Self Regulated Strategy Development: Understanding Emotional Dysregulation

Understanding Emotional Dysregulation

We go about our days exposed to a wide range of stimuli. When we are exposed to trauma or experience chronic stress, it can cause a dysregulated nervous system. This leads to adults and children reacting to stimuli differently due to their bodies’ state of long-term stress. You may have heard this called a trauma response. While SEL alone cannot solve or cure trauma, SEL practices can equip children proactively with skills that bolster their resilience. 

Emotional Dysregulation and the Impact of a Dysregulated Nervous System 

Rogers Behavioral Health explained that individuals with emotional dysregulation have difficulty accepting their emotional responses to situations or events which can lead to more severe behavioral dysregulation1. This dysregulation can lead to a dysregulated nervous system that can impact students’ ability to focus during class, anger management, and develop interpersonal relationships, among other displays of behavior. With educators reporting that students are experiencing an uptick in mental health concerns, it has become a priority among districts nationwide to support students.   

Self-Regulated Strategy Development To Promote Wellbeing  

Many districts are focusing on wrap-around supports to address the uptick in concerns for student mental wellbeing. Self-regulation is the process we go through to manage the dimensions of our affect, behaviors, and cognition to attain learning goals2. Here at Aperture, we assess eight social and emotional competencies related to SEL. Self-management focuses on a student’s success in controlling their emotions and behaviors in order to complete tasks or succeed in new or challenging situations. Paired with self-awareness— a student’s realistic understanding of their strengths and limitations and their consistent desire for self-improvement— we can teach self-regulation strategies for students. These strength-based, competency-based strategies lead to students being able to self-regulate when they sense they are starting to spiral, ask for help when self-regulated strategies are not enough, and communicate how they are feeling to a trusted adult.  

SEL provides a proactive, asset-focused approach to supporting students’ wellbeing. This also creates a culture of care that supports the whole child in alignment with district initiatives. When we focus on creating school communities that are responsive to students’ needs, we promote communities that set students up for success so that they can build healthy relationships, remain focused when they need to be, and achieve their goals. 

Are you looking to measure your SEL curriculum’s effectiveness? We’re here to help! 

You may already have an SEL curriculum in place that focuses on fostering these skills, but are you measuring its impact? Fill out the form below to get in contact with a member of our Partnership team to learn more about the crucial role SEL assessment plays into the larger success of your SEL program.



1Emotional dysregulation facts. Rogers Behavioral Health. (2023, April 7).

2Cash, R. M. (2020, February 12). Enhancing social-emotional learning with self-regulation for learning. Measuring SEL.

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