Archive for the ‘Emotion Regulation’ Category

This week in the Living Skills group we started the Emotion Regulation module. This is a module that I really want to do as I struggle so much with my emotions and especially anger and getting stressed out, irritable and argumentative.

The skills that are taught in emotion regulation module are
– understanding our thoughts, interpretations and assumptions of situations
– Looking after yourself: reducing emotional vulnerability to negative emotions
– Being good to yourself
– Letting go of emotional suffering: “loving your dandelions”
– Acting Opposite

The goals of emotion regulation

– Understanding emotions that you experience
– Identify (observe and describe) emotion
– Understand what emotions do for you

– Reduce emotional vulnerability
– Decrease negative vulnerability ( vulnerability to emotional mind_
– Increase positive emotions

– Decrease emotional suffering
– Let go of painful emotions through mindfulness
– Change painful emotions through opposite action

In group today we had a picture of a stick figure called Charlie and had to decide which emotions we would give him and why. We found out that good and bad emotions are needed in life to function but when intense we can get stuck in them and they become uncomfortable causing distress.


We gave Charlie the following emotions

Anger – Pro – Fight or flight protection, stand up for yourself, release tension
– Against – Can just lose it

Happiness – Pro – positive emotion, lifts mood, connect with people, spurs you on, gives you energy
– Against – Can be impulsive, Not consider consequences

Sadness – Pro – Shows empathy, loss (this was important), appreciate the good, shows need for support
– Against – very heavy emotion, physically painful, exhausting

Guilt – Pro – Know right from wrong, to repair relationships
– Against – can hold on too long, have false guilt

Love – Pro – Makes you feel good/wanted, connection to others, motivator
– Against – Emptiness, loss

Shame – Pro – Learn from mistakes, adhere to social norms
– Against – Withdraw/back up

Anxiousness – Pro – Survival, safe from danger
– Against – Physical tension, paralysing

We then went on to do the hot cross bun (padesky, 1995) (how 5 factors combine to keep the problem going)

The following is an example that was used in group.

Factor 1 – Trigger/Situation (where, what, who, when?) – 1am a sudden crash downstairs
Factor 2 – Negative Automatic Thoughts (What was going through your mind in that moment) – Someone in the house, OMG what was that, Bomb/Gunshot
Factor 3 – Emotions – (what did you feel? EG sad, anxious, angry, afraid, guilt, ashamed, etc) Anxious, scared
Factor 4 – Physical Symptoms ( What was happening to your body? EG, loss of energy, tearful, racing heart, palpitations, perspiration etc) frozen, startled, physical tension, shaky, butterflies, churning stomach, heart racing
Factor 5 – Behaviour/Urge (What did you do/ want to do as a result? EG avoid, self harm, distract, use safety behaviours etc) Investigate, protect self, hide, ring the police.

Next in group we talked about about PLEASE MASTER – looking after yourself.

A way to remember these skills is to remember the term PLEASE MASTER

Treat PhysicaL illness
Balance Eating
Avoid mood-Altering drugs
Balance Sleep
Get Exercise

1 Treat PhysicaL illness – Take care of your body. See a doctor when necessary. Take prescribed medication. Holistic therapy, over the counter medication
2 Balance Eating – Dont eat too much or too little, dont comfort eat. Stay away from food that make you feel overly emotional. Eat sensibly, balance diet, regular meals. Stay hydrated. Get the right nutrients and vitamins
3 Avoid mood-Altering drugs – stay off non-prescribed drugs, including alcohol, caffeine. Dont under/over use prescribed medication. Minimise sugar intake. Reduce nicotine usage.
4 Balance Sleep – Try to get the amount of sleep that helps you feel good. Keep to sleep program if yo are having difficulty sleeping. Get 6-9 hours sleep. Get into a regular routine, have a bath before bed, cool down your bedroom and reduce phone/computer usage an hour before bed.
5 Get Exercise – Do some sort of exercise every day, try to build up to 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. Natural feel good chemicals, releasing emotions and expand energy. Dont do 2 hours before bed.
6 Build MASTERy – Try to do thing a day to make your feel competent and in control. This gives sense of achievement, a sense of control. cooking, gardening, housework, making the bed/changing the sheets. Making self go out.


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