How Do the Brain and Emotions Work Together?
The body reacts to stress by secreting both hormones in the blood and neurotransmitters in the brain. Unless we develop coping strategies it becomes like an escalator and stress levels keeps going up and up…finally it is so overwhelmed it can’t take the stress and it reacts by acting in an irrational way…this can happen anytime such as when people arrive home after being stressed at work or school.
The amygdala, our emotional brain center, can sometimes becomes “hijacked” with such stress and we may do things we later regret. People need to learn coping skills in order to reduce their stress throughout the day. Strategies such as imaging a blue flower or something else unusual will divert the reptilian brain to the cognitive area causing a release of stress.
Other tips are to try to do a body review-close your eyes and feel and relax your body starting from you feet and slowly moving up to the tip of your head. This focus will allow the brain to shift gears and refocus more positively.
There is growing research that continuous stress can alter a part of our brain called the hippocampus, the center for learning and memory. By understanding how our brains work we can use them more effectively. Teaching children about it is very useful.
Children love learning about their brains! There are lots of fun and educational activities to develop their knowledge and understanding about this amazing part of their bodies!
Teachers and parents need to realize that emotions play a huge role in learning. Our brains need that emotional connection in order to make learning meaningful and lasting.