How divorce impacts your brain

September 24, 2016


As a family lawyer and a therapist, I have worked with numerous clients who struggle to regulate their emotions in the midst of a divorce.  Even the most mild-mannered and even-keeled person can have difficulty remaining rational during this process.  This article does a nice job of explaining why and offering practical solutions.  Essentially, the brain's amygdala can get triggered by an angry spouse just as it would if a grizzly bear attacked.  The fight or flight reaction kicks in which triggers survival instincts.  All of this can happen in as little as 20 milliseconds.  The antidote is to engage the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls rational thought and impulse control.  To do so, the author recommends learning to recognize the warning signs of the fight or flight response and then getting exercise or meditating to interrupt that stressful reaction.  

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