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Key Takeaways:

  • Emotion regulation in DBT enables individuals to manage intense emotions effectively and develop reliable coping mechanisms.
  • Emotion regulation worksheets can equip individuals with specific tips and habits to achieve higher emotional awareness and a better understanding of physical responses.
  • Some emotion regulation worksheets help define emotion regulation itself, provide tips for problem-solving, and list activities for calming down.

Some adults struggle to cope with intense, challenging emotions—imagine how difficult it can be for young children! Kids in the early development stage may struggle to identify and manage their feelings, but emotion regulation worksheets can help them understand themselves better.

Explore 20 of our best emotion regulation worksheets and handouts to learn how to overcome challenging situations.

What is Emotion Regulation in DBT?

Emotion regulation in DBT is a powerful tool that equips individuals, including children and adolescents, with the skills to manage their emotions effectively. By fostering positive experiences and teaching individuals to label their feelings, DBT significantly reduces vulnerabilities to overwhelming emotions, providing a solid foundation for emotional well-being.

How Emotion Regulation Worksheets Can Help

Emotion regulation worksheets can do wonders for individuals who experience emotions intensely and struggle to control them. Some benefits of using emotion regulation worksheets include the following:

  • Higher emotional awareness. Worksheets can prompt individuals to identify emotions in themselves and others, helping to develop a vocabulary for their feelings and recognize them when they arise.
  • Better understanding of body cues. Body language is essential to empathy toward others. Some studies suggest that nonverbal communication can account for a significant portion of the message conveyed [*]. Worksheets focusing on the physical sensations associated with different emotions can train children to connect their feelings to bodily changes.
  • Healthier coping strategies. Many emotion regulation worksheets introduce calming coping mechanisms, such as coloring and relaxation techniques, that children and adolescents can apply to real-life situations.
  • Open communication. It can be challenging for a child to communicate their feelings to a more articulate adult. Worksheets help expand their vocabulary, allowing parents, caregivers, and teachers to find better ways to provide children with the support they need.

20 Printable Emotion Regulation Worksheets and Handouts

If you’re looking for emotion regulation worksheets to help yourself or for clients you’re working with to become more in tune with their feelings, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 options to explore.

1. What is Emotion Regulation?

Understanding emotion regulation is the first step toward mastering it. Children can reference this handout to set personal goals and start discovering healthier ways to understand their emotions and those of others.

what is emotion regulation in dbt pdf

2. DBT Emotion Regulation Skills

There is no one way to master emotion regulation. Our handout on DBT emotion regulation skills teaches children that there is a wealth of mechanisms for reducing emotional intensity, identifying feelings, and learning to cope.

DBT Emotion Regulation Skills

3. DBT Ride The Wave Handout

Sometimes, difficult emotions feel like they might last forever. However, this isn’t the case. By riding the wave, children will realize that these intense feelings come and go and that they don’t have to hold onto them for long.

Our handout enables children to practice mindfulness and identify self-soothing activities to help them manage intense emotions.

dbt ride the wave pdf

4. DBT Ride The Wave Worksheet

Once you’ve understood how to ride the wave, it’s time to implement your skills. Our Ride the Wave worksheet applies to many situations, including feeling overwhelmed by academic pressures in school and getting into a fight with a friend.

It asks clients to reflect on what emotions they’d like to manage better and consider how they currently act on these emotions. It provides helpful coping statements and introduces the grounding technique.

dbt ride the wave pdf

5. DBT Opposite Action

Opposite action is a core skill that aims to reduce the intensity and duration of negative emotions. It encourages individuals to do the opposite of what their feelings urge them to do to gain better control over their responses and make choices that align with their long-term goals.

DBT Opposite Action

6. Myths About Emotions DBT Worksheets

If you’ve ever had a meltdown, you might’ve been told that intense emotions are destructive or “all in your head.” Challenging myths about emotions is an excellent way to improve one’s ability to regulate their emotions. When children realize that emotions are valid and that not all “facts” about emotions are actual, they can develop a more balanced understanding of their feelings through logical reasoning.

myths about emotions dbt worksheets

7. DBT Model Of Emotions Handout

Feeling emotions is one thing—describing them is another. Identifying parts of the emotional process can be difficult for young children, but our DBT model of emotions handout can be helpful. It describes the process of feeling emotions and outlines how these feelings can affect the body and mind.

dbt model of emotions pdf

8. DBT Skills for Model of Emotions

Each step of the model of emotions is a type of journey. Throughout these steps, a child may become overwhelmed or feel like they’re losing control. Our DBT skills for model of emotions handout provides practical tips for overcoming fears and anxieties a child might experience when feeling intense emotions. It helps them reduce emotional vulnerabilities and change negative thoughts into positive ones.

dbt  skills model of emotions

9. ABC PLEASE DBT Handout

ABC PLEASE skills function based on a helpful acronym:

  • Accumulate positive emotions
  • Build mastery
  • Cope ahead

When you care for the mind, you also take care of the body through treating Physical iLlness, balanced Eating, avoiding mood-Altering substances, balanced Sleep, and getting Exercise.

abc please dbt

10. DBT Accumulate Positive Emotions Handout

When feeling down, it’s possible to accumulate positive emotions in the short and long term. Some short-term solutions for breaking out of a depressive spell might include watching a funny movie, listening to music, or getting physical movement.

