[Source: Your Therapy Source]
Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage your energy states, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that are acceptable and produce positive results such as well-being, loving relationships, and learning.
It is how we deal with stressors and as such, lays the foundation for all other activity. Developing this ability requires self-awareness, emotional intelligence, efficient filtering of sensory stimulation, coping effectively with stress, relating well to others, and sustaining focus.
Self-Regulation and Childhood Development
It is one of the big developmental tasks of childhood. Sometimes, kids develop it naturally from being around self-regulating adults, from playing and exercising, from being in nature, eating healthy foods, and getting plenty of sleep.
Other times, however, kids are over-stimulated, around adults who are stressed and/or dys-regulated, and are not getting enough exercise, time outside in nature, sleep, hydration, and healthy food. These kids struggle with attention, learning, impulse control and relationships.