Emotional Magic of the Emotional Raincoat!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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


7 thoughts to “Emotional Magic of the Emotional Raincoat!”

  1. Terrific work! That is the kind of info that should be shared across the net. Shame on Google for now not positioning this post higher! Come on over and consult with my site . Thank you =)

  2. Hi Bette,
    Thanks so much for the reminder of the emotional rain coat.
    Having been hip deep in red zone family issues for several months, it’s a timely reminder to take control of the situation by protecting myself from family barbs and hooks in the same way that I protect myself from the elements. Also reminding myself that some days the “weather” is so bad it’s best to just stay home!

    1. Barbara, I am so glad you were able to use the Emotional Raincoat. It’s a powerful technique to support how hard you have worked in bringing your Life into the Green Zone! Good for you!
      It is always great to hear from you. Thanks for your comments!

  3. Hi Bette, I love the analogy of an emotional raincoat though I’m not sure if my method qualifies as it’s very broad.
    I was once listening to an interview with Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist, and he was talking about performing. He said he viewed performance as a kind of hospitality where the listeners are his guests and everyone is there for the purpose of communing together in a special moment – it’s not a test of his skill or strength. He stressed that it was about sharing rather than perfection and I found this VERY helpful.
    I have a hard time shedding the belief I need to be perfect and I found his idea of ‘sharing’ much more loving and forgiving – it turns the focus outward rather than inward. Now I try to relieve the pressure of doubt and anxiety by refocusing on how good it feels to share what I have/know with others, instead of being overwhelmed by the question of whether it’s good enough.

    1. Aisha, thank you for that brilliant and gentle technique. I think many others would find it helpful as well!
      In using these techniques we are discussing in our Blog, we are simply trying to find a variety of ways that work to buffer us against stress and control our inner critical thinking!
      Again thank so much for sharing!

  4. Simple yet so helpful to use~ Thanks Bette!
    Sometimes (thankfully not often) I have days that I think I need one of those whole wader outfits that people use for standing in the water fishing 🙂 Susan

    1. Hi Susan, it is simple, as many things are in life, but because they are simple we dismiss them and don’t give them enough consideration or space in our emotional toolkit.
      I can’t tell you how many people have loved and used this concept. It has been life changing for me as well, which is why I use it again and again…
      Susan, your analogy of the waders is a keeper! such a powerful visual! thank you!
      warmest regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *