restlessness, lack of focus and motivation, impulsive behavior, and burnout are five emotional signs of stress. Sometimes, these things can be happening to you unknowingly. It is best to be aware of such emotional signs of stress so you can act on them to avoid spiraling down.


How can I reduce stress hormones?

A practical way to reduce stress hormones is by taking care of your mind and body by getting the right amount of sleep, exercising, having a balanced diet, hydrating, finding ways to relax and enjoy, and building good relationships. Doing meditation and practicing mindfulness is also beneficial in reducing stress hormones.

What foods help with stress?

Some foods keep cortisol (stress hormone) levels low, such as whole-grain bread, oatmeal, oranges, green or black tea, nuts (pistachios and almonds), avocados, spinach, fatty fish, and dark chocolate. On the other hand, avoid food with added sugar, alcohol, excess caffeine, and processed food.

What is the best medicine for stress?

Self-compassion is the best natural remedy for stress. When you have self-compassion, you can give your mind and body the love and care it deserves. Self-compassion includes getting enough sleep and the right nutrition and finding quality time for hobbies and other activities that allow you to connect with yourself and others.

How can I calm myself quickly?

One quick way to release some tension is to pause for a moment, close your eyes, and take 5-10 slow, deep breaths.  Through this, you get to take a step back and understand how you’re responding to your surroundings. It is a brief moment that can also allow you to recalibrate your response or mindset to overcome the stressors and enter a calm and collected state.

How can I relax my stressed mind?

Therapeutic activities can help relax a stressed mind. Allot some time for therapeutic activities such as gardening, decluttering, reading, taking a walk, baking, and the like. Find an activity that can be an outlet for you to connect with yourself and feel your best. Getting off gadgets and social media may also help with relaxing and unclogging the mind.

How do I stop my brain from overthinking?

Gaining self-awareness is crucial in avoiding overthinking. Take a moment to scan through your thoughts and recognize how these thoughts are affecting your emotions. Challenge your thoughts, and remember that you can take control of these thoughts by shifting your mindset. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can also help you stay present through every breath instead of allowing your mind to worry about things in the past and future.

Lastly, keep looking for solutions instead of dwelling on your worries and problems. With the right mindset, a growth mindset, you are capable of learning and improving on yourself.


We all feel emotions, which are an integral part of our lives that influence and guide our actions. Struggling with anger, fear, and sadness is something that everyone experiences. During childhood, our parents will teach us the basics of emotional regulation. Improving this skill takes coaching and feedback from adults and guardians. Unfortunately, not everyone has (or had) the ideal support system growing up. 

The loss of a loved one can be a challenging obstacle to overcome. It can make the development of emotion regulation skills an even tougher battle. Abuse or trauma may also stunt the growth of someone’s ability to self-soothe and regulate emotions.

Unlike small children, adults are expected to regulate their emotions and act according to what is socially acceptable. People attach emotion regulation to personality rather than treat emotion regulation as a skill that is built upon. 

It is important to remember that managing feelings are a skill that constantly develops throughout our lives. Experiencing difficulties and struggles are part of the process of skill-building. We can practice mindfulness and the ability to reassess situations and the emotions that correspond to them.

Having good emotional regulation skills is a building block to a more resilient and happier self. It can foster smooth relationships with others and bring balance overall. 

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