Cluster of connections
Who and what nourishes you? Make a list of who you are connected to and listen to your body as you think of these people. Who do you feel most connected to, safe and supported? Who is in your support circle? What activities connect you? Call upon these when in red and blue zones.
Work out whys?
In this zone you are using your rationale brain. Spend some time whilst in green to work out what triggers you to move to other zones: Is it when you are hungry? Too little physical activity? Insufficient sleep? Too much sleep? Not spending time pursuing passions? Not connecting with people? When spending time with particular people? When a certain task needs doing? Make a list of whys and once you’ve worked out the whys, can you problem solve them to find a solution?
How satisfied are you with your sleep? Too much or too little sleep can lead to the mind and body being pulled out of green more easily.Go to sleep strategies
Pieces of pie chart
Draw a pie chart of the time you spend in each zone. What does this look like? How big is each piece? What does it tell you? What actions do you want to take as you look at this? It may be that you want to increase the time you spend in yellow or green? Who can help you to take those actions? Pie charts can be drawn at the end of a day or the end of a week.
Practise getting good at this exercise when you are calm so you can use it when you find your mind and body being pulled out of green.Mindful breathing instructional video
Compassionate connections to others
When we feel regulated in our green zones we can see dysregulation (red and blue zone) behaviours in other people and view this with kindness. Recognise what zone other people may be in and use a compassion statement to send compassion to them. For example: “I’m here for you, I’m listening”. Be visible and available to them if it is safe to do so. Simply being physically present in a supportive and calm way helps affected people feel safer and more able to cope. If you cannot be physically present make connections via phone or video call so they can hear your compassionate tone of voice and see your facial expressions.
Make compassion part of your day regularly. See the people in blue and red not as bad or unworthy but with compassion, they are pulled into survival and you can send cues of safety towards them. Emotional dysregulation is a normal human experience. More moments of compassion will deepen your green zone and help you to move out of other zones into green quicker.
Compassionate connections to self
In green we can also connect with our own dysregulation in red and blue and use self-compassion. What words of compassion do you tell yourself when your mind and body are pulled into red or blue to survive? Can you come up with a compassion statement to tell your self when you get pulled into red or blue? Use your name in this statement as talking to yourself in the third person is shown to help bring you into green. For example: “It’s okay Katie, this feeling will pass, you are doing a great job”. More moments of compassion will deepen your green zone and help you to move out of other zones into green quicker.
Green goals and intentions
What goals can you set to help you to stay in green? Think about what triggers your mind and body to get pulled into red and blue? Set yourself some intentions. For example:
- If I feel the beginning of disconnection then I will send a text to my friend
- If I feel workload increasing then I will take a break
- If I am given a task I do not feel I can do I will speak to my colleagues or manager
Take a snapshot of moments when you feel safe and experiences when you get a sense of connection. Capture the moment in your minds eye and hold it, take a 20/30 second snapshot during your natural flow of the day. Look for a green moment to savour and practise savouring snapshots. Start with getting one, then five to ten snapshots a day and then increase to 20, 30 and so on. You may like to keep a joy journal, which allows you to reflect at end of day and add in any moments you may have missed. You can find a savouring friend to share each others moments with, organise a savouring circle, create a savouring album, challenge yourself and others to see and savour a certain number of moments each day.
When you feel safe you can look at others in the world and see compassion. Bring your attention to everyday things that strengthen your mind and body’s pathways to the green zone. Keep a gratitude list, find ways to express gratitude, such as say thank you and return the favour. You can use breath to deepen gratitude, imagine your nervous system supporting gratitude, tie it to breath, breathe in with a moment you are grateful for and breathe out with a word that expresses gratitude. Gratitude grows over time and is often easier to access than compassion.
Loosen the grip on emotions
Practise this exercise when calm so you can use it easier when your mind and body get pulled out of green.Loosen the grip on emotions video
Green and flowering
Create connection with nature to help shape your mind and body towards green. How can you connect with nature? To bring nature inside can you have flowers or plants in the office? How can you move closer to flowers and green? Head outside, find the green spaces around home and work. Find your way to water, locate where you can go to be near water.