Retrain Your Brain to Learn from an Amygdala Hijack

Veterinary Team Brief

“I can’t believe you said that to me! How dare you interrupt my conversation! I hope you get fired!” Sound like an irate client or employee? Sound a little bit like yourself on a bad day? Sometimes you just want to explode on someone when they “push your buttons,” but you don’t even realize the subconscious threat of the amygdala hijack currently taking place in your brain.

Intense emotional circumstances like the ones outlined above can trigger a “fight-or-flight” response in the human brain. When this happens, rather than thinking through a problem and acting on it using reason, the emotions that occur can take over and cause us to act too quickly or irrationally. If you’ve ever said or done something in the “heat of the moment” that you later regretted you were probably the victim of an amygdala hijack.

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