For many people, life is chaotic. If it’s not one thing it’s another, and it can feel like you’re riding a roller-coaster on a daily basis. Relationships, work, life admin…it can all be tumultuous. Therapists often hear clients plead for life to get more simple.
It’s a curiosity that we tend to look outside ourselves and want the world to change, when the most impactful changes that can be made are inside. We each have a ‘window of tolerance’ - this describes the range of emotions/sensations we can tolerate without either becoming activated into fight/flight, or closing down into a shut down response. When life is continually chaotic, it is telling us that our window is constricted, and we are unable to handle the challenges that are coming our way.
While it’s always useful to hold in mind a future which is what we want, it is also prudent to do the work inside to make it so. Learning how to expand your window of tolerance and to feel calm and balanced through more intense emotions and feelings lessens the panicky and chaotic experiences, making them less frequent and less full on. The more discomfort you can tolerate while grounded, the less chaos you will feel, even in the same or similar circumstances.
There are many ways of expanding your window of tolerance, including learning how to ground yourself, using mindfulness and lifestyle factors like exercise, sleep and nutrition. However, we learn to regulate ourselves primarily by experiencing co-regulation with another person. Psychotherapy can offer the opportunity to experience this when it has not happened in childhood.
For support in experiencing your life more calmly, whatever it brings, get in touch.