Having a calm, centered, and engaged mindset can help you focus, learn, and engage positively with the world around youⁱ. The figure below describes Bruce Perry’s “3 Rs”ii approach to access the “learning brain,” which begins with the crucial step of regulation. To maintain overall mental well-being, individuals should be:
Figure from Pate (2020), Strategies for Trauma-Informed Distance Learningiii
Everyone has a “window” in which they can remain resilient to stress. Within this window, we can function and thrive in everyday life. We feel emotionally physically and emotionally calm and settled – handling whatever challenges come our way. When stress or other factors push us outside of the bounds of our personal window of tolerance and resilience, mental and emotional dysregulation is likely to occur. Depending on your brain’s response, dysregulation may show up as hyper- or hypo-arousal. It is when we are in these dysregulated states that we experience “fight, flight, or freeze” effectiv.
By noticing how you are feeling, you can choose an appropriate strategy to help your brain return to a more regulated state.
View this page with research references for the strategies suggested on this site.