By Lavern Nissley
As we head into the holidays and spend time with families and friends, many will experience fond memories and heartfelt joy. Others will experience the opposite, becoming acutely reminded of relationship dysfunctions. Many of us experience some of each.
So, how do you cope effectively in the middle of this seasonal insanity? Those emotional allergies and buttons have a physiological affect, don't they? Increased heart rate and breathing. Blood pressure pounding away at your skull. Stomach churning and knots forming. Help!!! What to do?
Ever heard of an amygdala hijack? Ever seen one? It's what happens in our brains when the amygdala, a small gland gets an urgent message that we're in danger, and it's time to shut down the thinking part of our brain and dump a bunch of neurochemicals to help us respond and survive the danger.
When allowed, the effect can be pretty dramatic. (Remember Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk?) Like in over the top anger and actions that we later regret and wish we could take back. So what is the best way to deal with anger when we feel it rushing throughout our bodies?
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.