When something upsetting happens to you, it triggers a part of your emotional brain called your amygdala. And if you are really stressed out, your amygdala will hijack your ability to think before you react. One of the ways to foil an amygdala hijack is to teach your amygdala how to dance. An effective way to do that is to follow the 10 steps below. Doing so can help you literally and figuratively mentally walk your way from a “trigger happy” amydgala to your prefrontal cortex, and that will make it easier to not react and to not do something you will regret.

This is also a process to teach your children so that they do not give into their impulses when they are upset. And as they say on airplanes with oxygen masks, if you’re upset, do this first with yourself. With practice, the steps will become second nature and you will be the one keeping your cool while others around you are losing theirs.

For more by Mark Goulston, M.D., click here.

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