When you have the ability to self-regulate your emotions and thoughts, when you can press pause on disruptive impulses and stories in your mind and think before you react, this is such a gift you give to yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years of hard work to retrain your brain. But you learn to pick yourself up after disappointment and act in a way consistent with your deepest held values.
This is such an important skill. This kind of emotional maturity can bring you so much joy in your relationships and social connections. You will be able to face emotional, social, and cognitive threats with more patience and thoughtfulness. I always say “press pause on the stories you are telling yourself.” And this really is that ability. Pressing the pause button between the feeling or emotion and the action or reaction we take – taking time to think things through, make a plan, wait patiently to understand the emotion and where it comes from. Did something trigger me? Why might I be experiencing this? Does it remind me of something where I have been hurt or experienced pain before? Is this feeling in proportion to the situation at hand or out of proportion to the circumstances before me?
This ability to control our thoughts and self-regulate our emotions will carry us through life.