Managing Your Emotions

This section of moodcafé is all about something called “emotion regulation”.  Put simply, emotion regulation is our ability to manage our emotions. This includes our ability to:

  • Be aware of our emotions
  • Accept and tolerate unpleasant emotions
  • Identify specific emotions we are feeling, and tell the difference between them
  • Recognise and understand patterns in our emotional reactions
  • Manage our emotional reactions in ways that work well in the long-term

If we develop problems in managing our emotions we call this “emotional dysregulation”, and it can lead to a range of different problems. It is thought that emotional dysregulation is a big part of mental health difficulties like personality disorders, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. So, learning to improve the way we manage our emotions is often an important first step for many people with mental health difficulties.

The handouts and information on this page are part of a self-help programme designed to help you improve the way you manage emotions. A good place to start is with the handout ‘Emotion Regulation: Managing Emotions’ on the right hand side of the page. This provides an overview of emotion regulation and a guide on how to improve it using the other information, worksheets and resources on this page. While you may be able to use this material yourself, it can sometimes be helpful to work through this material with a mental health professional.


Other websites that provide further information on emotion regulation:

The “Centre for Clinical Interventions” website has three self-help modules called Facing your feelings . They gives lots of information on learning to tolerate difficult feelings. You can work through the different sections in your own time, practising the techniques. This will give you more confidence about handling your emotions and help you to enjoy life more.

The “DBT self-help” website is written by individuals who have completed a type of psychological therapy called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy . Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a type of psychological therapy that focuses a lot on improving emotion regulation.

The “Get Self Help” website is a resource for information and materials for therapists and those experiencing psychological difficulties. The Emotion Regulation page contains information and materials about improving emotion regulation using techniques from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a type of psychological therapy that focuses a lot on improving emotion regulation. 


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