Ten Tips To Emotional Regulation

In our ongoing effort to support the holistic development of our students, in this edition I would like to delve into another important topic that greatly impacts academic and personal success: Emotional Regulation.

Emotional regulation refers to the ability to recognise and understand our feelings, AND then choose how to respond to them in a constructive manner.
This skill is essential for maintaining positive relationships, making sound decisions and most importantly coping with the inevitable challenges that present in our lives.

In my work with students, I always raise that they will often be presented with challenges in life that most of the time is out of their control, however they do have control on how they manage these challenges and as such need to build a ‘toolbox’ of coping strategies to turn to, now and in the future.

Below are ten emotional regulation strategies that our students can add to their ‘toolbox’:

  1. Identify Triggers – Students should pay attention to situations, people or events that trigger intense emotional responses. Understanding these triggers can help prepare for and manage emotional reactions when they arise. Where possible students may avoid situations, people or events that trigger these intense emotional responses.
  2. Develop/build on Emotional Awareness – Students can learn to identify and label their emotions accurately. This can involve using tools like emotion charts or journals to track and understand their feelings better.
  3. Set Boundaries – Establishing clear boundaries in relationships can prevent overwhelming emotional responses triggered by others’ actions or demands
  4. Learn Problem-Solving Skills – Students can enhance their ability to address underlying issues that contribute to emotional distress through effective problem-solving techniques.
  5. Building Coping Strategies – Students can develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress and emotions, such as engaging in physical activity, creative expression or seeking social support.
  6. Practice Mindfulness, Meditation and Deep Breathing – Practicing mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help students to observe their emotions without immediately reacting to them. Meditation can also promote a sense of calm and stability, enabling students to respond to emotions more effectively. And deep breathing exercises can help calm the body’s stress response and bring focus back to the present moment during emotionally charged situations.
  7. Use Cognitive Restructuring – Challenging and reframing negative thought patterns that contribute to emotional distress can be beneficial. This involves replacing irrational, critical or exaggerated thoughts with more balanced, positive and realistic ones.
  8. Practice Patience and Acceptance – Students can cultivate patience with themself as they navigate emotional regulation. They can accept that progress may take time and setbacks are a normal part of the learning process.
  9. Practice Self-Care – As always, prioritising self-care activities that nurture a students’ physical, emotional and mental well-being is critical. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced and nutritious diet and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.
  10. Seek Professional help – All students are encouraged to consider gaining additional support in this area (if required) via scheduled school counselling sessions at the College.

By working together – educators, families and students – we can cultivate a College Community where emotional regulation is valued and practiced daily. Together, we can empower our students to navigate challenges with resilience, empathy and confidence.

We look forward to continuing this important conversation and supporting each student’s emotional growth at the College.

Scott Cadby 

PACFA Reg. Clinical (21605)
BA (Psych) MPsychotherapyCouns
Wellbeing Coordinator