Research into Self Regulation – Values and Regulatory Orientation

Regulation of attention and emotions were listed as part of the science of mindfulness in yesterday’s infographic. If you would like to dive into how self regulation works with our eating habits, you can read this article that discusses our self regulation when it comes to eating.

What does it mean to self regulate? According to Pyschology Today, 

Behaviorally, self-regulation is the ability to act in your long-term best interest, consistent with your deepest values. (Violation of one’s deepest values causes guilt,shame, and anxiety, which undermine well being.) Emotionally, self-regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you’re upset and cheer yourself up when you’re down.

Do you have problems self regulating your behaviour or emotions?  Consistent self-regulation requires you to focus on your deepest values rather than just how you feel. This is addressed in this paper that discusses how self regulation creates distinct values.  In this research paper, E. Tory Higgins, states:

At any moment in time a person has particular concerns or interests that guide self-regulation. A regulatory orientation could arise from physiological needs such as hunger, moods such as anger, epistemic needs such as a need for closure, social forces such as role prescriptions, and so on. As will be illustrated later, decision makers with different regulatory orientations will assign different importance to the same outcome of a choice alternative as a function of the relevance of the outcome to their regulatory orientation.

If you are wondering why you think something is important but you struggle to accomplish it (lose weight, get in shape, be healthier) read the article… I know it is a bit long and dry but it will make you think about how you regulate your actions.

Three components of self regulation outlines in the article are Means, Outcome and Regulatory Orientation.

At any moment in time a person has particular concerns or interests that guide self-regulation. A regulatory orientation could arise from physiological needs such as hunger, moods such as anger, epistemic needs such as a need for closure, social forces such as role prescriptions, and so on.

Now that you have read your fill of academic articles focused on self regulation, step back and remember the metabolic balance rules which can help you achieve your higher goals of losing weight, getting in shape and being a healthier person.

Eat only three meals a day.
Ensure there is a five hour break between meals.
Make sure each meals lasts no longer than 60 minutes.
Begin every meal with one or two bites of the protein portion.
Be sure to have only kind of protein at each meal.
Do not eat anything after 9:00 pm.
Drink lots of water.
Eat your fruit portion (including an apple every day) at the end of your meals.

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