Emotion regulation

Is there such a thing as ‘bad’ feelings? You may be thinking – I’d much rather not have to feel anger, sadness, or anxiety. However, another way to look at it is that all emotions provide value to us in some way. (Have you seen Pixar’s Inside Out?) Anger can alert us to something wrong in our environment and motivate us to seek ways to correct it. Depression can be healthy when it comes grief and loss, as part of the normal mourning process. Anxiety can warn us to threatening situations, motivate safety seeking behavior, and encourage us to plan for the future.

Problems can arise when the frequency, intensity, or situational appropriateness of these emotions are more than what is helpful to us, and cause problems in functioning. There are a variety of ‘emotion regulation’ skills that can help you learn to manage emotions that feel too intense, are highly volatile, feel mismatched to your circumstances, and get in the way of functioning and relationships. We can help you learn to identify these feelings and use them constructively.

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