Old ‘Yeller: the science behind losing your cool

I was so totally blown away by the following post from Parent2ParentU that I had to share it here:

WHEN WE SCREAM at a child, the FEAR signal that his little ears send to his brain’s amygdala is transmitted in a mere 1/12,000 of a second! And that’s only the *first* 1/12,000 of a second. When we *continue* to yell and scream (because our OWN amygdala is aroused and *hot*) we literally flood our child’s brain with stress chemicals. All his brain can *do* is tell him to freeze, shut down, hide, tune out, cry out, lash out, or comply to feel safe again.

When this small trauma is REPAIRED in relationship, our child’s brain and system can be “righted” and re-centered along with our relationship. But, when there is *no* repair, time and again, our child’s brain makes the necessary alterations to protect against these fearful episodes by staying consistently aroused, vigilant and defensive.What about *us*?When we make a practice of yelling, we keep our OWN brain flooded with stress chemicals, which in turn depresses our immune system, raises blood pressure, alters DNA, strengthens the fear circuits in our own brain, and limits our brain’s access to empathy, intuition, insight and self-regulatory processes.
As a “reformed yeller” myself, this understanding is vital on our journey to be Peaceful Parents. When we start yelling, we cement ourselves into a low mood, ensuring that we remain stressed and spun out for the rest of the day. Is yelling worth it?
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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kahunapulej

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