The simple answer is YES!
With time and focus you CAN widen your window of tolerance. Why is this a good thing?
It increases your resilience and keeps your prefrontal cortex (the part responsible for cognitive processing) switched on for more of life’s big and little traumas. Dissociated, or cut off emotions can be de-frosted and re-integrated into the psyche.
This means a gradual increase in the range of emotions that are tolerable without the prefrontal cortex switching off and going into hyper or hypo arousal.
With time, you will be able to deal with stress in a much healthier way.
How can I widen my window of tolerance?
The key is being able to make contact with strong emotions without becoming so overwhelmed that they cannot be integrated. The safest way to do this is with the help of a trained professional, such as a counsellor or a psychotherapist. They will be able to help increase your emotional regulation and widen your window of tolerance, thus increasing your resilience.
If you would like to start this work, know that I am available for one-on-one sessions online globally, or in person in Sydney. Click here to book.
I hope this series has been useful.
References: Ogden, P. (2009). Modulation, mindfulness, and movement in the treatment of trauma-related depression. Pat.
Siegel, D. (1999). The developing mind. New York: Guilford.