Emotion regulation impacts many of the factors that help us be resilient in the face of adversity. In short, emotions, or more specifically healthy emotional regulation skills, can have a dramatic effect on our ability to bounce back or thrive in the face of life's challenges.
Here are just a few resilience factors that are impacted by poor emotional regulation.
- When we get overwhelmed by life's circumstances, we become reactive and it becomes very difficult to remain optimistic. Not only is the world out there potentially threatening and unpredictable, so is our internal world when we didn't learn healthy emotion regulation skills.
2. SOCIAL SUPPORT
- The short version is that when we struggle with emotion regulation, we struggle in relationships.
- We over-share, or withdraw and guard. We over-react causing others to pull away from us or we become unreliable. We never know what emotional roller coaster will be going on at any given moment. As a result, we often cancel or forget to follow through on commitments and friendships.
- People learn not to trust us and we struggle to hold onto relationships.
3. FACING FEARS
- When we perceive a potential threat, we fight, flee or freeze.
- Sometimes we learn that the way to "flee" is by drinking, becoming a workoholic, having sex, using drugs, people pleasing, worrying or fixing things for people.
- Sometimes we learn that it is not safe to "fight" and get angry at others, so instead we turn that anger on ourselves. Becoming critical of ourselves, not taking care of our health, ruminating, or through self-harm or risky behavior.
-When we don't have healthy emotion regulation skills, we tend to perceive more threats, so we end up having a lot more false positives.
-We also get overwhelmed and pushed into the freeze mode more easily, which stops us from being able to face our fears.
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