Sep 01, 2021
3 mins read
This will be a recurring theme throughout my work because it is so important. It can be about life in general or a specific issue and many can run at the same time. Work / Life / Family / Sports etc.
We all need a certain amount of anxiety and stress in our lives because it makes us feel alive and helps us move forward in life. Taking on challenges at various times of our lives makes us into the person we want to be, whether we succeed or not. When that then becomes Toxic stress or anxiety then it can make us into the person we don’t want to be.
I will provide guidance and fixes later on for what I am about to describe.
Blue Brain as Rational Brain = Cause & Effect = Calm = Good decision making.
We have clarity of mind. This is where we want to reside at rest and as much as possible when not engaged in critical work. When we do not have enough information about the future events and outcomes you are prepared to say "let's see what happens". You have the belief that you have the skills to navigate anything that may occur.
Red Brain as Irrational Brain = Survival Brain = Poor decision making.
The minds primary function is to keep you safe and therefore, in the Red Zone, when you do not have enough information about future events and outcomes it creates thoughts about the worst case scenario because then it can be prepared to survive. You may find that you Catastrophise about things.
In addition "Every thought you have is real" or so you believe because that again allows you to be more prepared to take action to keep safe. We move to our natural defence mechanisms are Fight / Flight / Freeze / Submit (more on that later)
We may experience Brain Fog which is often described as "not being able to see the wood for the trees". It may seem that the thoughts that normally sit in the brain area are now circling above our heads and we can't grasp onto them.
The Red brain and Blue brain often cannot understand each other at times as they speak at different speeds and use different words. Think about trying to calm down excited kids! Or cops going to a disturbance! There is good help for this in Leading & Pacing skills (more later)
Purple Zone – the Peak Performance zone – where there is sufficient drive from the Red Zone combined with the control of the Blue Zone. You may be someone, or know of someone, who leaves work to the last minute. That is because they need the energy rush the Red Zone provides to be at their most focussed.
This is the prime area to be in when playing competitive sports. Yes different sports require different levels however all that occurs is the purple zone can move up and down the diagram or we can switch on and off from it as required.
Physically we respond to each of the 3 zones in different ways and you will have experienced that yourself as moved through the zones.
If we send too much time in the Red Zone we experience lack of sleep, unhealthy eating, reduction in exercise, increases in anxiety and depression.
If we spend too much time in the Purple Zone we experience Burn Out and exhaustion which can also be Hypervigilance, common in Police, Armed Forces and PTSD sufferers.
If we spend too much time in the Blue Zone then we are susceptible to underachieving and being bored with life.