What is Resilience?

Expand your window of tolerance by cultivating interoception | 24 July 2021

What is resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to quickly and effectively respond to internal and external physical and psychological stressors as they arise and then return to a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is characterized by balance and clarity.

What is interoception?

Interoception is the felt sense of the internal state of the body. Slow mindful movement practice is an excellent vehicle for cultivating interoceptive awareness. Slow mindful movement is the key to bottom up and top-down self-regulation, slowness of movement is the key to awareness. Pausing to check in on ‘how we feel’ allows the nervous system to naturally down or up regulate and return to homeostasis.  When you know how you feel, you know what to do and will make better choices generally.  <add picture>

What is the Window of Tolerance?

The Window of Tolerance (WOT) is a model to describe how adaptive our nervous systems are.  The window of tolerance is a concept created by Dr Dan Siegel to describe the 'optimal arousal zone' of human beings. The WOT model suggests that we have an optimal arousal level. When we are within the window of tolerance there is a natural ebb and flow of emotions experienced by human beings. Extended periods outside of the WOT, either a 'hyper-arousal' or a 'hypo-arousal', can become stressful and impact on our health and well-being. 

The model proposes that the nervous system is in a dynamic homeostatic dance between a range of energetic states, primarily a sympathetic state of arousal or a parasympathetic state of rest and digest. A gradient exists within the WOT between hyper and hypo activation.

Homeostasis is when the nervous system is optimal, the middle and balanced and is characterized as being at rest, relaxed and calm.  This homeostatic arousal state is normally a natural default state. There are any number of reasons why we become stressed and find it difficult to relax. Slow mindful movement and bodywork is just one way to cultivate resilience and nervous system resilience.

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