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For Breakthroughs International Conference (BTiC) Malaysia 2021, Professional Kinesiologist and Malaysian author Phoebe Long and Special Needs Educator from India Minaz Ajani will co-present on Co-Regulation. As Touch For Health Instructors, Movement Based Learning™ Teachers Training instructors and International Faculty Members of Breakthroughs International USA, they will be sharing on how it can be useful as a strategy for breaking the cycle of stressful reactions and allowing learning.

To illustrate what Co-Regulation is, imagine yourself driving along a bumpy road full of speedbumps. When do you apply the brake? Do you slow down and apply the brake ahead of a bump or slam on the brake inches from the bump? You have a choice.

Naturally, it’s better to apply the brake at a safe distance so that you can drive smoothly over the bumps. However, this can be achieved only if we are aware of the bumps ahead. If we fail to apply the brakes at the appropriate time, we experience a sharp jolt.

In life, we come across bumps, brakes, breaks and pitfalls, too.

A BUMP means a reaction or situation that requires appropriate response and attention.

A BRAKE constitutes taking a pause or stopping to notice ourselves and the people around us. We need to take mental brakes to avoid mental breaks.

To BREAK the vicious cycle of stressful reactions means breaking away from the usual patterns of tackling a stressful situation.

A PITFALL refers to inappropriate reactions that cause further damage in a relationship.

So, our actions and reactions serve to multiply or magnify a stressful situation.

The presentation A Brake That Breaks the Vicious Cycle in Stressful Reactions with Co-Regulation will focus on how we can address this issue through SELF-REGULATION and CO-REGULATION.

David Belford, an independent social worker, gives an interesting overview of these concepts in his article, “Co-regulation and Self-regulation” in the IMH journal.

“When we talk about regulation,” he says, “We are talking about regulating our level of arousal. Our level of arousal has to do with how calm or excited we are, and is often manifested in two ways. Outwardly, it is expressed as our feelings or emotions. Do we look calm, concerned, angry or scared? Inwardly, the higher our state of arousal, the faster our heartbeats, the shallower we breathe and the tenser our muscles are. This is the physiological or body-level response.”

Our ability to regulate our arousal level is one of the core competencies that an infant must begin to develop, because it provides the foundation that later allows us to attend to information in our environment that is useful, and to tune out what is not useful. It is crucial to self-control and, ultimately, our ability to form relationships with others in culturally acceptable ways.

Our use of co-regulation, then, is not a one-way process or just as a stepping-stone to self-regulation, but something that is both interactive and changes and evolves over time as we grow and mature.

Both self-regulation and co-regulation play important roles in our growth and development throughout our lifespan.

For better understanding, Long and Ajani have condensed these concepts into a simple formula based on their bump-brake analogy. The formula is:

2B – BP = S + C

This is translated as (Brake + Break) – (Bump + Pitfall) = Self-Regulation + Co-Regulation

The 2B – BP = S + C equation embeds a deeper message to all of us on how to establish stronger relationships and lead meaningful lives and livelihoods.

We are all living in highly stressful times and the COVID-19 pandemic has added to our stress levels. The mental health toll of the pandemic has led to increased awareness of how easily it can spiral down during times of sustained stress.

How we respond to situations and our decision to use different approaches in applying the BRAKE will determine if it is a vicious cycle or a true breakaway.

To better demonstrate how the 2B – BP = S + C formula works in such situations, Phoebe and Minaz share the allegorical life stories of Sam and Pam in their presentation.

Learn more at BTiC 2021

To learn more, be sure to sign up for Breakthroughs International Conference (BTiC) Malaysia 2021 and catch their presentation, where you will have the chance to ask questions “live” as well. To learn more about the Conference and to purchase tickets before they’re sold out, please visit: https://btic2021.online/