I am going to imagine if you are here reading this blog post it is because your emotions are feeling out of whack.  My bet is that means you are either a highly sensitive person or an empath or in some cases perhaps even a highly sensitive intuitive empath like myself.

I spent years fighting with my emotions.  Trying to squeeze them into a box that they wouldn’t stay in.  It was an intense time filled with considerable struggle.

Instead of you having to struggle like I did I want to share with you ways that you can self-regulate emotions on your own.


Why is it so hard to self-regulate emotions?

When I look around in our world, I see most people disconnected from their emotions.

Although parents don’t mean harm, we are often telling our children not to be sad, not to be angry, and not to be jealous.  We tell our kids to share and be kind no matter how they are feeling which just further disconnects them.

I know I did this with my own daughter.  When she was little.  I wasn’t in the regulated place I am in today and there were many of her emotions that triggered me.  I’m so proud of the work I have done to come to this more regulated nervous system space.  I can now allow space for whatever emotion she has coming through and I am able to be there for her without feeling triggered.  That is the parent I want to be.

What does it mean to self-regulate emotions?

Having a regulated nervous system doesn’t mean that I don’t get triggered.    There are still things in life that happen which result in me feeling out of alignment.

The difference now is that I notice the shift in energy almost immediately.    I am aware of when I am being pulled back into an old pattern.  In my case (and maybe yours as well) these most often include some form of guilt or shame.

Rather than finding myself feeling resentful or angry about something small like misplaced keys or spilled milk I know exactly what has occurred to bring me to this place.  Instead of letting the issues build up until I couldn’t contain things anymore, I now deal with things as they arise.

3 steps to self regulate emotions

1.  Notice and start naming your emotions

When I work one to one with people we start with this piece.  Noticing what is going on inside you.  Noticing when something has made you angry, sad, disgusted, joyful or some other emotion.

Although this sounds easy many people especially HSP and empathic women have a really hard time noticing the “negative emotions”.  Most of us have been so conditioned to ignore our anger or send it inwards rather than allow it to come out, which of course creates an additional set of problems.

In fact, for me it was a total shock when I realized my own anger was sending my body into fight or flight mode.  I would feel the emotion and immediately my body would start to react.  No wonder I wasn’t feeling in control or empowered around my emotions.

2.  Process the emotions through the body

Once we can notice the emotions and name them the next step is processing these emotions through our body.  In many cases we are working with triggers that come from childhood traumas.  Moments when we experienced situations that we were not prepared for, not resourced for, or not supported in processing.

Situations that created a lack of safety for us.  These situations created a pattern of thinking.

Our nervous systems come up with coping behaviors that keep us safe.  Once we have become adults and have opportunities to change those long-standing thoughts that are keeping us stuck.

My two favorite ways of moving these emotions through the body are EFT Tapping and gentle yoga.  

3.  Don’t let the should’s get in your way

As you build up your resilience by noticing your emotions, naming them and moving them through your body you will become more aware of the discrepancies.  Places where rather than acknowledging “what is” you are still fighting the truth with a should.

As an HSP one of the big should’s I see getting in the way of business success is the idea that I should have more energy.  Whether that energy translates to seeing more clients or more social media (or something else we as entrepreneurs have on our plate) – your truth is your truth.  Accepting the pieces of yourself that aggravate you or that you wish were different is the final piece when working to self-regulate emotions.

I trust that this gives you some ideas to consider.  If you enjoyed this and found it helpful you might also benefit from this article, I shared about sensitive solopreneurs and self-compassion.

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