Self-regulation: a definition

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While there are various definitions for the key elements of self-regulation. most contain the following four elements*:

  • The ability to attain, maintain and change one’s level of arousal appropriately for a task or situation
  • The ability to formulate a goal, monitor goal-progress, adjust one’s behaviors
  • The ability to manage social interactions, to co-regulate
  • The ability to control one’s emotions

These three could also be added:

  • Awareness of one’s emotional and physical state, especially as it relates to arousal, disengagement, distress, and delight.
  • Awareness of one’s academic strengths and weaknesses,
  • Having a repertoire of strategies to tackle day-to-day challenges.