Are you dysregulated?
How would you know if you were?
Can we control the responses of others? No, we can only manage our own nervous systems. It’s natural, normal, and inevitable that we will be thrown out of our emotional center. What’s essential is that we learn ways return to it.
Emotional Dysregulation is the inability to control or regulate our emotional responses to stimuli.
Dealing with uncomfortable feelings is a part of the human condition. We can learn to tolerate discomfort if we can learn to meet it from a regulated state.
I have been uncomfortably shaking and tremoring since mid December. I am still uncomfortable. Part of my response is to keep a quote from my friend Pixie Lighthorse on repeat in my mind: “I can tolerate discomfort.” And yet, I do not have to suffer. You do not have to suffer either.
Even though we aren’t always aware of it, we are constantly modulating our responses to the world around us. Social interactions (i.e. social media) can provoke emotional reactions such as blame, shame, anger, and even rage, When we encounter these feelings, we have a choice about how to respond. Recognizing that in every situation we have three options: approach, avoid, and attack. Instead, we can respond to discomfort from a regulated place. This probably will not happen without practice. And, like all good practices, this one involves self-awareness.
Here are some of the symptoms of dysregulation (resource from API)
- Strained interpersonal relationships
- Sudden outbursts of anger
- Exaggerated crying fits
- Accusatory statements
- Extensive grudge-holding
- Severe conflict avoidance
- Wild mood swings
- Impulsive and/or risky behavior
- Threats of suicide
- Substance abuse
We can learn to become aware of our feelings, which are always transient. When shit hits the fan, do you feel like running away and hiding under a blanket? Do you lash out in anger? Is your heart racing? Is your breath labored? If so, ask yourself is this the best time to respond?
What is emotional regulation?
To understand and respond skillfully to the emotions of others is is a key predictor of our own mental health – our ability to be aware of, regulate, and express our emotions. Regulating difficult emotions takes active practice, self care, and self awareness.
How can we regulate our selves?
For me the most import thing is getting outside and being with the earth, sufficient rest, nourishing food, healing movement, good music, connection with others, learning and being a student, and mindfulness practices such as meditation, chanting, journaling, and prayer.
What do you do when you feel dysregulated? Are you even aware of it when you are?
I can only share what I am learning about my own nervous system and share resources of support. Here is a list of places I have gone for support.
Remember, mental health matters,