NEED TO KNOW:
NEUROSCIENCE OF STRESS
MindMatrix™ brings the unique mind-training and mission-readiness of an undercover, deep behind enemy lines operative to the workplace.
While our clients’ goals may be similar—to change habitual response to triggers—what triggers them and how they respond are very different. Because of this, a unique, personally-tailored mind-training plan is designed for each client.
To start, it’s important to understand the neuroscience of the body’s response to triggers, and why change requires more work than just noticing the pattern.
When you’re calm, the prefrontal cortex (responsible for decision-making and planning) is the CEO of the brain.
Under these circumstances, the amygdala, a small gland deeper in the brain primarily responsible for fear response, continuously samples incoming information. If it perceives this information to be a threat, it springs to action: it hijacks control from the prefrontal cortex!
It does this by shutting down blood supply to the Prefrontal Cortex and instructing the body to inject stress hormones into the blood stream.
The amygdala completes the hijack within 0.74 milliseconds. That’s under 1/1,000th of a second!
This is one of the reasons mainstream stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing, meditation and exercising will have a limited impact: reduce physiological expressions of stress; but are unable to eliminate the root cause of the triggering process.
Similar to how a company is impacted by the personality of its CEO, the brain and body are impacted by the amygdala’s “personality:” especially one that is fear-driven.
Under amygdala hijacking, we perceive our world as threatening and as a result, we become STRESSED. This perception forces us to respond, which worsens our position. When interacting with others, they also have an amygdala which, in response to our emotional response, is likely to hijack, which in turn forces the interaction….into an uncontrollable escalating spiral.
Thinking this neuroscientific data is not good news? Unfortunately it gets worse.
It takes the body anywhere from 18 minutes to four hours to clear the excess stress hormones.
During this time window and with the amygdala still in control, we continue to perceive incoming information from a threatening perspective—and therefore are prone to repeated triggering. This will not only make the current challenge more difficult to resolve but, equally important, passively condition us to respond emotionally next time a similar trigger happens.
The result: you develop a habitual response!
As your amygdala repeatedly registers the triggering events as threats, it will continue to hijack the brain….. every time! Equally important, the brain, being a very efficient neurological system, ensures that every triggering event further advances your conditioning so that the next triggering event will be stronger. This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to change our habitual - often emotional - response to triggers.
Amygdala hijacking is not limited to the workplace but will occur across personal life, home and travel.
Habitual emotional responses vary: anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, fear. Similarly, its expressions vary, e.g. raising your voice, cold shoulder, worst-case scenarios thought-processes, toxic behavior-patterns, food-related habits. But they all share the same mechanism.
You may be surprised to learn that your primary enemy when operating undercover, deep behind enemy lines is…yourself!
Namely, amygdala hijacking. Why? If your amygdala perceives reality as threatening and hijacks your brain, you lose access to your prefrontal cortex: the only life-saving (literally) means to effectively and efficiently address your perceived threat. Practically, the inability to access to the prefrontal cortex translates to lack of clarity, analytical thinking, processing and planning. You will therefore fail to make critical decisions in a calm, focused and goal-oriented and timely manner and almost certain to fail the mission: whatever it may be.
So how do you change your habitual emotional response to triggers?
You have to be trained like an undercover, deep behind enemy lines operatives, i.e. train your brain to avoid amygdala hijacking altogether. And that is exactly what Mind In Control™ training achieves.