The Amygdala Hijack – How we’ve lost control of our minds.
What do you mean, “My mental and physical health are being hijacked? Am I not in control of my own mind? If not, who is in the driver’s seat?!”
As you ask yourself these questions, I invite you to seek to understand what is happening in the brain neurology when you have experiences that create feelings and emotions of being unsafe, threatened, fearful, or negative in any way, and how you can create awareness and manage both the health of your body and your mind for healing and optimization that is sustainable and long-lasting.
How Your Brain Gets Hijacked
Under ordinary circumstances, your brain divides thoughts and emotions between two areas of the brain. The frontal lobe is in charge of reasoning, personality, judgment, awareness, and habits, such as monitoring and inhibiting your behavior, expressing your emotions, and being mentally flexible and able to create an array of many possibilities and outcomes for any experience.
Meanwhile, your amygdala (also known as your primitive brain) signals your body for fight or flight when it gets triggered by ‘danger’ signals like emotions of fear, anxiety, danger, or aggression for example. When triggered, it turns on your stress response which in turn instantly alters your brain, thyroid, metabolic, and stress hormones causing a cascade of neurological and biological alterations in order to get the body ready for survival.
The big six emotions that trigger the amygdala are:
As a thought travels through your brain, neurons fire together in distinctive ways based on the specific information being handled. Every thought you have, whether happy, sad, or indifferent, causes neurochemical changes within the hardware of your nervous system. Some are temporary while some are long-lasting. The patterns of your thoughts and emotions actually change your neurological pathways, rewiring your neurological system both in your brain and your body.
When you feel any of the ‘Big 6’ intensely or in tandem recurring events, the normal flow of signaling and the deciphering of information between your frontal lobe and your amygdala decreases, creating an inability for your brain to logically or critically assess the inflow of information. It also prevents your brain from turning off the alarms so your body can get out of survival mode.
This process causes your stress response to continue without turning off — your body can’t realize when the threat is over. The brain can’t assess the situation logically and is taken over by the amygdala center of the brain. It creates a constant state of fight or flight and a cascade of biological responses that over time lead to depression, anxiety, and practically every other chronic disease state in existence.
So how do we get out of the amygdala hijack state most of the planet is in right now?
First, we become aware of what is happening. Next, we stop the negative input creating the emotions causing the stress response. For many, this might look like abandoning TV and social media, for example. We have become a society in which we are controlled by our minds. (While our minds are being controlled by endless propaganda at every turn – social media, the news, our schools, social conditioning, even our tainted history books.)
The path to mass healing of emotional mind-rooted trauma around the world will require the awareness that we have been controlled by our own minds. Rather than our minds being our servants, they have become our masters. Once we become aware of this, we can take our sovereign power back and begin our path to healing and integration of our mind, body, and spirit. Our thoughts can literally heal our bodies or cause disease. Teaching ourselves and our children how to master their minds, their thoughts, and their perceptions of themselves and the world around them will break the chains of generational trauma once and for all.
Children and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Studies show that children who experience trauma, whether physical or emotional, are more likely to suffer with chronic disease (of every kind) and mental health disorders later in life. Teaching our next generations about emotional intelligence and how to master simple yet effective tools to shift their perception from one of victim to victor, from one of disempowerment to empowerment, teaching them to be the master of their own minds and realities, will be one of our greatest achievements ever in the healing and evolution of our humanity. With awareness and action on our parts, together we can literally transform our future generations, prevent future suffering, and empower our next generations to create the world of abundance, sovereignty, and safety that is our God-given inheritance.
A short discussion on how physical trauma in a child creates permanent neurological alterations in their brain.
As we have discussed, trauma comes in different forms and can show up in the body from heightened emotional experiences, from environmental toxins like chemicals, EMF, or other toxins. It can also come from physical trauma. One social construct that many haven’t considered as causing trauma is circumcision. It’s a belief system that has been taught through the ages as not only acceptable but encouraged either from various religious doctrines or because of the outdated medical belief that it prevents infections. Taking a more objective perspective, let’s consider what studies show in regards to what happens during the pain of a boy’s circumcision and how this physical pain creates trauma to the body, which in turn leads to permanent alterations to the frontal lobe of the brain.
In one of many studies, “An analysis of the MRI data that scanned the brain of infants before and after circumcision, indicated that the surgery subjected the infant to significant trauma,” reports Paul D. Tinari, Ph.D. “The greatest changes occurred in the limbic system concentrating in the amygdala and in the frontal and temporal lobes…The circumcision affected most intensely the portions of the victim’s brain associated with reasoning, perception, and emotions” (aka – The Amygdala Hijack).
“Follow-up tests on the infant one day, one week, and one month after the surgery indicated that the child’s brain never returned to its baseline configuration. In other words, the evidence generated by this research indicated that the brain of the circumcised infant was permanently changed by the pain inflicted by the surgery.”
With the understanding that the frontal lobes of males already take longer to develop, this information is important for the evolution of science in regards to brain health as well as trauma and emotional healing.
The great news is that while our minds can deliver a cascade of emotions and subsequent stress hormones that can lead to trauma in the body, it also has a hidden superpower: its neuroplasticity! Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to create new neurological pathways – in essence, it can rewire its own hardware! Understanding how this is possible and how we can literally rewire ourselves for healing and health has changed how trauma is being addressed and is finally allowing people to heal, no matter what the underlying cause of the trauma is.
Remember, you are NOT broken! There are ANSWERS and SOLUTIONS. It’s up to you to take those first steps. Take action, put yourself FIRST, give yourself the love and compassion you’ve been waiting for, and see how your life transforms!