Our emotions can travel from zero to 60…to 150…and back down to 10, all in the span of a day…
Heck, all in the span of a few hours. So many things can contribute to this fluctuation, almost too many to count. It can take a huge toll on how we function throughout our day to day lives. So, I’m on the hunt for these triggers that keep us from being our best selves, I’m here to find solutions, and I’m taking you along with me. Grab a seat and buckle up, folks. We’re gonna get regulated.
As someone with anxiety, I can recall hours upon hours researching self-calming strategies like no other, and trust me, there are A LOT. As a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, it helps that I have the opportunity to work with people of all ages who have difficulties self-regulating. It gives me the opportunity to see first-hand what works for some, and what doesn’t work for others.
The basics of self-regulation.
It’s pretty straight-forward. Self-regulation is the ability to maintain equanimity (that’s a fancy word for being even-tempered) when confronted with various situations. It’s being able to recognize when your energy level is too high, or too low, and find a strategy or tool to help you adjust accordingly. These strategies can be intrinsic (coming from within), such as deep breathing, or they can be extrinsic (coming from outside of oneself), such as a “fidget”, which we will cover at another time. The main objective is to maintain the appropriate level of energy and focus to be able to function, whether you’re at school, work, home, or literally anywhere else.
The rabbit-hole of self-regulation goes on and on, as there are hundreds and hundreds of strategies, tools, and continuing research, so let’s start here and see where it takes us.