Emotional regulation when we’re in an argument can be transformative. It’s a great way to start challenging our patterns and changing our unhelpful behaviour like reactivity when triggered.

1. Recognise when we’re triggered and dysregulated.
How does it feel in our body? Heart racing, tense? This shows us our anger/anxiety has been triggered and can give us a warning shot.

2. We will start thinking extreme, damaging, negative thoughts which shifts us from normal interaction into fight, flight, freeze response.
Any perceived threat will be responded to in this primitive way. Our bodies and brain are getting ready to fight. Often we don’t realise when this is happening. Are we able to listen? Do we have empathy for our partner? Can I listen? If the answer is no, we are triggered. Know yourself to recognise when it’s happening so we can do something different.

3. Pause.
When we notice we’re triggered, start pausing internally. Reactivity is when there’s no pause. We’re in fight mode. Pause is where our power lives.

How To Emotionally Regulate During A Fight

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4. Be aware of breathing. Do 4-7-8 breathing in between talking. Do not respond to partner until we’ve paused and given thought to what we want to say.

5. State your needs. “Let’s slow things down”, “Can we be kind to each other?”, “Please hold my hand because this feels scary.” This calms and regulates the system and encourages co-regulation.

6. Remember your goal. When we’re triggered it becomes about survival and we forget our bigger purpose: to be a loving, kind partner. It might feel good to lash out, but in terms of our goal, it won’t help us get where we want to go.

We can be accountable. We are responsible for our behaviour. When we’re emotionally dysregulated we have lost control and we need to do whatever we need to do to get back in control, so we can return to a place of love.

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How to be more secure in relationships

Once you can recognise your patterns, click here for tools and strategies to help you react in healthier ways when you get triggered by your partner.

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