Troubleshooting Emotion Regulation

This is courtesy of DBT and Marsha Linehan

If you find you have issue when trying to regulate your emotions and trying to problem-solve, there could be a number of factors that can impede effective resolution.

The following checklist allows you to check-in with yourself and see if there are other issues going on that can take away from effectively managing your emotions or when trying to problem solve.

Once you have a better awareness of where you are and what is going on, you can take the steps to take care of yourself as well as regulating emotions or problem-solving.

  1. Check your biological sensitivity.
    – Am I biologically more vulnerable?
    – Do I have untreated physical illness or distress?
    – Am I out of balance on eating, sleep, exercise?
    – Have I taken my medications as prescribed?
    Work on taking care of yourself; treating illness; taking prescribed medications; getting proper sleep; getting proper nutrition.
  2. Check your skills.
    – Review what you have tried.
    – Did you try a skill likely to be effective?
    Work on your skills; review other skills that may be effective.
  3. Check for reinforcers
    – Do my emotions…
    – Communicate an important message to me?
    – Motivate me to do things?
    – Validate my beliefs or identity?
  4. Check your mood.
    – Am I putting in the time and effort to solving my problem?
  5. Check for emotional overload.
    – Am I too upset to use complicated skills?
  6. Check for emotion myths getting in the way.
    – Judgmental myths about emotions. – Beliefs that emotions and identity are the same.

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