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Zones of Regulation

The ZONES of Regulation

'Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.' Charles Swindoll


The Zones of Regulation is a concept to encourage the development of self-regulation and emotional control. Self-regulation is something everyone continually works on whether they realise it or not. Everyone will come across circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we can recognise when we are becoming less regulated, then we are able to do something about it to manage our feelings and move in to a healthy place. This comes quite naturally to some, but for others it is a skill that needs to be taught and then practiced. This is the goal of the Zones of Regulation.


What are the Zones?

The Zones teach self-regulation by categorising the different ways we feel and the states of alertness we experience into four coloured zones. It teaches children that every emotion you feel is ok, but it is what you do when you're in that zone that we must learn to manage. It provides strategies to teach children how to become more aware of and independent in controlling their behaviour. Children learn to identify their feelings, understand how their behaviour impacts those around them and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings. 


The Four Zones

Green Zone

When we are in the Green Zone we can be calm, happy, focused or content. This is the zone pupils generally need to be in, for schoolwork and for being social. When we are in the Green Zone, we are ready to learn.

Green Zone tools help us stay calm, focused and feeling good. These are often proactive strategies.


Blue Zone

When we are in the Blue Zone we can be sad, tired, bored, poorly. This is when one’s body and/or brain is moving slowly. Often when pupils say they are in the Blue Zone it is because they are tired.

Blue Zone tools help us to wake up our bodies, feel better, and regain focus.


Yellow Zone

When we are in the Yellow Zone we can be frustrated, anxious, excited, silly, worried and many more slightly elevated emotions. When we are in the Yellow Zone we are starting to lose some control.

Yellow Zone tools help us regain control and calm ourselves.


Red Zone

A person in the Red Zone is in a high state of alert or experiencing very intense feelings. When we are in the Red Zone we can be angry, panicking, terrified or elated. Being in the Red Zone means you have lost control of your body.

Red Zone tools help us stay safe and start to calm down.