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Can Emotional Regulation Help You Live Independently?


Learning to live independently is a very hard transition. It means learning many new skills that you need to deal with and function as an adult in society. One of the key skills is emotional regulation. By improving your ability to regulate your emotions, you will feel better in the short and long term. Additionally, it will help you to form healthy relationships and be more productive. As a whole, getting help to improve your emotional regulation will help you to live independently.


Emotional Regulation


How you feel can greatly impact how you think and act. If you feel like your actions are driven by how you feel, this is very normal. However, emotional regulation gives you the ability to impact how you feel. It can involve regulating your emotions in several ways, including increasing positive emotions and dampening your emotional responses. According to research, emotional regulation is a skill that can predict your success as an adult. Therefore, it is important to learn how to regulate emotions as a young adult.


Improving Emotional Regulation Through DBT


There are many ways to improve your ability to regulate how you feel. One is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is a form of talk therapy. Through DBT, you can learn how emotions work. This gives you the foundation and framework to make adjustments that will help you to change how you feel. For example, going outside often improves mood and is therefore a behavior that you can do to change how you are feeling.

DBT also includes mindfulness, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. These are all skills that can help you to understand and manage your emotions by accepting the reality of how you feel and addressing it.


Emotional Regulation Helps You Live Independently


Being able to regulate emotions is a skill that will help you live independently in many ways. By improving your ability to build and maintain relationships, be productive, and care for your health, you will be more prepared to live as an adult.


Building and Maintaining Relationships


There are many types of relationships that you will experience as an adult, including co-workers, other students, roommates, and more. Since you live in a society that is full of other people, these relationships are vital in getting work done, solving problems, and ultimately living as an adult. You might have to manage conflicts that occur between you and a roommate, set boundaries with your boss, or be clear with your expectations in personal relationships.

Emotional regulation is an important part of building and maintaining relationships. Without the ability to regulate emotions, you are more likely to either ignore your feelings or have them come bursting out in a way that harms your relationships. However, by improving your ability to regulate your emotions, you can make adjustments to your behavior that helps you to keep friendships, resolve conflict, and get the support you need.


Improving Productivity


Part of living as an adult is being productive. While you are a student, this looks like getting schoolwork done and showing up to class. However, as you transition out of school, you will need to be productive at a job. This will allow you to live independently and support yourself. Therefore, being productive is something that directly impacts your ability to live as an adult.

When you lack emotional regulation, you are controlled by how you feel. This means if you feel down, you are more likely to spend the day lying in bed or skipping class. However, you can change this through DBT or other methods to learn how to regulate your emotions. By being in control of how you feel, you can take action that will help you to be productive in the job or direction of your choosing.


Long-Term Health


Living independently requires that you are mentally and physically healthy enough to live on your own. While you might struggle with your mental or physical health, you can learn how to care for your needs. In doing so, you are more likely to not rely on a parent or guardian to fully support you. Therefore, with higher well-being, you are more capable of living independently.

Research has shown that well-being and emotional regulation are closely tied, and those with more emotional regulation show higher well-being over time. This is because skills that help you to regulate emotions make you feel better in both the short and long term. However, they also help you to get through moments where your emotions are pulling you towards actions that are not healthy or helpful.

For example, let's say you are feeling bad and want to lie down and sleep all day. However, through DBT, you have learned how to take action to regulate how you feel. Therefore, you go outside for a walk which helps you to feel better immediately. Additionally, this small step can help you to get some more exercise and care for your other health needs.


Regulating emotions is a challenging skill to learn. However, it is important for young adults and can help them to live independently by caring for their needs, improving communication, and being more productive. At Northwest College Support, we understand the transition into adulthood often has many road bumps. We offer individualized programs that can help young adults heal their mental health, learn and practice self-care skills, and improve emotional regulation. Our programs offer DBT along with other types of therapy that help students to transition into adulthood and thrive. To learn more about our programs and how we can help you or your student, call us today at (877) 485-2776 and speak with a staff member.

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