Emotions are important – they affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We can’t think without them. If we don’t have emotional regulation activities (ERAs), our brains can act like a computer with too many programs open at once and shut down. The lack of mental exercise can lead to emotional stress, which leads to a host of psychological problems. Adolescent mental health treatment can teach these vital skills.
At Fort Behavioral Health, we offer various quality mental health treatment services for adolescents. To learn more, contact us today at 844.332.1807.
What is Emotional Regulation, and Why Is It Important for Adolescents?
Unregulated emotions interfere with your ability to think clearly. They can also prevent you from doing some things that you should be able to do to avoid negative consequences.
Regulating emotions can be difficult for young people, especially because everything is new and their bodies are still adjusting to numerous physical changes. Emotional regulation is a learning process that can vastly differ from what their parents or teachers expect or what they’re used to at home.
Emotional regulation activities or ERAs increase the ability to regulate our emotions, to reduce the influence of negative or tumultuous emotions on our thoughts and behavior. ERAs put you in touch with your emotions and can help you build emotional resilience.
Emotional regulation activities have been studied extensively in child development because they effectively treat a wide range of mental disorders and adverse childhood experiences. They are of great importance to many adolescents. These activities can develop emotional self-regulation skills, increase the ability to regulate emotions, and improve cognition in adolescents. The development of these skills is influenced by childhood experiences, family dynamics, and the social environment, particularly that of peers. Emotional regulation activities have been identified as effective strategies for improving adolescents’ self-regulation.
ERAs include self-soothing, self-stimulating behaviors such as playing with toys or engaging in play. Emotional regulation activities include yoga, tai chi, dance, walking, meditation, painting, tapping, and self-massage.
The benefits of ERAs include lowering stress levels, decreasing anxiety, and helping you feel happier about life.
Emotional Regulation Activities for Adolescents
Many young people experience difficulties regulating emotions related to fear, sadness, anger, and tiredness. Adolescents are a sensitive and vulnerable group. While they are often blamed for their emotional problems, they are still growing and can be as prone to them as any other age group. However, with appropriate guidance and training in emotional regulation, they can build resilience. Young people are at an age where building emotional resilience is vital, and they can quickly adapt and learn to regulate difficult emotions with proper guidance.
Here are some practical, emotional regulation activities to try today:
- Heart Rhythm and Body Scanning- tuning into the heartbeat by laying a hand on the chest and scanning the body from bottom to top and top to bottom, giving focus to each part
- Walking meditation- pay attention to the soles of the feet, making contact with the ground
- Mindful breathing- this can include counting ten deep breaths, alternate nostril breathing, or lion’s breath
- Journaling- lists often can be handy. Write down ten things you see, ten things you hear, and ten things you’re grateful for
- Wearable fidget- label feelings and connect them to a wearable fidget such as a loose bracelet, scrunchie, etc
- Talk with a good listener.
Contact Fort Behavioral Health Today for Adolescent Emotional Regulation Support
At Fort Behavioral Health, we specialize in helping adolescents develop resilience through building emotional regulation skills. In addition, we offer a variety of treatment options suitable for all ages and mental health needs.
To learn more about emotional regulation for adolescents, contact us today at 844.332.1807.