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Emotional Regulation Skills to Learn in Recovery

Emotional Regulation Skills to Learn in Recovery

Unfortunately, many people believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. There is a difference between constant behavioral change or reacting to situations abruptly and communicating and regulating emotions. Acquiring emotional regulation skills, especially for those who are in addiction recovery, is beneficial to a person’s character development and future.

Emotions and Substance Abuse

For people who have suffered trauma, severe stress, or depression, substance abuse often becomes a part of life. Drugs and alcohol are frequently used as coping mechanisms, distracting people from their feelings and thoughts regarding particular situations. Unregulated emotions lead to feelings of fear and shame and may worsen mental disorder symptoms.

In addition, side effects of most drugs may include sudden mood swings, emotional outbursts, and extreme irritability or agitation. When these side effects are not properly addressed, a mental disorder can form or worsen. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an excellent method for addicts or those suffering from depressive episodes to express themselves and regulate emotions, especially since feelings in recovery can be intense and overwhelming.

Emotional Regulation Techniques

The ability to regulate emotions is essential to living a productive and fulfilling life. There are various emotional regulation skills a person can acquire and apply to their character to express themselves better and positively impact others. If you are seeking new ways to react to situations healthily, here are some skills you can practice:

  • Reward good behavior
  • Speak to a professional
  • Put yourself in others’ shoes
  • Identity and reduce your triggers
  • Define and accept your emotions
  • Create a connection with others’ emotions
  • Practice emotional maturity and mindfulness
  • Try new ways to express emotions like through journaling
  • Take a second to breathe before responding (think before you speak)
  • Practice observing your responses, how you speak, and your gestures

The definition of emotional regulation disorder is when someone has extreme difficulty controlling their emotions. Self-destructive behavior, hypersensitivity, frequent meltdowns, or outbursts are regular happenings, so emotional reaction skills are essential to practice. Recognizing triggers and focusing on strategies to formally react to situations is the first place to begin.

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is another terrific method that can be used. It's similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, but it focuses more on the emotions and social aspects of a person's life. There are one-on-one assessments with professionals, and negative emotional patterns are recognized and properly addressed. Using DBT for addiction benefits addicts' relationships and personal growth during the recovery. 

Learn Emotional Control at Our Rehab Center in Chicago

At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer unique therapeutic methods like art therapy for patients to express themselves in a positive environment. Plus, our Faith in Recovery program helps patients connect with themselves and others on an emotional and spiritual level. We desire for our patients to receive the care they need to achieve their recovery goals.


Please, don’t hesitate to contact a professional at Banyan Chicago by calling 888-280-4763 and asking about our outpatient program to get started with treatment today!


Related Readings:

Accountability in Recovery: Helpful Tips

Sober Influences You Should Follow

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.