Self-regulation myths: Busted
Self-regulation is such an important skill to have. It is the ability to control one’s own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It has many benefits, including improving mental health, increasing self-esteem, increasing success in school, work, and relationships, making better decisions, and living a healthier lifestyle.
It’s a complex skill that involves a number of different processes, including:
- Awareness: Being aware of one’s own thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.
- Evaluation: Evaluating one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.
- Goal-setting: Setting goals for oneself and developing plans for achieving those goals.
- Monitoring: Monitoring one’s own progress towards achieving goals.
- Self-reinforcement: Rewarding oneself for achieving goals or for engaging in desired behaviors.
- Coping: Developing strategies for dealing with difficult situations and emotions.
Some examples of self-regulation in childhood:
- Waiting for a turn: When a child is playing with a toy, they can learn to wait their turn to play with it. This can be a difficult skill for young children, but it is an important one for learning how to share and cooperate with others.
- Following instructions: When a child is asked to do something, they can learn to follow the instructions without getting upset or refusing. This can be a difficult skill for young children, but it is an important one for learning how to listen and obey.
- Controlling their emotions: When a child is feeling angry, frustrated, or sad, they can learn to control their emotions and not lash out. This can be a difficult skill for young children, but it is an important one for learning how to manage their emotions in a healthy way.
- Delaying gratification: When a child wants something right away, they can learn to delay gratification and wait for it. This can be a difficult skill for young children, but it is an important one for learning how to control their impulses and wait for what they want.
- Self-soothing: When a child is feeling upset, they can learn to self-soothe and calm down. This can be done by taking deep breaths, counting to ten, or listening to calming music.
Despite the many benefits to practicing self-regulation, there are many myths surrounding it, which can discourage some from learning these important skills. Some of them include:
- Self-regulation is something that only people with ADHD or other disorders struggle with.
- False. Everyone struggles with self-regulation at some point in their lives. It is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice.
- Self-regulation is something that you either have or you don’t.
- Not true. Self-regulation is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. Just like any other skill, it takes time and effort to develop.
- Self-regulation is something that is only important for children.
- Nonsense! Self-regulation is important for people of all ages. It is a skill that can help us to succeed in school, work, and relationships.
- Self-regulation is a one-size-fits-all skill.
- False! Self-regulation is a skill that needs to be tailored to the individual. What works for one person may not work for another.
- Self-regulation is something that you can only do on your own.
- Incorrect. There are many resources available to help you improve your self-regulation skills. These resources can include therapy, coaching, and self-help books and articles.
The myth that self-regulation is not important is perhaps the biggest myth of all. Self-regulation is an essential skill that can help us all to live healthier and happier lives.