If you notice you’re in the yellow zone, you can:
• Remind yourself that this is a nervous system response. You can say “thank you” to your body for trying to protect you, and remind yourself it’s okay to be feeling this way.
• Do something calm and relaxing:
Because being in the yellow zone means that your nervous system is sending a ‘danger’ alert, doing something that is calming helps to remind it that it’s safe. Curling up in a quilt or weighted blanket and rocking yourself in a chair, taking a warm shower or bubble bath with a few drops of essential oils, hugging a stuffed animal or pillow, going for a walk in nature, listening to calming music, or massaging your hands slowly with lotion are all things that can help calm you back down.
• Take action:
Sometimes you can feel too stressed or full of anxious energy in the yellow zone and the idea of calming down feels impossible. This could be because of the ‘fight or flee’ urge that your nervous system is sending you.
It can be helpful to ask yourself “What does my body want to do right now?” and see what the impulse is.
If the urge is to fight or to hit something or push something, see if you can find a healthy way to do that. That could be by punching some pillows, throwing those pillows against the ground, or placing your palms against a wall and pushing as hard as you can for a while.
If the urge is to run, you could go for a run! Or if that’s too much for you, you could even just sit on a chair, and let your arms and legs gently mimic the movement of running, gently and slowly stomping your feet against the ground or swinging your arms. Once the impulse is gone, do something to calm and ground.
• Ground yourself:
Being in the yellow zone can make you feel on edge. Grounding yourself back to the present moment can help remind your nervous system to calm down. You can do this through mindful breathing and meditation. Click here or here for example.
• Notice your thoughts:
A lot of times in the yellow zone, anxious or worry thoughts can take over. Click here to go through how to work with your thoughts, and includes a super helpful app you can download for free.
Exercise can be so helpful to release anxious energy, regain a sense of control, and calm the nervous system. For the yellow zone, something that can be helpful is shaking that energy out. You can put on your favourite music and dance it out, do some yoga, jump on the spot or with a jump rope, or just stand and shake each body part on the spot. (See QR codes/links below for some examples)