Exploring Strategies for Developing Self-Regulation Skills

Developing Self-Regulation Skills

Exploring ways for developing self-regulation abilities is now more vital than ever. Self-regulation also helps us manage stress, as it equips us with the ability to regulate our emotions in difficult situations. This helps us stay calm, think clearly, and take appropriate action.

In the real world, self-regulation of your nervous system can prevent you from saying or doing things that you might regret in the next six-months.  

Self-regulation improves the ability to consider before doing things that are harmful to your relationships and may jeopardize your career and personal goals. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of the decisions you make and the consequences they may have.

Why self-regulation is important?

In reality, self-regulation prevents conflicts from escalating, enabling you to better control your emotions and reactions. Consequently, you will be less prone to starting arguments with a partner, a coworker, a boss, a child or a parent.

As you can see there is more at stake than your own well-being, self-regulation requires self-control , and it is more than self-policing, it makes people around you safe. It can inspire others to change their perception of you, themselves and the world.

In other words, you become a peacemaker by regulating your nervous system. Cool, isn’t it? 

Lack self-regulation stems from early childhood experiences.

Growing up, children learn self-regulation skills from caregivers primarily and later from social interactions. 

Children who feel neglected, unsafe, or not knowing their needs will be met may have trouble self-soothing, or may display explosive reactions to other children at school, such as yelling or hitting other children.

Adults who lack self-regulation abilities are more likely to have poor self-esteem because they fail to manage stress and frustration. Anxiety and anger is usually the outcome. In serious cases, letting it unchecked can lead to mental issues.

I’m a trained therapist offering online therapy in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Book an appointment with me today.

Strategies to self-regulate your nervous system 

During stressful challenges, a lot of us numb out from the neck down. One important thing you can do is practice pause. 

Connect with the body

Ground yourself, start feeling your feet, notice your body weight, your breath, your pulse, the beat of your heart. Take a few moments to scan your body with your attention. This is simple but very efficient; you want to create some distance from the stressor and your body is a great tool for this. The body is always present, however the mind is always ruminating, focused on the stressor, dwelling in the past or future.


By practicing mindfulness, we can create some space between ourselves and our reactions, allowing us to respond to difficult situations in a more mindful and thoughtful way. Through focused breathing and gratitude practices, we can become more aware of our thoughts and feelings while also feeling a greater sense of peace and relaxation.

Learn more about stress reduction with mindfulness (MBSR)


Yoga essentially focuses on conscious movement,  if you’ve ever been to a yoga class you might have noticed the yoga teacher guiding students to pay attention to inhalations and exhalations. 

The nervous system regulates the body through two primary branches. In a nutshell, the sympathetic nervous system is the component of the nervous system that keeps you running. It uses stress chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol to fuel the brain’s activities, whereas the parasympathetic nervous system uses acetylcholine, which helps to regulate the body’s operations and slow your heart rate.

When you inhale, you activate the sympathetic nervous system, and when you exhale, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Because yoga and its breathing practices focus on the exhale, you have a slower heart rate, which leads to a well-balanced body and overall greater wellness.

To sum up

I’m not kidding. This effort, of course, has rewards for you, but it also has unforeseeable consequences for those around you. When you have a reasonable degree of control over your response you can always choose how to respond instead of react. 

Let’s make space in our lives for intentionally practicing peacemaking, both for ourselves and for others. 

A question to ponder: 

Whenever someone says ____ it feels like I can’t let go of it.


There is no comment on this post. Be the first one.

Leave a comment