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Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is a conceptual framework used to teach students self- regulation. Creating this type of system to recognise the complex feelings and states students experience improves their ability to recognise and communicate how they are feeling in a safe, non-judgement way.

The Zones of Regulation categorises states of alertness and emotions into four coloured zones:

The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored. This is when one’s body and/or brain is moving slowly or sluggishly.

The Green Zone is used to describe a regulated state of alertness. A person may describe themselves as calm, happy, focused, or content. This is the zone students generally need to be in for schoolwork and for being social. Being in the Green Zone shows control.

The Yellow Zone  is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness; however, a person has some control when in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, nervousness, confusion, and many other elevated emotions and states (such as wiggly, squirmy, or sensory seeking). The yellow is starting to lose some control.

The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness or very intense feelings. A person may experience anger, rage, explosive behaviour, panic, terror, or elation. Being in the Red Zone can be best explained by not being in control of one’s body.