In our Playing Nice in the Sandbox workshop, we discuss the Amygdala Hijack. The Amygdala is the part of the brain that is our “Air Traffic Controller…and serves to regulate our emotions.”
Have you ever been angry with someone and said something you regretted? If so, your Amygala was hijacked. The “hijack” occurs when your body reacts without thinking (without consulting the frontal lobe) when faced with a potential threat.”
According to PREP Prevention, Relationship, Enhancement, Program) for Individuals, Inc., there are four ways to prevent an Amygdala Hijack. They are:
Stop. Stop the discussion before you further damage the relationship.
Breathe. By taking a deep breath, we force oxygen to our brain, which in turn, soothes the amygdala by telling it there is no real threat.
Pause and Appreciate. Think of things to do be thankful for. This causes the brain to cease seeing the other person as a threat.
Seek Information (ask questions). Asking questions switches our brain into learning mode which allows our frontal lobe to re-engage.
The next time you begin feeling bothered by someone or something, announced to yourself, “A-Alert!”