This week let’s move on to another one of my very favourite Green Zone concepts. Definitely, a central strategy in my Policy Manual, I see it as a bit of emotional magic! And our clients and our readers have also found it quick, easy and powerful. It is a concept called the Emotional Raincoat.
The Emotional Raincoat is a symbolic term for the problem-solving strategies that help protect or buffer the tension of a recurring Yellow or Red Zone situation. The strategies are designed to be specific to a situation and are best when planned in advance.
Let’s consider a couple of examples:
- One of the Emotional Raincoats I use before I start to give a presentation is taking a couple of deep, relaxing breaths. I usually say, “Anxiety in this situation is counter productive. My most important focus is the audience.” I have been saying this since I was a young presenter, now it is an extremely effective relaxation technique.
- One of our colleagues realized that his mother made a lot of critical Red Zone comments to him when he saw her on his own but not when they were with family. Instantaneously, he was able to bring their relationship into the Green Zone by asking his sister and her family, with whom he had a Green Zone relationship, to join them when they got together. His mother didn’t notice the change but he certainly did.
- On Friday afternoons after work, when Sohail is going to visit a friend, he creates his Emotional Raincoat to deal with the Red Zone traffic by calling his friend before leaving so that he does not worry if he’s late and then he listens to his favourite music in the car.
- One of our clients who is a teacher envisions that she wraps herself in a magical cloak in challenging situations. She says it reminds her of a fond childhood memory of the cloak her mother, who was a nurse, wore. She said it makes her feel loved, protected and invincible!
It may take some quiet contemplate to realize the magic in it. You may need to sit back and observe in what situations your relationships are in the Green Zone or driving you to frustration in the Yellow or the Red Zones. Few things valuable happen without hard work and persistence. So keep watching the emotional dance that your relationships do in front of your eyes! You may very well find that there is an Emotional Raincoat Remedy for each of your Yellow/Red Relationships.
Are you starting to get the idea? So each stressful person or situation will have a specific Emotional Raincoat. (Some Red Zone situations are so bad they need a rain hat, umbrella and boots!!)
Until next week, wishing you peace in your Green Zone!
Bette Davis RN BN MN