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What is Emotional and Sensory regulation?


girl jumping on trampoline sensory regulation

Emotional and sensory regulation are closely related, and they are both necessary for managing one's emotions and responding to the environment in a healthy way. Here, we will discuss emotional and sensory regulation, their importance, and how to best support them.


Emotional regulation involves the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one's emotions effectively. It involves being aware of your emotions, identifying what triggers them, and learning strategies to manage them. Emotional regulation helps individuals avoid impulsive reactions and make more rational decisions.


kids jumping on bouncy castle sensory regulation

Sensory regulation is the ability to manage and regulate sensory input effectively. It involves processing and organizing sensory information from the environment, such as touch, sound, taste, smell, and sight, to maintain an optimal level of arousal and attention. Sensory regulation helps individuals stay focused and calm in situations that may be overstimulating.


The importance of emotional and sensory regulation cannot be overstated. Poor emotional regulation can lead to negative consequences such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Poor sensory regulation can lead to sensory overload and a decreased ability to focus and concentrate.


There are several strategies for practicing emotional and sensory regulation. Here are a few:


1. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment and non-judgmentally aware of your thoughts and feelings. It can help you recognize your emotions and manage them effectively.


2. Deep breathing: Deep breathing exercises can help calm your mind and body, reducing anxiety and stress. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply, inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six.


3. Sensory breaks: Taking sensory breaks throughout the day can help regulate sensory input. For example, taking a short walk outside, listening to calming music, or spending a few minutes in a quiet room can help reduce sensory overload.


4. Self-care: Practicing self-care can help regulate emotions and reduce stress. Engage in activities that you enjoy, such as exercise, reading, or spending time with loved ones.


5. Cognitive restructuring: Cognitive restructuring involves challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive, more realistic thoughts. This can help regulate emotions and improve the overall mood.


Emotional and sensory regulation are critical for managing emotions and responding to the environment in a healthy way. Practicing strategies such as mindfulness, deep breathing, sensory breaks, self-care, and cognitive restructuring can help improve emotional and sensory regulation and promote overall well-being.


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