When I first decided to go into coaching, I said that I wanted to help people with "self-regulation," but very few people got what I meant by that. I figured it was something they teach to kids in schools these days, so it should be pretty basic right?
Self-regulation is a fancy word for controlling your own emotions, behaviors and physical state. This can be a challenge for those of us who are highly excitable because we experience the world so intensely!
We are starting to see the importance of teaching this to kids, but for adults it's assumed we already know how to do this. But let me tell you, I think this is something most of us struggle with. We may not be exploding or throwing tantrums, but it is likely we may be turning things in on ourselves and making ourselves sick.
Self-regulation is not about being something you are not, or ignoring the negative to focus only on rainbows and unicorns. According to this post on self-regulation in Psychology Today:
"Behaviorally, self-regulation is the ability to act in your long-term best interest, consistent with your deepest values. (Violation of one's deepest values causes guilt, shame, and anxiety, which undermine well being.) Emotionally, self-regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you're upset and cheer yourself up when you're down."
The problem is that when you get too revved up, or when your energy is depleted, it can be a challenge to find that optimal state in which you can make decisions that are "consistent with your deepest values."
When under stress, our fight, flight or freeze brain kicks in and can undermine our ability to think clearly and objectively.
You can build your own Power Zone Toolkit to help you develop tools that you can have at the ready when you find yourself thrown off course. In order to start building your toolkit, you must first consider what each zone looks like for you, and what strategies you already know help to get you back into "The Zone."
In "The Zone" - When you are in the Power Zone, you are harnessing your own immense power! You feel connected to what is happening and in flow. You are in a state of calm alert. What does that look like for you personally? What strategies help you get in or stay in "The Zone"?
Revved Up - When you are revved up, you might feel restless or even anxious or angry. You lack focus and your fight, flight or freeze mechanism may kick in. When you are in survival mode, your rational brain shuts down, so having calming tools at the ready will help you to get back in "the zone." What does that look like for you personally? What strategies help you get back to a calm and alert state?
Feeling Down - When you are feeling down, your energy is low. You might be sad or depressed or just drained. It is hard for you to muster the energy to do the things that you know will pick you back up again. You may get in a cycle where you know what to do, but can't follow through. What does that look like for you personally? What strategies help you to regain your energy?
I created the Power Zone Toolkit to provide you with tools to help you:
- Ground yourself when you're feeling restless or out of control,
- Raise yourself up when you're feeling down, and
- Keep your best tools at hand to pull you out of stressful brain shut-down.