May 21, 2021
069 - How Our Lizard Brain Can Hijack Us
Welcome to The Fully Lived Life podcast! A podcast for those who are longing to pursue the full life and want to break free from anything that holds them back. Listen in as two friends - a psychologist, Dr. Merry, and a life coach, Gillian - talk about life, love, and purpose - with wisdom, humor, and transparency - through the lens of science, psychology, and faith.
Well listeners, let us introduce you to Lola the Lizard!! Another one of our lab friends.
Lizard brain refers to the part of the brain that goes into survival mode and instantly goes into fight, flight or freeze. The Lizard brain is a good part of our survival. So how do we train ourselves to keep our lizard brain in check?
The good news is we can train ourselves to take a 90 second diversion to calm our survival brain down to subside and make better decisions and react (or not) more appropriately. We look at the research of neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor to help us out.
Therapeutic Tip (from the Panic Free Pandemic Workbook):
Practice these steps for the next week:
Bring to mind feeling arousal (rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, sweatiness, tension).
Pretend your friend walks into the room. You see their face. This links the feeling of arousal to the calming signals on their face.
Imagine your friend says hello. This links the calming signals in the quality of their voice to arousal.
Imagine your friend comes over and gives you a hug. This links your friend’s calming touch to the feeling of arousal.
After a few days of intentionally responding to neutralize increased arousal, your unconscious procedural memory will maintain your emotional balance for you when stress hormones are released.
Life Coaching Tip:
Can you think of a relationship where your lizard brain tends to kick in? What would it look like to imagine yourself using the technique of the watch and regulating yourself? I imagine if you have been lizarding with this person often then they are going to be caught off guard if you do not respond the way you have been normally. Can you try to say to them: “ In an effort to grow I am taking 90 seconds to collect my thoughts - thanks for your patience”? Woah - I think that would be a huge win on your part!
Dr. Merry’s book: https://amzn.to/2rCrJyI
Dr. Merry’s website: https://drmerry.com
Dr. Lin & Associates: http://drlinandassociates.com
Gillian’s Website: https://gillianmcshane.com
Panic Free Workbook: https://www.amazon.ca/Panic-Free-Pandemic-Workbook-Pandemic-Related-ebook/dp/B088W7PRNW