12 Ways to Manage Anxiety

Recognize the Reptilian Brain

Reptile eye

My therapist friend Elvira Aletta gives a brilliant neuro-psychology lesson in one of her posts where she explains the two parts of our brain: the primitive part containing the amygdala--which is responsible for generating and processing our fear and other primal emotions--and our frontal lobes: the neo-cortex or the newest part of our brain, which is sophisticated, educated, and is able to apply a bit of logic to the message of raw fear that our reptilian brain generates.

Why is this helpful? When I feel that knot in my stomach that comes with a message that I am unloved by the world, I try to envision a Harvard professor, or some intellectual creature whacking a reptile on the head with a book, saying something like "Would you please just evolve, you overly dramatic creature?"

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