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  • Angela Tam

The Window Of Tolerance

Systemic oppression and all the isms cause our window of tolerance to be teeny tiny.

White body supremacy aka systemic oppression are the forces that seek to use whiteness as a standard and sees everything else as a deviation of that standard, deeming it wrong, bad or unworthy of acceptance and love. All QTBIPOC folx experience systemic oppression and EVERYONE is negatively impacted by it, regardless the color of your skin. Living under systemic oppression causes us to constantly be exposed to toxic stress and it sends our body into a "fight/flight/freeze/fawn/shutdown" state. This constant state of chronic activation means that our ability to tolerate shit is lower and lower.

The window of tolerance is your body's ability to stay comfortable. To stay at ease. To stay calm and grounded. To feel and tolerate stress, joy, happiness, sadness, etc. That window is normally comfortably wide if you have support, community and tools to metabolize racialized trauma and systemic oppression. Recognizing your window is the first step. How is your capacity to tolerate activation in your body? It can change depending on sleep, your eating habits, socializing opportunities and the 5 dominate nervous systems that you are exposed to everyday.

If you notice that you are having trouble "keeping it together" and moving through your stressors, I encourage you to explore these strategies:

1) Get super mindful about water, sleep, joyful movement and eating habits. These small things add up and make a difference. When you are hangry, it is hard to be in flow.

2) Practice being with your parts for a moment. Take out a piece of paper and start mapping out the different feelings and thoughts that come up. This is incredibly healing for me when I am suffering from sleeplessness.

3) Seek support. Reach out for therapists that are trauma informed and somatic in their healing. beware of therapists that talk about just shifting your "mindset" without addressing your body.

4) Cultivate community- find one or two friends that are good listeners. Ask them to practice mindful listening without the pressure to respond with a solution or problem solving.

Affirmation of the Week: "I can sit with uncomfortable parts. I am resilient and can do hard things with taking care of my body."

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