How to stop your amygdala from hijacking your emotions

by Raj Das

In the book “Powered by Me” by Neha Sangwan, the concept of amygdala hijack is explored. The amygdala, a small but powerful part of the brain that governs emotions, can sometimes override the logical thinking process and cause an intense emotional response. This can happen when the amygdala perceives a situation to be similar to a past traumatic experience and reacts accordingly. This article discusses the steps to soothe the amygdala and manage these intense reactions.

The first step in managing an amygdala hijack is to pause and take a deep breath. By giving yourself a moment to recognize the intensity of your emotions, you can regain control and prevent yourself from acting impulsively. This pause allows you to engage with your emotions and understand their underlying causes.

The second step is to get curious. By opening up the pathway between your amygdala and your frontal cortex, you can think and feel simultaneously. This curiosity helps you move through your anger in a healthier and more productive way. Understanding the root cause of your anger allows you to meet yourself with kindness and compassion.

It is important to note that anger can sometimes be directed towards oneself. In situations where anger is self-directed, it is crucial to avoid blaming and criticizing oneself. Instead, practicing self-compassion, grace, and forgiveness can be the antidote to self-directed anger. Taking accountability and recognizing one’s part in a situation can help break patterns of negative self-talk.

By following these steps, individuals can manage their emotional responses and prevent themselves from being overwhelmed by an amygdala hijack. Understanding the biological basis of intense emotions and learning to navigate them with compassion can lead to healthier and more fulfilling interactions with oneself and others.

Overall, the concept of amygdala hijack provides valuable insights into the biological and emotional processes that drive our reactions. By becoming aware of and managing these intense emotional responses, individuals can cultivate greater emotional intelligence and improve their overall well-being.

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