How do we impact our Window of Tolerance

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From Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness:

“This brings us to the window of tolerance—a zone that lies between the two extremes of hyper-and hypoarousal.

The window of tolerance is tied to cognitive processing.

With hyperarousal, our cognitive processing tends to be disorganized and in disarray. There’s too much stimulation, and it often becomes difficult to pay attention.

  

With hypoarousal, our cognitive processing becomes disabled. It’s hard to think clearly, and people often report feeling spacey, removed, and unable to concentrate.

This is one reason trauma survivors can have difficulty functioning in their daily lives: disorganized and disabled cognitive processing makes everyday tasks difficult, especially those that involve executive skills such as planning, decision making, and organizing daily activities.

I’ve worked with clients who, in the aftermath of a traumatic experience, felt like they’d lost their ability to manage and control their minds and lives.”

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My two cents: How can we impact our window of tolerance?

One full proof way is to engage in vigorous aerobic exercise, pushing yourself.

Go swim, hike, run, etc. The achievement and exhilaration are shared with the mind. For hyperarousal, it calms us down, for hypoarousal, it gets a stationary body moving.

The endorphins are icing on the cake for our effort.

Meditation was my main weapon. Slowing my breath, focused and empty of thought, dissipated the cortisol and adrenaline.

It is a process, a subtle daily progression away from suffering.

I practiced when I was calm, to be ready when all hell broke loose.

You can build confidence and become friends with your nervous system.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I like the ‘subtle daily progression’ – this is a great point, thank you 😊

  2. Improving is so subtle at first

  3. Thank you for participating

    I wish more would

    My style is direct but I am a kind gentle soul on here

  4. Posted by rudid96 on June 24, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Exercise has been my saving grace. Due to the pandemic, previous exercise resources are temporarily unavailable. However my legs are strong and I can walk miles and still bike.
    Signed,
    Grateful

  5. Excellent

    Focus, letting go can also be saving grace

    Took me a while to combine everything

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