As you are coming to understand our amygdala is the root of our over reactions toward setbacks, comments, and even a weird look from a stranger. Even having a simple disagreement with someone can switch the amygdala to the fight-or-flight position. You enter into a discussion in which you expect the person to agree with you. Then when the person doesn’t, cortisol releases, causing an immediate shutting down of reasonable thinking and processing. Cortisol interrupts the prefrontal cortex as it tells your brain, “Your life is in danger; this is no time to be thinking!” So you raise your voice, yell, and take on aggressive body posture. Your whole body is reacting as if the other person is a threat to your life. This is why arguments rarely prove fruitful and is why discussing topics such as religion and politics is so dangerous. Never forget that no one wants to hear what you think unless you agree with them. So save your breath and your energy.
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Researchers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park estimate more than 3,000 families will bury their teenagers this year killed while texting and driving, plus 300,000 injuries. This beats drunk driving at 2700 deaths a year! Not to mention hundreds of accidents that don’t report texting as the cause. These are sobering heartbreaking numbers. Entirely preventable deaths. We take these risks, but what are we taking the risk for in the first place, what is the reward we are chasing? We have all asked that rhetorical question after we are in trouble ” How could I be so stupid!” Our bad choices seem ridiculous after the fact. Today we can look to science for some of those answers, and hopefully help kids understand their behavior so they can control it.
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