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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    The Craving for Self-Regulation

    Have you ever felt so out of control that it seemed like you were riding a wild merry go round that wouldn’t stop? Without the ability to self regulate we lack the resilience necessary to weather life's ups and downs. We become a victim to our outside experience and are forever tethered to the frenzied ride of chaos.

    We all face challenges and go through hardships during times of transition, but without having the tools to develop emotional and cognitive self-regulation abilities, we may become frustrated and overwhelmed, heading down an unproductive path. Difficult circumstances can evoke feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness. To build resilience, much needed internal regulation is necessary to overcome these challenging situations.

    Having the capacity for self-regulation plays a crucial role in determining how well individuals cope and be resilient in life. Regulation of emotions, thoughts and behavior are part of our daily experience. It helps us form healthful habits, reflect on experiences and act upon our decisions in ways that honor our purpose, values and goals for our lives.

    Though online education, meditation and therapy provide strong frameworks for developing self-regulation skills, these techniques often require sustained effort and can be difficult to adhere to throughout life's journey. An integrative approach addressing lifestyle, diet, environment and exercise can greatly help to improve emotional stability and overall wellbeing with fewer negative impacts - ultimately building the resilience needed when navigating life’s challenges.

    Lifestyle and routines can aid in creating an inner sanctuary. Implementing processes like journaling, mindful eating and gratitude practices develop an atmosphere of self-care and increase emotional awareness. Having an established schedule and boundaries ensure that we are making time for what is important and setting limits in order to stay healthy and focused.

    Along with lifestyle choices, diet provides the basis for strong physiological health and balance. Eating foods that contain lesser amounts of sugar, salt and processed oil, organic when possible, energizes and supports the body. Cleansing, eating and living in rhythm with nature have been proven to create peace within the mind, resulting in a harmonious life.

    Our environment can drastically affect how we feel and how we manage ourselves and the outside world. The right environment can calm reactive neurological responses and bring forth increased awareness and clarity. Spending time in nature, listening to music, doing art or developing a career that is fulfilling can all contribute to creating a safe refuge, letting us come back and recharge.

    By exercising regularly and getting adequate rest, we reduce stress hormones, prevent disease and maintain good physical health. Working out also releases endorphins and other chemicals that can ease mental stress and even mitigate depression. Plus, regular exercise has been shown to enhance cognitive abilities such as focus and memory.

    Self-regulation involves balancing, assessing and managing life’s circumstances - both internally and externally. When we are able to understand and move through our big and small challenges with a detachment that cultivates focus and empowerment, we can thrive and enjoy life, no matter the hardships. Just remember to take care of your body, create an inspiring environment and develop lifestyle routines that will keep you connected to yourself and the world around you.

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