What is Emotional Self Regulation In Behavioral Science?


Emotional self-regulation, also known as emotion regulation, refers to the process through which individuals monitor, evaluate, and modify their emotional reactions to achieve their goals or adapt to their environment. Emotional self-regulation is a critical aspect of human functioning, as it enables individuals to manage their emotions effectively, maintain healthy relationships, cope with stress, and navigate various social situations. The development of emotional self-regulation begins in infancy and continues throughout life, with different strategies and techniques being employed at different stages of development.


The study of emotional self-regulation has its roots in multiple disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, and sociology. The concept of emotional self-regulation emerged as researchers recognized the importance of emotions in shaping human behavior and the need for individuals to manage their emotions in response to various internal and external factors. Over time, researchers have developed different theories and models to explain the processes and mechanisms underlying emotional self-regulation, such as James Gross’s process model of emotion regulation and John Gottman’s concept of emotional intelligence.

Key Components

Emotional self-regulation involves several key components and processes:

Emotional awareness

Recognizing and understanding one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, is a crucial first step in emotional self-regulation. This awareness enables individuals to identify the triggers and causes of their emotional reactions, which can help them determine the most appropriate regulation strategies to employ.

Emotional expression

The way individuals express their emotions, both verbally and nonverbally, plays a significant role in emotional self-regulation. Appropriate emotional expression helps individuals communicate their feelings effectively, maintain social connections, and avoid emotional suppression, which can have negative effects on mental and physical health.

Emotion regulation strategies

Various strategies can be used to manage and modify emotional reactions, such as cognitive reappraisal (changing the way one thinks about an emotionally evocative situation), problem-solving, seeking social support, mindfulness, and distraction. Some strategies may be more effective than others, depending on the individual and the context in which the emotion is being regulated.

Emotional self-efficacy

Confidence in one’s ability to regulate emotions effectively can contribute to more successful emotional self-regulation. Individuals with higher emotional self-efficacy may be more likely to employ adaptive regulation strategies and experience better emotional well-being.


Emotional self-regulation is essential for mental health and well-being, as well as for effective functioning in various domains of life, such as work, school, and relationships. Developing and enhancing emotional self-regulation skills can lead to numerous benefits, including reduced stress, better interpersonal relationships, improved decision-making, and greater overall life satisfaction.

Interventions and techniques aimed at promoting emotional self-regulation include mindfulness-based practices, cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and psychoeducation. These interventions can help individuals learn to recognize and understand their emotions, develop adaptive regulation strategies, and build emotional self-efficacy.


Emotional self-regulation is a crucial aspect of human functioning that involves the monitoring, evaluation, and modification of emotional reactions to achieve goals or adapt to the environment. By developing emotional self-regulation skills, individuals can enhance their mental health and well-being, improve their interpersonal relationships, and navigate various social situations more effectively. The study of emotional self-regulation has led to the development of numerous interventions and techniques that can help individuals better manage their emotions and foster resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

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