Conversely, exercises for achieving long-term mental health goals include building, improving, and repairing interpersonal relationships, adopting a balanced diet, or curating a fitness routine.

dbt accumulate positive emotions handout

11. DBT Building Mastery Worksheet

Building mastery entails developing positive habits for mental health. Ultimately, building mastery encourages individuals to get out of their comfort zones and create a coping plan for difficult situations. It also stresses the importance of rewarding oneself when they achieve their goals.

dbt building mastery worksheet

12. Cope Ahead DBT Handout

Coping ahead doesn’t mean predicting what might happen in the future. Instead, our cope ahead DBT handout aims to equip users with the ability to foresee challenges and know how to respond to certain situations.

It breaks the problem-solving process down into four simple and approachable steps and serves as a type of mental rehearsal.

cope ahead dbt handout pdf

13. DBT PLEASE Skills Worksheet

Managing one’s physical health can be overwhelming, especially for younger children. Our DBT PLEASE skills worksheet provides an avenue for keeping up with tasks by asking simple questions like: Am I eating healthy? Am I getting good sleep? Users can also fill in the blanks with their tailored self-care regimen.

dbt please skills worksheet

14. DBT Values And Priorities Worksheet

No two people have the same values and priorities. When practicing emotion regulation, it’s essential to identify what matters most to you so you can align with your short and long-term goals.

Our DBT values and priorities worksheet helps clients identify their most important values and write examples of how to implement them.

values and priorities worksheet

15. DBT Pleasant Activities Poster

One of the best ways to distract oneself from a distressing situation is to do something you enjoy. If you occasionally experience “activity block” like writer’s block, this poster is for you!

The DBT pleasant activities poster lists 101 simple and accessible activities for all ages. You can do them alone or with friends and family. Some examples of pleasant activities in this poster include dancing, arts and crafts, taking a bubble bath, and lying in the sun.

dbt pleasant activities poster

16. DBT Check The Facts

Sometimes, emotions can be influenced by assumptions and opinions that don’t fit the facts. You can get a clearer picture of the truth when you check the facts by asking yourself what events triggered your intense emotions, what assumptions you have about the event, and what the consequences could be.

Realizing the truth can help you determine how to act on your emotions productively and appropriately.

Related: Using Check the Facts DBT Skill to Regulate Emotions

check the facts dbt handout

17. DBT Problem Solving Worksheet

Problem-solving is no easy task, especially when overcome with intense emotions. Our DBT problem-solving worksheet breaks the process into seven steps and allows clients to reflect on their actions.

By studying the problem-solving process, clients can better prepare for similar situations in the future.

dbt problem solving worksheet

18. DBT Paced Breathing Handout

Paced breathing is a simple yet effective regulation technique that decreases feelings of anxiety, anger, and frustration while promoting relaxation [*]. It signals the body to access the parasympathetic nervous system, lowering heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure.

Our DBT paced breathing handout provides six helpful tips for practicing paced breathing and improving your technique.

dbt paced breathing handout

19. DBT What Makes It Hard To Regulate Emotions Worksheet

Part of mastering emotion regulation is understanding what makes the process difficult. Our What Makes it Hard to Regulate Emotions worksheet discusses six reasons why emotion regulation is complex and provides tips for increasing awareness and improving coping skills.

dbt what makes it hard to regulate emotions worksheet

20. DBT Purpose Of Emotions

Children may not understand that emotions have a purpose—they aren’t just a result of a triggering or positive event. Our handout on the purpose of emotions discusses the three primary functions of emotions: to motivate, communicate, and self-validate.

Use this handout as a helpful reminder that feelings can increase your emotional intelligence and better equip you to manage them in the future.

dbt purpose of emotions pdf

The Bottom Line

Emotion regulation is a crucial skill for navigating the complexities of life. It empowers us to manage intense emotions, fostering well-being and preventing negative consequences.

Explore more of our DBT worksheets to help your child manage difficult circumstances and feelings.

Sources:

  1. Hall JA, Horgan TG, Murphy NA. “Nonverbal Communication.” Annual review of psychology, 2019.
  2. Shao R, Man, Tatia M.C. Lee. “The Effect of Slow-Paced Breathing on Cardiovascular and Emotion Functions: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review.” ResearchGate, 2024.

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