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The amygdala hijack.

Amygdala Hijack: when emotion takes over

When stress makes you feel strong emotions like aggression, frustration or anger, it often results in a sudden, illogical, and irrational overreaction to the situation.

A hijack happens when a situation causes your amygdala to take control of your response to stress. The amygdala disables the frontal lobes and activates the fight-or-flight response. Without the frontal lobes, you can’t think clearly, make rational decisions, or control your responses. Control has been 'hijacked' by the amygdala.

Symptoms of amygdala hijack can be eased or stopped by consciously activating your frontal cortex - the rational, logical part of your brain. It might sound too simple, but in this situation one of the most effective things you can do is take a long, deep breath. A breath gives your brain a chance to level out.

Learning how to tell the signs of a pre-hijack is also essential to help you avoid a reaction that might cause a risk to your recovery. Developing awareness in these situations will create an emotional first aid kit to help you get back into rational thinking.