Emotional self-awareness and self-regulation are very important skills to acquire. Like biofeedback and interoception (self-awareness of one’s inner physiology), emotional self-awareness through the mind’s feedback system can help an individual to regulate anxiety, anger, and other distressing emotions. All the skills learned in biofeedback and self-regulation can be a prerequisite for also lowering distressing emotions. In fact, emotions are much harder to self-regulate, and the quickest way to lower a threat response is through self awareness of inner physiology, and pure skeletal muscle relaxation.
Some of the emotional self-regulation strategies include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Naming and Understanding Emotions as Felt, Mindfulness Therapy, Anger Management, Desensitization and Stress Inoculation Therapies, Impulse Control Strategies, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Physical Exercises, Meditation Training, Emotional Awareness, Kung Fu and Chi Gung Training, and Pure Emotional Self-Regulation Skills Training. All of these skills target being aware, present, and training to cope and stabilize emotions when under duress, but in general. Often, emotions become pervasive and it may be hard to track what are the threats at any given moment. The greatest challenge to this training is that emotions often occur when there are real threats, but also when one perceives a threat, whether real or not.
Dr. Allen coaches clients to learn how to enhance hardiness – the ability to strengthen emotional flexibility and build resilience to stress by taming the emotions and strengthening the body and mind. The objective is to becoming really good at this skill through time and practice so that when under significant stress, the skills can provide stability, flexibility in problem solving, and the ability to recover a steady state of mind and body.