Emotional Regulation Cheat Sheet

by | Mar 23, 2015 | Conflict Resolution, Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling, Relationships




No matter how good your communication skills, everyone experiences “emotional hijacking” when conflict affects their significant relationships.


First Step for Emotion Regulation: ASSESS the elements of what is happening

ACTION: Stop doing whatever you are doing, so that you may reflect on your own experience

EMOTION: Label the emotion you are experiencing in the moment. (a one word answer, such as anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, anxiety)

THOUGHTS: What types of thoughts are you having related to the emotion?

a. All or None

b. Judgmental

c. Catastrophizing

d. Mind Reading

e. Assuming the worst

f. Time Traveling


Second Step for Emotion Regulation: Application of SKILLS

ACTION: Inhale, expanding the belly, for a count of 3; Exhale, contracting the belly, for a count of 5. Repeat 6 times

EMOTION: Validate it; Practice KIND – NON JUDGMENTAL- COMPASSION towards yourself for having the emotion. Say to yourself “It makes sense that I am having this emotion, based on….”

i. My history

ii. Anyone would feel this way in the same situation

iii. My current biological disposition (e.g. sleep deprivation, PMS, recent alcohol consumption, medical illness, other stressors)

THOUGHTS: Let go of sticky obsessive thoughts, REDIRECT ATTENTION to the present moment.

a. Move attention to the physical sensations of breathing (see step 1b).

b. Next, notice the feeling of being inside your mind-body vehicle.

c. Hear sounds around you


Third Step for Emotion Regulation: LEVEL II SKILLS

ACTION: Identify and take the action OPPOSITE to the action tendency of the emotion. NOTE: Only if the emotion has little chance of actually being justified

a. Anger → Gently avoid, and then practice compassion towards person or situation.

b. Sadness → Get up, get moving, get active! Go for a workout, be social.

c. Fear/Anxiety → Move toward the source of the fear, over and over again!

d. Shame → Share, discuss, out yourself

EMOTION: Develop a better relationship with your emotion by Practicing Willingness to have the emotion you are having in the moment. Repeat the MANTRA “I am willing to have this feeling of…. In this moment

THOUGHTS: Check your thoughts for accuracy. Are your thoughts 100% true? Seek to find an ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATION of the facts, which is…

a. Less all or none

b. Non-judgmental

c. Believable to you!



Source: Mindful-Mastery: Mastering your Mind-Body Vehicle


Author: Allick Delancy

WE ALL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO DO GREAT THINGS IN LIFE! The areas of education, psychology, motivation, behavioural coaching, management of stress, anger and conflict, has always interested Allick Delancy. For this reason, over the years he has conducted research in these fields and has experienced great success in writing, lecturing and assisting other persons to develop their fullest potentials. He has obtained a Bachelors of Science in Behavioural Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology and Sociology. Allick Delancy also earned a Masters of Arts degree in Educational Psychology, with general emphasis in Learning, Development, Testing and Research from Andrews University. He has worked in the field of community mediation, education--conducting life skills training (for students, teachers and parents), as well as conducting Functional Behavioural Assessments and developing Functional Behavioural Plans. He also lectures at the Bachelors degree level in Early Childhood and Family Studies, Leadership and Management and co-wrote an undergraduate course in social work.

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