What is Self-Reg all about?
Shanker Self-Reg® is a process for enhancing self- regulation by understanding and dealing with stress. In Self-Reg we consider both our responses to stress and our underlying state of energy and tension when we encounter a stress.
- Self-Reg is based on the original, psychophysiological definition of self-regulation, which refers to how we respond to stress— whether in a manner that promotes or constricts recovery and growth.
- Self-regulation is fundamentally different from self-control: it seeks to reduce troublesome impulses, not to inhibit them.
- Self-regulation is about understanding, not “monitoring and managing” emotions, thoughts and behaviour: in ourselves and others.
- We all self-regulate, though sometimes in ways that are maladaptive: i.e., that lead to even greater stress down the road.
Self-Reg is not a program. It is an ongoing, lifelong, process of understanding stress-behaviour and involves interrelated practices for maintaining a healthy energy/tension balance.
Shanker Self-Reg® looks at stress across 5 Domains of Self-Reg: biological, emotion, cognitive, social, and prosocial.
Self-Reg includes recognizing what calm feels like for yourself as well as what it feels like to become overstressed.
The ultimate Self-Reg goal is to help children acquire the necessary understanding of when and how to manage their own energy and tension, so they can adapt to the ever-changing and increasing stresses of life. But Self-Reg is also personal. If we are going to “lend students our calm,” we first have to understand our own stress and know how to manage our own energy and tension.
Self-Reg can help us understand and respond to the roots of behaviour, learning, motivation and social problems in all students and adults.
Blue Brain: When prefrontal systems that support thinking and
self-awareness are dominant.
Red Brain: When subcortical systems in the limbic system are dominant.
Gray Brain: Where survival mechanisms in the brain stem are dominant.
Stress Behaviour: Excess stress is causing behaviour. The child does not choose to act that way.
Misbehaviour: The child chooses to act a certain way even though they are aware they should not, and could have chosen/acted differently. Co-Regulation: When two people instinctively adjust to and regulate one another’s behaviour (mood, emotions, language) via bi-directional interactive signals and behaviours.
Co-Reg: The shared state of calmness that results when we reframe another’s behaviour and help them shift from maladaptive to restorative modes of self-regulation.
Calm: A physiological/psychological state in which: the brain is producing alpha waves; digestion and restorative metabolic processes are activated; muscles are relaxed; heart-rate and breathing have slowed; blood pressure is lower; the stress-response is muted; the mind is quiet. In this neurophysiological state endogenous opioids are released, producing feelings of peacefulness and contentedness.
Limbic System: The subcortical structures involved in reactive behaviours and emotions. The limbic system monitors the environment for safety and danger and is also the source of some of our strongest social and prosocial urges.