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Learning Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is a topic you’ll probably hear about if you are in drug treatment or recovery. The term describes skills that help you control your behavior, emotions, and attitude. Controlling your emotions, and minimizing their negative impacts, takes time and practice. In recovery, some tools can help you understand your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. By understanding, you can learn to change positively and focus on your longer-term goals.

Using Emotional Regulation Tools

Many people in the world don’t have emotional regulation skills, but they are easy to learn with practice. Without these skills, you can get “stuck” in bad patterns that don’t work. Reacting in anger when your feelings are hurt is a good example of this. Many people take out their anger and hurt on others, blowing up and upsetting other people in the process. If you have trouble with anger management, then learning these tools can help you be more positive in everyday life and even bring you some peace.

Self-Regulation Tools for Recovery

Not every tool will work for every person, but many people in recovery find that they are helped tremendously by using the tools they’re given. Many people in recovery have been working with poor coping skills for their whole life. Some people may feel angry all the time or have trouble coping with anxiety.

Self-regulation means that you can learn to calm yourself down and cope with your emotions in a more rational way.

  • If you’re frustrated with something, learn to walk away and come back to it later. Go for a walk, take an invigorating shower, or take 20 minutes to zone out to positive music.
  • Learn breathing methods. This may mean taking mindfulness classes, watching Youtube methods, or downloading an app.
  • Take some time to simply zone out. If you’re feeling anxious, angry or otherwise stressed, try anything from reading a chapter of a book to spending some time playing with your dog.
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Try to remove yourself from stressful situations for a while. If you have work to get done, make some quiet time for yourself.
  • Learn to say no. People-pleasing is a way to turn your anger internal. In the end, you may end up resenting people if you continuously allow them to take advantage of you.
  • Write about your feelings. Sometimes, you may not even realize what’s going on or what your underlying feelings are.
  • Don't beat yourself up. If you feel disappointed about your actions, you're learning a lesson. Sometimes you'll need a sponsor or counselor to help you determine the lesson. So reach out!

Sometimes, it’s just hard to control your feelings. Recovery is a journey and growing is a part of that. If you’re not sure how to cope with unsettling emotions, ask others from your support meetings for suggestions. You’re not alone! Everyone has to deal with emotions every once in a while, but as you get more time in sobriety, you’ll find it gets easier.

Getting Help for Addiction

Do you or a loved one have a problem with addiction? Let us help you reclaim your life. We  offer a safe and compassionate environment to begin the recovery journey. We can help you detox and decide your next steps in an empathetic home-away-from-home. To learn more about our facilities please contact us at 619-363-4767.



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Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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