Dr. Shanker defines self-regulation like this:
Self-Regulation refers to how people manage energy expenditure, recovery and restoration in order to enhance growth, meet challenges, and make best use of their knowledge, understandings and skills in various situations Effective self-regulation requires learning to recognize and respond to stress in all its many facets, positive as well as negative, hidden as well as overt, minor as well as traumatic or toxic.
Self-Reg is a powerful method for understanding stress and managing our energy flow in order to promote self-regulation.
The practice of Shanker Self-Reg helps people understand and respond to others (and themselves) by considering self-regulation across five interrelated domains: biological, emotion, cognitive, social, and prosocial using The Shanker Method™:
- Reframe the behavior
- Recognize the stressors (across the five domains)
- Reduce the stress
- Reflect: Enhance stress awareness
- Respond: Develop personalized strategies to promote resilience and restoration
Self-Reg is a valuable and accessible tool for children, youth, and adults as well as people who care about and work with them.
The neuroscience is giving us new understandings about the Self-Reg wisdom naturally embedded in all cultures. We are deeply interested in particular these days in what we can learn from Indigenous peoples in Canada about self-regulation. Many Elders have told us that Self-Reg has many similarities to the holistic worldview of Indigenous cultures. In particular the interconnectedness of the social, emotional, mental and physical well-being of people as is represented in a multitude of ways across Indigenous cultures, one example of which is the Medicine Wheel, is reflected in Dr. Shanker’s 5 Domains of Self-Reg.
Self-Reg Across the Lifespan
Self-regulation is not just a story of the early years; the science is revealing insights across the lifespan from the pre-natal months into the senior years. Enhancing an individual’s ability to regulate has a dramatic impact, not only on the child or teen’s well-being and capacity to learn, but an equally dramatic impact on the well-being of parents and educators.