Emotional Regulation 12: Gratitude

I keep a journal, I write in it maybe once a week, and only if there’s something really juicy to write about. Some people are able to keep a daily journal and some really amazing people keep a daily gratitude journal. You might have heard of it. Keeping a gratitude journal is an effective way…

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Emotional Regulation 10: Building Mastery

The best way to boost your self esteem and get some happy chemicals running around in your brain is the final segment of the P.L.E.A.S.E. MASTER acronym discussed in the previous post: Building Mastery. This means finding a skill or hobby that you find enjoyable that you can use to challenge yourself and create positive…

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Emotional Regulation 9: P.L.E.A.S.E.

It’s time for another acronym! To reduce vulnerability to negative emotions and stay out of a painful emotional mind we use the P.L.E.A.S.E. MASTER skills: Treat PhysicaL illness: take care of your body, see your doctor when you have an illness, and take your medications as they are prescribed. 2. Balanced Eating: don’t eat too…

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Emotional Regulation 8: Applying Mindfulness

Remember Mindfulness? I told you it would make a comeback. The first step is to observe. Note the presence of the emotion, give it a name. step away and get unstuck from the emotion. Next, experience the emotion mindfully. Feel it move through you like a wave, coming and going. Try not to block it…

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Emotional Regulation 7: Rumplestilskin

What is in a name? In many cultural stories knowing the name of the enemy gives the hero the power to defeat it. Stories about witches and wizards often have them using magic words and proper names of their target in order to cast a spell. Knowing the right words to say is the magic…

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Emotional Regulation 6: Aftereffects

One of the most damaging things we can experience is the invalidation of our emotions from others. It’s painful, confusing and leaves us feeling more alone than anything else. When people tell you to quit feeling something, it’s like telling you not to feel rain falling on your head. The only way to quit feeling…

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Emotional Regulation 5: Action Urges

What do you feel in your body when you experience painful emotions? Where does the emotion live in your body? Muscles tense, blood vessels dilate, heart rate increases, temperature increases… Many of us learn how change our body and facial language to appear less emotionally vulnerable, especially if we grew up in an emotionally invalidating…

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Emotional Regulation 4: Vulnerability Factors

Regulating emotions with BPD is a bit like trying to drive a truck full of explosives through a hurricane, except the road is also on a fault line during an earthquake, the explosives are somehow being held by endangered creatures and it’s raining razor blades. Also everything is on fire. There are many things that…

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Emotional Regulation 3: Primary Emotions

There are approximately 8 primary emotions: anger, sorrow, joy, surprise, fear, disgust, shame/guilt, and interest. We are born with the potential/biological readiness for these. All others are learned and are usually a combination of these Emotions are particular types of patterned reactions to events. They are complex and involve many components Emotions come and go,…

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Emotional Regulation 2: Feelings =/= facts

Consider the following: Difficulty regulating emotions can be caused by a combinations of being born emotionally sensitive (biological cause) and in invalidating environment (environmental cause). Emotions are not necessarily prompted by one single event but by the interpretation of the event. We have a lifetime full of assumptions, values, beliefs and learned experience that are…

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