Your Regulation Resources
Life is filled with ups and downs. When you go through some current challenges or healing your past there are times when you’re emotionally imbalanced and volatile or feeling down or broken. We all can get lost in spirals of worry and anxiety, grief and depression, or irritation and anger.
That’s why it’s important to create your lists of regulation resources and have them handy as reminders of the tools (self-regulation), people (co-regulation), and divine force (spiritual regulation) in your life that support you to be present with what is and embody more love.
You’ve got what you need to be empowered even in the most difficult times!
First, you are invited to take inventory of your existing skills & resources that help you to self-regulate.
Self-regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. To improve your relationships and life, you need to be able to effectively regulate your emotions, behaviors, and, eventually, thought patterns.
Emotional self-regulation is a starting point in this journey.
“Someone who has good emotional self-regulation has the ability to keep their emotions in check.
They can resist impulsive behaviors that might worsen their situation, and
they can cheer themselves up when they’re feeling down.
They have a flexible range of emotional and behavioral responses
that are well-matched to the demands of their environment.”
Is self-regulation similar to self-control?
I like how psychologist Stuart Shanker explains it:
“Self-control is about inhibiting strong impulses;
self-regulation [is about] reducing the frequency and intensity of strong impulses
by managing stress-load and recovery.
In fact, self-regulation is what makes self-control possible, or, in many cases, unnecessary.”
What is emotional self-regulation resource?
Emotional self-regulation resource is anything that can be used to have you feel better in the moment. It's something that you can utilize in the moments when you feel triggered or upset, something that brings you back to being authentically present.
Take some time to connect to your body first and then ask your womb/hara:
What can bring me back from a place where I’m about to lose myself or “check out” — distract myself from being in the moment?
What can I easily access in those moments so that I can stay present?
Here is a list of my favorite self-regulation resources:
Abdominal breathing, slowing down my breath, and concentrating on exhalations
Awareness of body sensations: I feel, I witness, I embrace, including the painful or uncomfortable ones
Shaking my body (this can feel especially helpful when feeling a bit frozen)
Essential oils: opening the bottle and taking a few deep breaths, or self-massage
Intuitive yoga, dance or movement: letting myself move in any way that feels good to my body
Humming, or opening my throat and sighing, toning, allowing any intuitive sounds
Feeling my hands - touch meditation
Grounding by stamping feet or rubbing feet
Alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana)
Saying gratitude for something or someone I appreciate and feeling my heart expanding
Push up against the wall: placing the back against the wall and pushing the spine up against it; feeling my back supported and breathing.
Washing hands and face in cool water
There are many more options!
Now it’s your turn to create your list of self-regulation resources.
First, only list what you know has helped you in the past.
Then you could add to this list those resources that you’d like to learn. Experiment with new techniques, make them your own, and add them to your toolkit.
And most importantly, remember to use your resources when needed!
Printing out your list and having it easily accessible proves to be helpful.
Except for self-regulation we also need to have co-regulation resources.
Co-regulation can be defined as
warm and responsive interactions that provide support one needs to understand, express, and modulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Emotional co-regulation can be achieved through not focusing on fixing one’s problem
but instead staying in the moment with their present emotions, calmly mirroring what they feel,
accepting the expression of their feelings, and giving much empathy.
We are not capable of healing in isolation. We NEED other people. Modern researches indicate that we all do better when we’re doing it together. Whether you are sharing your pain or pleasure, sadness or joy, the sense of resonance and embrace you receive from co-regulation is extremely nourishing.
A therapist Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D., writes: “ Learning how to feel safe with others is revolutionary. When your nervous system can co-regulate with other people, and you feel safe and playful and relaxed, you can develop a stronger sense of secure attachment and enjoy its profound rewards, no matter what environment you grew up in.”
I encourage you to feel into your close relationships and identify people in your life who could offer you some co-regulation when needed. Who feels safe? Available? Emotionally resonant? Who helps you feel met in an emotional and even spiritual way? Choose wisely. Only list people with whom you feel felt and understood.
As research professor Brene Brown suggests, we should look for the people who we can trust to hold our stories with respect, who honor our vulnerability and can meet us authentically in our sharing. There might be just a few of them, in some cases 1 person or even none.
If you find that you don’t have at least 2-3 people to rely on for emotional co-regulation I invite you to start building these deep soul-to-soul relationships with your close friends. Identify the ones with the most possibility for growth and invest your time and energy into those people. Begin by offering them your unconditional presence and co-regulation during their difficult times. On the flip side, choose to invest less into the people who are not very supportive and capable of positive empowerment.
Finding co-regulation supporters is incredibly important.
We are not meant to do it all on our own.
Being vulnerable and reaching out to a “co-regulation friend”
who knows how to witness and hold you unconditionally is
a needed foundation for your emotional well-being and embodied love.
And the last type of regulation is what could be called spiritual regulation. Do you have a well-nurtured relationship with the Source / God / Divine Mother / Spirit / Universe (add your name for the almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and eternal higher power/life force)?
When you regularly cultivate a dynamic and alive relationship with the Source, you build trust and inner knowing that you are loved and supported just the way you are, and create a sense that all of life is organizing around your success.
It’s essential to understand that the Divine Source is embodied here as our planet Earth. Our mother planet’s electromagnetic field surrounds and protects us and all living beings with a natural frequency pulsation of 7.83 hertz on average — the so-called “Schumann resonance,” named after physicist Dr. Winfried Otto Schumann, who predicted it mathematically in 1952. By reconnecting to Mother Earth we are attuning our bodies and brains into this frequency which is magically calming, centering, and healing for us.
The simplest way of doing it is earthing - getting your bare feet or any part of the body skin to touch the body of Earth. The Earth's surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. This direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth is proven to reduce inflammation, change our brain waves, and create a shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic tone in the autonomic nervous system. If walking barefoot or lying on Earth is not possible, then just going outside to nature, getting some fresh air, watching, and hugging the trees could be a wonderful way to reconnect to the embodied Source Spirit.
Reaching out to the Source with prayer is another simple way that we can do anywhere at any time. Prayer doesn't have to be complicated. It’s you speaking to the Source from your heart sharing your thoughts, ideas, feelings, fears as you would do with a co-regulation friend. And, of course, we can offer body prayers, as well as sit in meditation to receive the divine grace.
It’s your faith that makes it empowering. Do you trust Life? Remind yourself that you are a divine being in human form. Allow yourself to receive Love. Essentially, you ARE Love. Embodying that as ultimate truth brings you wisdom, empathy, and power to show up as a mature presence of love.
Know and use your resources to keep embodying your Essence of Love and create freedom and joy within yourself and in your relationships.