The Emotions Experiment- Navigating through the realm of Emotion Management

by Aseess Chadha 
February 22, 2022
The Emotions Experiment- Navigating through the realm of Emotion Management

Did that title make you raise your eyebrows or scrunch them together? Worse, did it make you want to flip? Regardless of the first reaction it generated, this article will focus on the ‘felt’. Today’s blog is an attempt to understand emotions and how they can be effectively regulated.

It is no secret that often our feelings flip and change by the minute, while at other times they can also be consistent. However, factually, they continue to exist and guide our behavior, hence, making their regulation necessary.

Let us begin with understanding what emotions are? As Scherer (2009) put it, emotions are cultural and psychobiological adaptation mechanisms that allow us to adapt and react dynamically to varying environmental cues. They give meaning to our lives and to our interactions with others (Montana et al., 2020). Emotions are a part of our human tendencies. They facilitate our understanding of a situation, direct our reaction (can go both ways), and enable us to see through the other person as well. They are multidimensional and also pervade through different aspects of our living which brings us to their regulation being advantageous, rather necessary.

Emotional Self-Regulation encompasses those behaviors, skills, and strategies that serve to modulate, inhibit, and enhance emotional experiences and expressions (Calkins & Leeks, 2004). They can be conscious, unconscious, automatic, or effortful. It contributes significantly to enhancing mental well-being (Fry et al., 2012), workplace function (Buruck et al., 2016), and reducing stress (Castillo-Guilda et al., 2019).

Even though we often acknowledge the advantages of emotional regulation, it is only seldom that we can walk on principle to help ourselves. However, it is always helpful to pause, reflect, and reboot our thought processes. It is imperative to acknowledge our emotions, thoughts, and action, in this way welcoming new ways of working through them.

Talking about the ‘emotions’ part of it, I would like to introduce you to a scientific, yet color-laden friend called the “Mood Meter.” Scientists at Yale have introduced this small tool to quickly help you assess your mood at a given moment. It is a part of their RULER approach to aid the process of labeling emotions, in order to understand and work through them. RULER is an acronym for five skills of emotional intelligence- Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating. The approach was developed with principles of emotional intelligence to enhance Social-Emotional Learning in elementary school children.

The Mood Meter (as shown in the picture below) is divided into four quadrants. At any given moment, you can take a quick look into your energy level as well as the level of perceived pleasantness and accordingly locate yourself on this mood meter. This moment of reflection and judgment will help you understand what you are exactly feeling, which is the first step towards regulating them.

Sometimes, we are faced with an influx of emotions but in the middle of an extremely busy day or just when we don’t want them to come. There is an effective strategy to deal with such situations where you can determine when to face the music of your emotions. It is called Compartmentalizing. We can tune in our minds to schedule itself and put down a slot to deal with those emotions. Research shows that it can be an effective tool for handling negative beliefs and effective coping (Showers & Caroline, 2002). Just be careful to compartmentalize, and not repress!

The word has been passed down generations on how we should “count our blessings”. Who knew it can also be a strategy for regulating your emotions! Savouring or the practice of ‘Savour the good’ can be a good way of fully feeling the positive experiences and in some ways capitalizing on them too. Such manifestations generate positive emotions, induce hope, enhance motivation, and are beneficial to when one feels that their emotions are all over the place.

Positive Self-Talk and Positive Reframing which include complimenting yourself and being less critical and more loving towards your own self can also help balance the ballet of emotions. Just like the old metaphor of seeing the glass as half empty or half full, reframing your thoughts to see the glass as half-full can always help you effectively deal with critical thoughts. Such strategies which work on restructuring the thought processes are called Thought Strategies. (

Accompanying this, it is very important to reflect on how and when to use these strategies. Some introspection also helps us delve into our thinking to understand why we express certain emotions the way we do and why we are able or unable to employ certain emotional regulation strategies. Being in touch with your emotions is a step towards being in touch with your inner self, a journey towards enlightenment. To conclude with the blog, I would just like to take you guys to the beginning; how emotions and dealing with them is always an experiment! It includes a mix of the right procedure, time, lots of patience, and persistence. And like experiments always are, it’s exhilarating yet challenging, often a road to discovery.


Aseess Chadha

Clinical & Research Intern,


Buruck, G., Dörfel, D., Kugler, J., & Brom, S. S. (2016). Enhancing well-being at work: The role of emotion regulation skills as personal resources. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 21(4), 480–493.

Castillo-Gualda, R., Herrero, M., Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Brackett, M. A., & Fernández- Berrocal, P. (2019). The role of emotional regulation ability, personality, and burnout among Spanish teachers. International Journal of Stress Management, 26(2), 146– 158.

Fry, M. D., Guivernau, M., Kim, M.-s., Newton, M., Gano-Overway, L. A., & Magyar, T. M. (2012). Youth perceptions of a caring climate, emotional regulation, and psychological well-being. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 1(1), 44– 57.

Montana JI, Matamala-Gomez M, Maisto M, Mavrodiev PA, Cavalera CM, Diana B, Mantovani F, Realdon O. The benefits of emotion regulation interventions in virtual reality for the improvement of wellbeing in adults and older adults: a systematic review. J Clin Med. 2020 Feb 12;9(2):500. doi: 10.3390/jcm9020500.

Moore, S. A., Varra, A. A., Michael, S. T., & Simpson, T. L. (2010). Stress-related growth, positive reframing, and emotional processing in the prediction of post-trauma functioning among veterans in mental health treatment. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 2(2), 93– 96.

Scherer K. R. (2009). Emotions are emergent processes: they require a dynamic computational architecture. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 364, 3459–3474. 10.1098/rstb.2009.0141

Showers, C. J. (2002). Integration and compartmentalization: A model of self-structure and self-change. In D. Cervone & W. Mischel (Eds.), Advances in personality science (pp. 271–291). Guilford Press.

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.