Emotion Regulation Strategy – Acceptance

Emotion Regulation Strategy – Acceptance

Healthy strategies require high-level executive functioning or the ability to manage yourself and your resources to achieve a goal; basically, self-control and regulation. Executive functioning skills increase during adolescence.75 Since healthy emotion regulation strategies increase the likelihood of positive outcomes,83 they are an important set of skills for youth to develop. Three common healthy emotion regulation strategies to understand include acceptance, problem-solving, and cognitive reappraisal.

Acceptance. Acceptance refers to allowing emotions to occur without trying to suppress or deny them.75 The idea of acceptance is common in therapeutic interventions such as mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy, which encourage a nonjudgmental awareness and acceptance of experiences as one way to lessen stress responses.88 The acceptance strategy has been found to be positively related to healthy outcomes and negatively related to unhealthy outcomes.89 Youth program staff can reinforce acceptance of emotions by developing curricula that teach socially accepted emotional reactions to emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, happiness, etc.) and how to label and describe these emotions with words, art, dance, music, etc.

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Understanding and Practicing Acceptance
This workshop includes activities designed to increase youth program staff knowledge regarding acceptance as it relates to emotion regulation.