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Amygdala Triggered? Here are 3 Ways to Calm it Down

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Our sympathetic nervous system—especially the amygdala—is truly spectacular.

When we’re in a fight for our lives, it has a considerable ability to help us protect ourselves.

What do you do when your amygdala gets triggered unnecessarily?

Because, let’s face it, sometimes our amygdala perceives something as a threat when it’s not.

When that happens, we’re left dealing with the symptoms: Sweaty palms, shallow breathing, a racing heart—even a full-on panic attack.

There are three ways to calm down the amygdala response.

First, notice and name what’s happening.

No, that won’t remove the trigger.

But acknowledging “I’ve been triggered” is a powerful start to disrupt the stress response.

Second, take a breath.

Your breath is always in your control.

Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, and then breathe out for four counts.

That massages your vagus nerve and supplies more oxygen to your brain.

Finally, take a break.

Give your body time to metabolize adrenaline and cortisol.

A break could include going for a walk—moving helps your body switch to a more relaxed state.

As powerful as the amygdala is, sometimes it triggers at the wrong time.

Luckily, practicing these techniques will help you successfully calm it down.

 


 

For more advice on calming a triggered amygdala, you can find Don’t Feed the Elephants! on Amazon.

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