"Breath deeply". "Count to 10 before answering". At some point in our life all of us have probably tried to put these advices into practice to try to control our anxiety and impulsiveness. However, regulation of emotions and self-control, so important for our psychological and physical health, are not that easy to learn. They require specific practices such as those illustrated by Stefano Canali, researcher at SISSA and the University of Roma Tre, in his new book "Regolare le emozioni" (Regulating emotions), published by Carocci (2021).
The book is aimed at educators, teachers, psychologists, doctors, health professionals and anyone who wants to find out about the strategies for regulating emotions in order to start a path aimed at improving attention, self-control and reducing stress.
Canali illustrates the most recent scientific theories on the cognitive mechanisms of voluntary control of behavior and emotions and on the mechanisms of action of contemplative practices such as mindfulness. These latter are in fact of inspiration for the 40 different practices described in the book in order to help reducing automatisms and impulsive behaviors. The exercises focus on different aspects, from emotional lexicon to attention training, from awareness techniques to empathy development. Each activity is presented in detail through an introduction and references to the scientific literature. In some cases they are enriched by an audio guide aimed at facilitating the practice.
Some of the activities illustrated in the book have previously been used in a pilot project of affective education and life skills enhancement in young people, entitled "Emozioni in regola" (Emotions in order). The initiative, described in the text, saw the participation of about 900 students from primary and secondary schools in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.
For more info: "Regolare le emozioni"