Remember the clip from the movie "Inside Out"? What happened when the little girl was eating dinner with her parents?
Does this sound like a familiar scene from your family dinners? What do you think the girl and her parents could have done differently to take care of the neuroplasticity of the brain?
Your primitive brain prepares you to either fight, freeze or run in the hope that you are not noticed. That hunter gatherer brain is the amygdala, that responds to threats - real or imaginery. The amygdala is located in the primitive emotional center of the brain. Our primitive brain can not tell the difference between an emotional or a physical threat and goes into a flight/fight/freeze mode immediately. The prefrontal cortex helps us assess the situation and respond appropriately. Now here is the issue:
The prefrontal cortex is hijacked the minute the amygdala goes into an over stimulated mode. When the prefrontal cortex is hijacked, our fear and anger seems to run wild and we disengage our prefrontal cortex. Reactions can include the heart racing fast, going quiet, talking too much, getting closed to advice.
Sounds familiar if you have a teen?
The good news is you can reengage the prefrontal cortex.
Watch this space as we give you strategies to handle the amydala.