Step by Step Guide to Emotional Regulation

Jun 18, 2023

Have you ever been set up with someone and felt like you were hitting it off, only to have them suddenly lose all interest mid-conversation?  When it happened to me recently, and it felt like my heart dropped into my stomach.

My first instinct was to internalise and beat myself up; questioned if I would ever find someone.  Whether I was “good enough”, and “may be I just wasn’t meant to be in a relationship”.  Blah blah blah.  My Negative Nelly took over.

Then I watch myself direct the anger toward the other guy, trying to make him the bad guy.

But then I caught myself and instead of spiralling down the normal path, I took the time to acknowledge my emotions and give myself the time and space to process what was going on inside. 

I realised that I was feeling rejected; an emotion that I was familiar with.  I took 5-10 minutes to feel the feelings in my body.  The knot in my throat that travelled all the way to my heart.  Breathed into it for a while, letting go of the stories that wanted to rush into my head.

Then practiced ho 'onoponopono; I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you.  Being loving and compassionate toward myself.  And have to say, the pain went away.

How can a man that I have known for 15 minutes cause such hurt in me?  Because it's not about him; it's about all the times I have felt rejected...and when I continue to do this practice and stop rejecting myself, I will like myself no matter what anyone says or does.

Creating a plan to manage emotional pain really allows us to process old hurt.  So here is a step by step plan when you feel off emotionally.


  1. Live more consciously… NOTICE that something is off
  2. Don't internalise or externalise for temporary relief.  Meaning blaming yourself with self negative talk, or blaming others and trying to fix or make yourself feel better short-term.
  3. Identify the feeling. Am I angry?  Feeling betrayed?  Rejected?  Hopeless?
  4. Notice where you feel it in your body and HOW it feels.  Is it heat in the chest and head, or hollow and empty in the heart area?  Are your jaws tight?
  5. What meaning have you assigned to this emotion?  What do you think it means about you?   
  6. Breathe into the feeling and sensations without labelling, or trying to figure things out.  Just be kind to yourself and be there for yourself in the most loving way.
  7. Repeat… I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you.  Ho'onoponopono or any kind of loving affirmation. 

It's really never about another person.  It's all about what is going on inside of us and the happiest people are the ones that feel good in their heart.  

Share this if you feel like it can support someone you know. 


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