The “Window of Tolerance”

Danielle DuskaPsychotherapy

Every person has a range where their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours are regulated, we can refer to this range as their “window of tolerance.”

When we are within the range of our window of tolerance we can effectively communicate, observe our thinking patterns, and mediate our behaviours. 

When we move either above or below our window of tolerance it can be difficult to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, oftentimes signifying that we’ve become dysregulated. 

Becoming dysregulated is part of the human experience, however knowing how to move yourself from a dysregulated state (i.e. outside of your window of tolerance) to a regulated one (i.e. inside your window of tolerance) is a powerful skill.

Here are some questions to start learning about your window of tolerance: 

  1. Become familiar with your window of tolerance – what happens when you move above/below it? What triggers move you outside of it?
  2. What are the consequences when you interact with other people when you are outside of your window of tolerance?
  3. When you are above/below your window of tolerance: what coping skills can you engage in to move back into it?

If you are interested in learning more about your window of tolerance or are wanting to develop skills to regulate your thoughts, emotions, and/or behaviours, you can book a complimentary consultation at or by calling 403-454-7600.