How Do You Regulate Your Emotions?

How Do You Regulate Your Emotions?

Emotional regulation can often be the difference between staying sober and relapsing. Learning to live with your emotions is key to long term recovery.

You turn to others

When you feel your emotions come up, you turn to others for support, comfort, and clarity. You get by with a little help from your friends when your song just isn’t quite in tune. Turning to others for help and support is a healthy emotional regulation technique. Look out for warning signs of dependency. If you always turn to others and can’t emotionally think for yourself that can lead to problems in moments when you’re alone and nobody can be reached. Recovery is about developing independence.

You self-medicate

Almost every addict and alcoholic is guilty of self-medicating. You turn to external substances, of any kind, to “deal” with your emotions. Unfortunately, self-medication isn’t a healthy coping technique. It means you avoid your feelings, or, believe that your feelings are only supported through outside substances. In treatment, many people are surprised when they realize just how much they depended on outside substance to deal with almost everything in their lives, good and bad.

You’re all about acceptance

Life happens, right? There’s no need to worry about it! It was what it was, it is what it is, and it will be what it will be. Maintaining this kind of attitude to regulate emotions is healthy to an extent. Too much acceptance can be a form of avoidance. We can both accept things and have feelings about them at the same time. Acceptance doesn’t mean not feeling. It means accepting your feelings as well.

You don’t really feel much

You’re well known for “shutting down” and even using statements like “I just shut down.” When emotions come flaring up your mind goes into code red lockdown. Windows are shut. Steel doors are drawn. You go incognito. Unbeknownst to you, your stealth mode is not so stealthy. Emotional shutdown is noticeable and affects everyone.

You overthink everything, all the time

Ruminating thoughts, chronic analysis, and loop thinking are ways to try and make sense of emotion rather than feel emotion. You’re trying to find the right thing to feel which makes the most sense instead of authentically being present with what you’re really feeling.


You can learn to live with your emotions in a healthy and authentic way. Recovery is a promise beyond just quitting drugs and alcohol. Enlightened Solutions wants to take you on your journey to transformative healing. Call us today for information on our integrative partial care programs for dual diagnosis substance use and secondary mental health disorders. 844-234-LIVE.