What is self regulation and why is it important?

Self-regulation woman in yoga position

Geschreven doorAnouk van Pruissen

Blog | EQ

August 12, 2020

Self-regulation and its relation to emotional intelligence

As a child your parents are there to teach you about life, about the world. Their responsibility is to keep you safe and healthy. You are not allowed to stay up late and you cannot eat ice cream for breakfast. As children we would like to do whatever we want, but we hear a lot the word NO.

When you reach adulthood you can do whatever you want right? You can eat ice cream in the morning and you can stay up late. And we probably will do so. But not every day, right? So, how do we keep ourselves from staying up late and not eat cake for breakfast?

Self-Regulation. That was an easy guess.

Self-regulation is short for the control you have over yourself. So, if you control yourself not to eat cake for breakfast every day,  you are self regulating.

Behavioral Self-Regulation

There are 2 types of self-regulation, first there is the behavioral Self-Regulation and secondly the emotional self-regulation. Behavioral self-regulation is “the ability to act in your long-term best interest, consistent with your deepest values” (Stosny, 2011). Meaning that sometimes we make decisions or act one way, but feel another.

Emotional Self-Regulation

On the other hand, we are able to lift ourselves up when we are feeling down or when we are over excited,  we can calm ourselves down. That is what is called emotional self-regulation.

Why is Self-Regulation important for our well-being?

Research shows us that people who have a greater self-regulation also have a higher state of well-being (Skowron, Holmes, and Sabatelli (2003)).

Self-regulation is a crucial component of emotional intelligence, it influences or controls our impulses and emotions and therefore  contributes to our well-being. It would be strange if a person with high levels of self-awareness, intrinsic motivation, empathy, and social skills has little to no control over his or her own impulses and emotion, right? 

In the online course Get EQ’ed, this topic is covered in detail in Module 4, in this course you will learn all you can learn about EQ and how to improve it. The course is online, you can start whenever you want and it will be available in the fall of 2020.

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