My Mindset

Psychology & Global Consultancy

Mindfulness practice; in Amygdala hijacking

1. August 2016 Ikke kategoriseret 0

You can train your brain through Mindfulness meditation practices to be less emotionally reactive, there by being able to comprehend more complicated situations, and comprehend difficult scenarios, such as serious crisis and other threats.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Even, by Mindfulness practice it helps you bounce back better and sooner from amygdala hijacking than if you were not practicing Mindfulness. Amygdala hijack hangover is very possible, but it doesn´t have to be a long term hangover. By Mindfulness meditation your parasympathetic nervous system will be activated by the practice which brings you inner peace again, furthermore with long term practice trains you to be less emotional reactive and more in touch with the locus of control.

“You make problem, you have problem”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness Meditation

What can  happen is as the Amygdala is responsible for your emotional reactions, the amygdala hijacks your neo cortex in stressors such as a threats of physical or emotional integrity, threatening emails, your boss´s anger, your being bullied and etc. It´s a pretty similar to the feeling that you meet a gorilla in the middle of Times Square and it´s totally overloading your cognitive system. You know there is no rationality in it but your logic is overridden with emotions. You feel you will become someone’s breakfast. You think; do I want to be eaten or eat? It´s the fight or flight response. In the Times Square case most likely you run as fast as you can from the gorilla, hence from your boss you can´t so easily run, except if he fires you which causes second trauma.

“One practical way to do this is to look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

Hence, if your data is hijacked, your cyber bullied and/or your personal integrity is threatened by the amygdala hijacking, most likely your logical mind starts to work and little by little your emotional system gets drained as the pressure and stress increases. At first you might not realise what impact this can have. After months of more threats and violation of your personal integrity, by being an observer only, as you try to ignore by the wise advice, your parasympathetic system is looking for normalisation. The sympathetic nervous system is transferring it´s role to the parasympathetic nervous system. By Mindfulness you can create some space from the actual stimulus and get your old peaceful feeling again little by little – You can gain your life again.

“Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.”
Amit Ray

If you get angry and feel the world is un-just using the Mindfulness skill from Thomas Jefferson can be useful, calm down by counting, you calm down your nervous system. If your rather angry count to 10, if your really angry count to 100. Furthermore, by being aware of your inner process and how you can control your own response brings you inner peace. Then it´s of course a given fact that the gorilla didn´t eat you.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh, Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

Furthermore, FMRI studies have shown that there is a significant difference in the amygdala activation between those who practice Mindfulness vs. those that don´t and have been through similar experience.

“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…”
Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. 

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