Have you ever had the experience of completely ‘losing it’ whether it’s your temper or your capacity to think clearly? Well you might have been in the grip of an amygdala hijack! First coined by Danial Goleman, in his book the term gives an explanation for what might be happening to us when our brain shuts down.
So here is a quick summary of the theory: the amygdala is a part of the brain that acts as the emotional ‘sentinel’, enabling us to respond to stimuli in emergencies. This survival mechanism gives us the ability to react to things before our rational brain has time to mull things over. Any strong emotion can trigger the amygdala and impair our working memory, so our powerful emotions can override or overwhelm our rationality. That’s what’s happening when you’re having an amygdala hijack! When we are upset or stressed, it’s different to think straight. And it’s part of the explanation for why we lose our IQ when we lose our EQ.
Not a happy picture, but there are things you can do to minimise the power of an amyglda hijack. We’ll be blogging about it this month, so keep an eye on our page and look out for these newsletter to help you have an emotionally intelligent summer!
You can find our learning lunch on this topic here More than IQ