After identifying Jane as my trigger, I prepared a response to her next onslaught. In the next meeting, as soon as she opened her mouth, I felt the now familiar rush of emotion. Then, I said to myself, “You just had an amygdala hijack”.
That brought a smile to my face and made me chuckle, internally. In that instant, my physiology changed and I regained control of the meeting, using all the skills and knowledge in my “thinking brain”. No longer defensive, I acted and felt like the professional that I knew I was.
Laughter is one of the best ways to change your state because it releases the amygdala’s threat alert and activates the opposite – feelings of joy, happiness, and play. Another way to change your state is to move your body. Your posture mirrors your internal state. When you change your posture, your inner state follows suit. A great way to do this in a meeting or group setting is to mirror the posture of someone who has the qualities you want in that moment. Match the body posture of someone who is confident, assertive, or relaxed and you will take on those qualities..