On Thursday December 9th, our DBSA meeting began with guest speaker Kris giving us a presentation entitled; “ Feeling the Feels “
Kris began by discussing the different aspects of “ Emotional Regulation “She advised that people who have over the top actions do not have emotional regulation. The definition of emotional regulation is “ taking an action to alter the intensity of an emotion, so as to effectively control your emotions”.
However Kris reminded us that feelings are not wrong , but more often other people invalidate our feelings due to their own discomfort. Invalidation of your feelings from others says that your feelings are wrong or bad, which can make it hard to seek and receive support. Loss of support can impact your emotions most. Validation of your feelings is important and makes it much easier to feel connected. There are several ways that people can deal with their feelings in a positive way, such as journaling, self care, or even calling a friend.
Kris went on to present five emotional regulation skills we should master:
1) Create space– PauseEmotions can happen fast, and we don’t have time to think “ now I will be angry”-sometimes the anger just happens. The number one skill in regulating difficult emotions is to pause. Take a breath, and slow down the moment between trigger and response.
2) Noticing what you feel-NoticeAnother important skill involves the ability to become aware of what you’re feeling. Dr. Judson Brewer, MH Ph.D. recommends practices for becoming more curious about your own physical reactions. Tune into yourself and consider: in what parts of your body are you noticing sensations? Is your stomach upset, heart racing, or tension in your neck or head?Physical symptoms can be clues to what you are experiencing emotionally.
3) Naming what you feel- Name ItAfter noticing what you feel, the ability to name it can help you get control of what’s happening. Ask yourself, what would you call the emotions you are feeling? Is it anger, sadness, disappointment or resentment? Being able to name your emotions will help you get one step closer to sharing your emotions.
4) Accepting the emotion – Accept you feel this way Emotions are a normal and natural part of how we respond to situations. Rather than beating yourself up for feeling angry or scared, recognize that your emotional reactions are valid. Recognize that experiencing emotions is a normal reaction.
5) Practicing mindfulness – Let go of the feeling Mindfulness helps us “ live in the moment “ by paying attention to what’s inside us. Use your senses to notice what is happening around you in nonjudgmental ways. These skills can help you stay calm and avoid engaging in negative thought patterns.
Be sure and join us at our next DBSA meeting on Thursday Dec 16th, when our topic will be “ I don’t have to Live like this “