Emotional self-regulation is a highly popular and influential topic amongst researchers, educators, and practitioners. In the fields of developmental, education or learning, and affective sciences, some confusion and disagreement remain as to how to define and measure emotional self-regulation. For example, the terms self-control, effortful control, executive functioning, and emotion regulation are often used interchangeably or haphazardly, although there are important distinctions between these terms or constructs. Thus, we clarify definitional issues and review major theoretical frameworks in the study of emotional self-regulation. We also present a heuristic model on the role of emotional self-regulation processes in school success. As part of our heuristic model, we call for a holistic view of school success so that engagement and achievements in the social, emotional, academic, and school-based extracurricular domains are all valued as components of success at school. We provide empirical support for the pathways in our model through review of the extant research literature, showing that emotional self-regulation processes are linked to school success indirectly through social-emotional and behavioral competencies. We conclude by providing recommendations for future directions for research, intervention, and practice. Specifically, we call for the use of evidence-based approaches that integrate whole-school, whole-class, and whole-child supports and social emotional learning (SEL) interventions aimed at emotional self-regulation processes and social-emotional and behavioral skills in the context of in- and out-of-school contexts and across academic and extracurricular domains.