"Window of Tolerance" a term coined by Dr. Dan Siegel is now commonly used to understand and describe normal brain/body reactions, especially following adversity. The concept suggests that we have an optimal arousal level when we are within the window of tolerance that allows for the ebb and flow (ups and downs of emotions) experienced by human beings. We may experience hurt, anxiety, pain, and anger that bring us close to the edges of the window of tolerance but generally, we are able to utilize strategies to keep us within this window. Similarly, we may feel too exhausted, sad, or shut down but we generally shift out of this. Below is a diagram demonstrating the ebb and flow of an optimally regulated nervous system experiencing activation followed by settling.
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