How Do Emotions Rule Over Our Minds?

Many clients come to TLC with a range of struggles. Interestingly we see some clients who are either highly emotional and have regular meltdowns or are rather unaffected by life and seem to coast right through.

This is called Interoception. It is our internal compass, it is what regulates us. The lack of connection has been suggested to underlie anxiety, depression, panic disorder, OCD, ASD and many others.

The brain receives messages from all over the body to be interpreted by the brain. Do you happen to know anyone who has bed wetting issues or gut issues? We have studies that prove that the gut-brain connection and bladder brain connection are part of this system. The cardiorespiratory system, nociceptive system, endocrine and immune systems as well are involved in this system.

Awareness of internal body states

  • Interoception skills required for self-regulation
  • Awareness of own feelings and emotions
  • Awareness of external stimuli on internal body states, feelings and emotions

A lack of awareness or understanding of physical internal bodily cues for students with learning and behaviour difficulties may be an implication of a core factor in emotional overload, shutdowns, meltdowns, survival and challenging behaviour.

When our therapies begin to take effect, we see changes in these processes. These new pathways allow for the sensory processing and prediction of internal bodily states. When we ‘hook up’ these systems they begin to either create problems with meltdowns or clients begin to feel different, feel changes in anxiety levels or problems with regulation. This really isn’t different from before just that there are more feelings, that the person hasn’t got the skills for yet. Meltdowns can still occur but now have more of a reason, like a fear of school.

Can you blame them when they are struggling for years behind their peers? They begin to realise this and may struggle to cope. It could be that they have never shown anxiousness before, but it was always there, underlying, it comes to the fore.  This is where we step in to support.

Now is the time to begin teaching appropriate reactions to situations, develop coping strategies (that usually don’t need to be used for long if therapies continue).

Here are the 3 R on how to develop self-regulation depends on their sensory profile:


  • Allow them space to withdraw safely
  • Deep pressure to help calm.
  • Provide a different environment that is calming and safe to calm down.


  • Be gentle in tone when talking
  • Make no demands
  • Voice that you see them not copying and that they are safe and have time to calm down


  • When calm and only when calm analyses the lead up to the event of overwhelm. Try to identify triggers, ask for their solutions to avoid or lessen the triggers (triggers are usually hunger, lack of movement, sound or visual or another person).
  • Talk about how these strategies can be put in place- or watch nonverbal cues.
  • Empower the child, have their back during this time.

Practice is required to ensure you are able to put your emotions and expectations aside and assist your child to cope in their current situation. To begin to develop skills will be one of the best gifts we can give our children.

If we go into Reason – talk mode immediately during this time, it will be ineffectual. The brain connections at this point are not working efficiently. Anxiety shrinks the Hippocampus impacting on the ability to process memory and emotions. By undertaking the 3 R’s we can being to develop strategies for self-regulation.

Checking out of emotions as best you can is highly beneficial to decrease the time the person in meltdown. More information on ways to develop strategies to assist in self-regulating will follow.

Book a complimentary 1-hour phone or video consultation with one of our therapists to see how we can help.

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