The emotional system is defined as a dynamical system that has neurological and biochemical structures that force the system to change in a regular and consistent way. This dynamic view allows for an alternative definition of emotion regulation, which describes when emotion regulation is needed, identifies its goal, and illustrates how regulation is achieved. The thesis developed here is that feelings - the private mental experience of emotion - play a crucial role in emotion regulation. Specifics of regulation are discussed and a parallel with parent-child interaction is drawn. It is shown that emotion regulation can be studied by looking at the variability of feelings. An illustrative application (N = 30, age 10-13 years) shows that variability of anger is associated with the core executive function response inhibition.