The Resilient Zone

The Resilient Zone is when we are in a place to be able manage our feelings and thoughts. The Resilient Zone can also be called the “OK” Zone.

Below is a picture to help explain the Resilient or “OK” Zone. The curved red line is our thoughts and emotions. The straight blue line is the edge of the Resilient or “OK” zone.
If we are able to keep our thoughts and emotions inside the blue lines, we say we are “in the Resilient or “OK” Zone”.

Graphic of a wavy line inside the "Resilient Zone".

We are able to have many different thoughts and emotions. When we are in the Resilient zone or “OK” Zone we can be sad, mad, happy, calm, worried, or distressed. We are able to manage the thoughts and feelings that we have when we are in the Resilient or “OK” Zone.

Graphic of a wavy line with faces representing emotions from happy and calm, to Angry and Scared.

Sometimes things in our life can move us out of our Resilient Zone or “OK” Zone. When we are moved out of this zone it can make it harder for us to cope or do things in our life. We may react without thinking first. We may also do things that are harmful to ourselves or others.

Below is a picture showing what it might look like if someone moves out of their resilient zone. The green line is where the person is in their Resilient or “OK” Zone. The red lightning bolt is a stressful event in their life. The blue lines are the edges of their resilient zone.

Graphic of a wavy line that is going outside of the Resilient Zone.

We can learn ways to make our Resilient Zone or “OK” Zone bigger. The bigger our zone is, the more resilient we are. If the person above is able to build their resilience and make their Resilient or “OK” Zone bigger, they are able to handle stressful events and stay in their zone. Below is a picture of the same person as above who was able to make their zone bigger.

Graphic of a wavy line that is staying inside the Resilient Zone.


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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.