top down or from the bottom up.

Pixabay: clip art

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“The Body Keeps the Score“:

In PTSD the critical balance between the amygdala (smoke detector) and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex (watchtower) shifts radically, which makes it much harder to control emotions and impulses.

Neuroimaging studies of human beings in highly emotional states reveal that intense fear, sadness, and anger all increase the activation of subcortical brain regions involved in emotions and significantly reduce the activity in various areas in the frontal lobe, particularly the MPFC.

When that occurs, the inhibitory capacities of the frontal lobe break down, and people “take leave of their senses”:

They may startle in response to any loud sound, become enraged by small frustrations, or freeze when somebody touches them.

Effectively dealing with stress depends upon achieving a balance between the smoke detector and the watchtower.

If you want to manage your emotions better, your brain gives you two options:

You can learn to regulate them from the top down or from the bottom up.

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