The Window of Tolerance and Emotional Regulation


When was the last time you lost your cool? 

Going on the Window of Tolerance rollercoaster, up and down over and over for extended periods of time is a sure way to reach burnout.

Source: Triggers⁣
Problem: Dysregulation⁣
Goal: staying in our window of tolerance⁣

Emotional regulation is the ability to manage your emotional responses.

“When something happens, our brain’s automatic response is to be reactive. When our amygdala, the small part of our brain that regulates fight or flight is set off, we have to avoid taking the bait of our raw emotional reactions that make us want to overreact,” says Kris Lee, Ed.D., a professor at Northeastern University, behavioral science expert. 

Kris says that "with emotional regulation, we can allow the initial upsurge of emotions to settle down and zoom out of the situation before reacting to it. The increased time gap between stimulus and response restores the mental faculties that involve rational thinking and reasoning. As a result, we can save ourselves from sudden emotional breakdowns or burnout."

“Oftentimes [we] get burned out or emotionally overwhelmed, leading us to be more reactive and impulsive,” Kris says. “One of the best strategies to reduce reactivity and promote emotional regulation is engaging in regular, deliberate self-care.”

“A more well-rested, exercised, nourished and emotionally connected person will have a greater sense of resilience and their brain will be less apt to be impulsively driven,” Kris says.

Resilience encompasses an easier and smoother bouncing back into the window of tolerance whenever triggered. ⁣

Here are some ways to hone in on emotional regulation:

  • Take in a deep breath to interrupt the flow of overwhelm, and create some space between you and the circumstance at hand
  • Focus on what emotions are coming up by noticing what you're feeling, and proceed naming those emotions and feelings as they surface
  • Tune into whatever physical sensations those emotions are creating, and accept these sensations and emotions as they are, as an observer.

⁣We can’t live IN the window of tolerance always and forever, no growth happens there. Life would be really bland without growth. ⁣

Resilience is what helps us get off the nerve wrecking rollercoaster and ride the waves of growth, in a constructive manner.⁣

For a deeper discussion on this for deeper healing and a connection with like-minded people going through the same journey, join the Hand in Hand Healing Collective - it begins this November. Link is in the Work With Me tab. See you there!

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