Unlike small children, who need to be taught to regulate their emotions, adults are expected to effectively manage their emotions. This is especially true of negative or unpleasant emotions such as: anger, disappointment, embarrassment, fear, frustration. helplessness, sadness, shame, and vulnerability. It is an expectation that as adults, we have appropriate control over our behaviour. Right? And yet, everyone experiences times when they feel these unpleasant emotions on an extreme level.
Sometimes anger or frustration can be the catalyst to getting things done, or changing what isn’t working - it can be the motivation we need to take positive action. But when these negative emotions get away from us and we lose control, we often feel regretful for the things we’ve said or done, and wish we had been able to keep those emotions in check.
Mostly, we can appropriately make amends, especially if it’s not a regular occurrence. But when emotions regularly and repeatedly get the better of us, there can be costly consequences, such as relationship breakdowns, loss of a job, destruction of property, to name but a few. If this is happening for you, it’s time to take action. NOW!
Counselling can involve teaching you techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, stress management and appropriate self care which can help you take charge of your negative emotions and respond to emotionally fuelled situations in healthy ways. We refer to this as 'responding' rather than 'reacting'. Often-times understanding the underlying source of these emotional issues is crucial to remediation.
Emotional regulation and effective emotional management techniques can also provide other benefits, like improved mood, and increased feelings of self-worth, compassion, and empathy.