Why Do I Freak Out About That?

Why Do I Freak Out About That?

By Cliff Pearson

Have you ever had a reaction to something that just seemed a little over the top? For example, have you ever just freaked out at something and then wondered later what made you act like that?

In neuroscience, the study of the brain, this kind of reaction is the result of tthe triggering of a biological response in an area of the brain called the amigdyla (uh-MIG-dill-uh). The reaction is known as “amigdyla hijacking,” a term coined by neuroscientist Daniel Goleman in his 1996 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. It refers to emotional responses which are immediate and overwhelming, and out of measure with the actual stimulus because it has triggered a much more significant emotional threat.

As a communications professional for nearly two decades, and as one educated in communication theory, I can tell you with a certainty that there are people who quickly learn what words, phrases, and images will evoke these kinds of overwhelming emotional reactions in a person based on clues the person gives off, or based simply on the person’s demographics. Yes, as disgusting as it sounds, there are people who deliberately push people’s buttons to get them to do what they want — such as buy something, vote for someone, join a cause, etc.

Our founding therapist, Rachel Betzen, feels that learning to effectively recognize what words, phrases and images work as our “triggers” to these kinds of reactions can help us to overcome whatever social-emotional barriers exist in our lives, and which may interfere with our overall well-being.

In keeping with that, Dallas Reading and Language Services shares the following video link to introduce you to the concept of “amigdyla hijacking” and how you can work to overcome it.

For more information, please contact us via Facebook and we will be happy to respond: