Regulation is defined as a rule or the act of controlling something. Self- regulation refers to the process of laying rules for you to follow and also controlling, maintaining or balancing your emotions and feelings. Self regulation has been considered to be a desirable quality right from the historic times and is considered as self-directive process that can be used in a beneficial way even now.
Why is self-regulation considered to be beneficial?
Self –regulation has been proved to have positive effects as far as educational and behavioral outcomes are considered. Self- regulation has been an effective tool or technique that can be adopted to make an otherwise passive student engage actively in academic instructions. the techniques seem to make them proactive learners instead of letting them believe that it is a covert event which involves listening to instructions is what was suggested by Zimmerman in 2001.
Self-regulation refers to the process of taking a pause between a feeling and your action. This time is effectively used to think a, make plan, and wait patiently. This comes easily and naturally for some while for others it might be a struggle. However, for those who are able to self regulate it makes them act in consonance with deeply held values and social conscience which is beneficial for the development of other-self prefixed attributes such as self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image.
Also, self-regulation would help the individual bounce back from failure and remain calm under pressure. These are easily life skills that are very useful for success in whatever one does.
Self control and self regulation- The difference
Though self-control and self-regulation are somewhat related, they are not different. Self-control is, in other words, a primary social skill that a child or an individual uses to ensure that their behavior, emotion, and impulses are in order. However, self-regulation is a different sort of skill that would allow an individual to manage the emotions, body movement and behavior when facing a tough to handle situation. Self-regulation makes it possible for them to stay focussed and to pay attention to the happenings while they regulate themselves. This means a lot of things. One is that they are able to figure out what they are upset and also understand they need to calm themselves. It is also an exhibition of the flexibility one can exercise when faced with change. And they can resist frustrated outbursts.
Your ability to be self-regulating as an adult has its roots in the development phase of your childhood. It is important to learn how to self regulate when you are a child inorder to ensure emotional maturity as well as later social connections. The maturity of a person is reflected in his/her ability to face social, emotional, and cognitive threats in the environment in a patient and a thoughtful manner. this is something akin to mindfulness. You can consider the basic framework of mindfulness is indeed focussed on improving your ability to self regulate.
Effective strategies for self-regulation
Concrete strategies that are considered to be beneficial for self-regulation include
Mindfulness – Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) founded by Dr.JonKabat-Zinn emphasizes focus on the present moment without being judgemental. This is done by practicing to focus on breathing and gratitude This is found to be effective in regulating negative emotions and get the higher-order thinking into operation.
Cognitive reappraisal- This refers to the process of cognitive reframing or changing thought patterns. This is likely to increase positive emotions which would replace negativity.
The other strategies include positive strategies such as acceptance and problem-solving. There are also other strategies like a distraction, suffering, avoidance,etc which are actually unuseful strategies that you should avoid by all means.