Emotional regulation is a term that is mainly heard in psychology, according to Bisquerra, it refers to the ability that we human beings have to handle emotions in an adaptive way, it involves becoming aware and having the ability to recognize our emotions, and relate them with our thoughts and behaviors that these may provoke or unleash, so we can express them in a way that’s appropriate to the situation, time, place and person.

Therapist Andrea Ballesteros from @taktoplayhmo using the Emotions Board

Another way to look at emotional regulation is from emotional intelligence as both have the same purpose, but for a person to be considered emotionally intelligent it will be necessary that they learn to regulate their emotions first.

There are different issues to highlight on the subject of emotional regulation, since it is a skill that has many other characteristics.

For example, to have a proper emotional regulation, it is necessary to recognize emotions, taking into account that there are more than 200, and the sensations they cause. On the other hand, people have to develop coping skills in the face of adversity, because reacting to “positive” emotions is easy, the problem is when sadness or anger comes it is much harder to know how to act.

Emotional regulation is a characteristic and a skill that can be a little difficult or complicated to develop, but the reality is that for children, learning and handling this skill is much easier if it is guided and practiced from the first years of life, compared to an adult whose brain’s structure and functioning may cause it to be a little more complicated to develop. 

Emotions Board

Benefits of Developing Emotional Regulation

Here are some of the benefits that emotional regulation brings to your everyday life:

  • The brain educates and develops from a state of calm, this prevents problems of over-stress and anxiety that can be caused by brain functioning. Learning to regulate yourself emotionally will help your brain’s coping system work from calm and problem solving. 
  • Improvement in problem solving. Identifying and understanding the needs of our emotions allows us to have and develop resources that will be needed to face a conflict situation and provide appropriate and adaptive solutions. 
  • It improves the quality of social relationships. This is an extremely important point because by nature we are all social beings, this indicates that we are going to always surround ourselves with people, so having a good relationship with other individuals will be key to a life of well-being
  • Emotional regulation will allow the person to be able to feel and above all, express their emotions from the emotional intelligence. 
  • Misbehaviour is avoided. Mostly bad behaviors, especially in children, are caused by a lack of  emotional intelligence and regulation, as many people do not know or have not discovered positive ways to express negative emotions because of a lack of emotional education. 

These are some of the most important benefits of emotional regulation, but they are not all. Each person is a world and each world can benefit in different aspects or situations of their lives. What is universal is that emotional regulation will always be a skill that we must all develop to lead a healthier life physically, psychologically and emotionally.

Resources to teach your children to regulate their emotions

The Emotional Thermometer and Emotions Board that Wiwiurka offers are basic tools that should be at home, especially when there are little people in the house.

You may be wondering why they are necessary and well, nowadays the theme of emotional intelligence is taking on the relevance it always should have had, since it is a characteristic and human skill that is key to an emotional, social, family, and even academic-working well-being, from the first years of life to the last. 

Taking into account the importance of emotional intelligence, the Emotions Board allows children to create and express how they are feeling and how they interpret that emotion visually, is simple to use and develops facial recognition skills; when used together with the thermometer, it will create a very strong emotional self-regulation in children and not only will they be able to identify how they are feeling, but they will also avoid having emotional and behavioral explosions, being able to ask for what they need and want thanks to their regulation and emotional intelligence.

The Emotional Thermometer is a tool used by some psychologists to help people identify their emotions and the level of intensity that they’re feeling. It is a great tool for people, especially children, to know and learn how to regulate their emotions before they become so strong or intense that they explode. As an accompaniment to the emotional thermometer, physical and emotional activities are also offered to decrease the intensity of the emotion in order to identify its need.

It is an activity that can be carried out very easily at home, at school or anywhere and in any situation, at first it may be necessary an adult to be a guide, however, the best thing of this Emotional Thermometer, is that children will learn to use it alone and to develop an emotional self-regulation.

Tips on how to use the Emotions Board and the Emotional Thermometer

  • Create a space at home where you can find the emotional board and the thermometer of emotions.
  • Make sure kids have 24/7 access to these emotional tools.
  • When watching a movie or reading a story, ask questions about the characters. How do you think they’re feeling? How do you see their emotion on the thermometer? etc. 
  • Play “Emotions Charedes Games” and allow the little one to represent on their emotions board what they are seeing in you, and vice versa. 
  • Do physical activities that activate the body in a way it feels similar to an emotion. Then, identify the intensity on the thermometer of emotions.

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