• GHF CAT Team

Finding your Zone

Use the Zones of Regulation to understand feelings and to help towards being able to self-regulate and maintain emotional stability.

What you’ll need: Paper, blue, green, yellow, and red coloured paper (or if not: blue, green, yellow and red paint, pencils, or crayons)

What’s it for? This activity uses the Four Zones of Regulation to recognise and understand feelings that can often become overwhelming. By becoming aware of emotions and beginning to sort them into categories can enable some feelings of control that will consequently improve emotional resilience and relationships. Check In: Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are you thinking?

  • How does your body feel?

Method:

  • Here are the Zones of Regulation which can help you determine the category of your emotion so that you can take the initiative to manage this in the moment:


  • BLUE ZONE - sad, tired, sick, moving slowly

  • GREEN ZONE - happy, calm, feeling okay, focused, ready to learn

  • YELLOW ZONE - frustrated, worried, silly/wriggly, loss of some control

  • RED ZONE - mad/angry, terrified, yelling/hitting, elated, out of control


  • Use four separate pieces of paper for each zone with coloured paper (or colour coded white paper with blue, green, yellow and red borders - or simply paint the full page with the relevant colour and wait to dry before proceeding)

  • For each piece of paper or zone write down as many emotions as you can think of that are associated with that particular coloured zone. Include any images or pictures that might help to describe that feeling further

  • Now focus on only one zone of your choice - the one feels like the most relevant to you at the present time

  • Now think carefully about this zone. Why you have picked it?

  • For the zone you have picked, ask yourself if you've ever been in a situation that relates to this feeling zone?

  • How did you manage the situation and how did you feel afterwards?

  • Now place all the remaining pieces of paper face down on a table or surface and choose one zone

  • For this zone think about something that might happen in the future, and what would be the best way that you could react to the situation to produce a positive outcome for yourself

  • Repeat as many times as desired and attach your zones to the wall so that you can access these whenever a feeling is difficult to understand

Extra Activity: How about playing this as a game with another person in your household? If you take it in turns and listen to each others answers and perhaps think of ways together to improve the situation that you find yourself in and how to make this better.

When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you find it easy or challenging to put different emotions into categories?

  • Did it help to put emotions under headings rather than have them all building up together?

  • Do you have a zone that you would like to be in the majority of the time?

  • Do you have a zone that you would not like to be in for very long?

  • Did you discover any new feelings that you have not been mindful of before?

Conclusion: The Zones of Regulation are a social-emotional way of learning about how to respond to our own emotions which can ultimately impact those around us. Having more control and understanding about what feelings are and how they present and manifest is a positive way of learning to self-regulate and feel calmer. Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity? If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures (info@catcorner.co.uk). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities! Created by Sarah Kong © May 2021

Creative Arts Used: Art Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Literacy and Relationships If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: Rainbow Feelings: Explore your emotions and their associations with colour in a drawing of your rainbow feelings! These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely. This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).

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