This topic has received much attention from the scientific community as one of the fundamental transdiagnostic factors leading to the development and maintenance of mental health disorders.
I’d like to summarize a few of the recent findings in future posts.
So what is emotional regulation?
Regulation of emotion is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible (that flexibility concept again! ;-)) to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed
Every day, people are continually exposed to a wide variety of potentially arousing stimuli. Inappropriate, extreme or unchecked emotional reactions to such stimuli could impede functional fit within society; therefore, people must engage in some form of emotion regulation almost all of the time. Emotional dysregulation has been defined as difficulties in controlling the influence of emotional arousal on the organization and quality of thoughts, actions, and interactions. Individuals who are emotionally dysregulated exhibit patterns of responding in which there is a mismatch between their goals, responses, and/or modes of expression, and the demands of the social environment. For example, there is a significant association between emotion dysregulation and depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental health disorders. Higher levels of emotion regulation are likely to be related to both high levels of social competence and the expression of socially appropriate emotions.
Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion-regulation stratgies across psychopathology: a meta-analytic review” Clinical Psychology Review 30, 217 – 237.