The THRIVE Center for Emerging Young Adults

 

Mindfulness and Self-Regulation

If you have ADHD, trauma or severe anxiety, you are probably familiar with the experience of emotions escalating very quickly and being very difficult to bring back under control. When emotions are so big and so overwhelming, we use many unhealthy coping strategies to get rid of the intolerable feelings – drugs, cutting, suicide attempts, dissociating. If this experience occurs frequently enough, functioning day to day in work, school or social situations can become almost impossible

If you struggle with these experiences of emotional dysregulation, an important part of your treatment will be learning to practice emotional self-soothing techniques. Mindfulness, breathing and body awareness strategies can help your brain shift from the fight-or-flight response to a calmer, more tolerable internal experience. As with any other self-care approach, practice over time can lead to much improved control over "run away" emotions and help return you to more normal functioning.

Other skills that are essential to emotional self-management include:

  • Recognizing the "red flags" of growing emotional distress
  • Sensory awareness, breathing and relaxation approaches
  • Identifying key crisis "helpers" for social support, talking
  • Cognitive-behavioral approaches to provide more positive self-talk
  • Animal Guide Cards and other projective techniques for identifying inner emotional coping resources
  • Emergency medication management