Window of Tolerance

Every individual has what is known as a ‘window of tolerance’. This means that there is a state of physical and emotional arousal that is tolerable and bearable, and when a person is within his or her window of tolerance, she or he can think, learn, love and relax. Most people can identify times when they have been outside the boundaries of their window of tolerance. At these times thinking or behaviour has become disrupted by intensified emotional and physiological arousal. Behaviours during these times are not normally chosen, and a lack of flexibility in responses is common. Either excessive rigidity or chaos are typical during these dysregulated episodes.

Here are the stages of behaviours :

  1. Hyperarousal
    – Abnormal state of increased responsiveness
    – Feeling anxious, angry and out of control
    – You may experience wanting to fight or run away
  2. Dysregulation
    – When you start to deviate outside your window of tolerance you start to feel agitated, anxious, or angry.
    – You do not feel comfortable but you are not out of control yet.
  3. Window of Tolerance
    – Where you are at a balanced and calm state of mind
    – Feel relaxed and in control
    – In this zone you are able to function most effectively
    – Able to take on any challenges life throws at you
  4. Dysregulation
    – You start to feel overwhelmed, your body might start shutting down and you could lose track of time.
    – You don’t feel comfortable but you are not out of control yet.
  5. Hypoarousal
    – Abnormal state of decreased responsiveness
    – Feeling emotional numbness, exhaustion, and depression
    – You may experience your body shutting down or freeze.

What causes window of tolerance to shrink?

– Stress and trauma can cause your window of tolerance to shrink.

What causes window of tolerance to expand?

  • Meditation, listening to music, or engaging in hobbies can expand your window of tolerance.

Reference :


3 Comments Add yours

    1. GS says:

      Thank you for sharing

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a joy and pleasure to read and share your posts with followers, My Dear! Hope you have a great day!! 😘💕🎁🌹

        Liked by 1 person

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