- Me: How are you doing?
- Justin: I'm doing wonderful with my coffee and my morning stroll down my dashboard.
Recent brain research shows when we recognize how we feel, name it, describe the physical sensation, and reflect on it, we’re able to calm ourselves down and gain more perspective. Putting a label on our negative emotions, such as “anger,” “fear,” “hurt,” “disgust,” etc., causes our brain to spray a neurotransmitter called GABA on our amygdala, the part of the brain involved in the recognition of fear and anger, and the “fight,” “flight,” or “freeze,” response. GABA, an acronym for Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, induces relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases focus.
Is that fascinating or what?! I love learning how what I observe to be true in my own experience is explained biologically. <3
For those who enjoy resources, the study was published in the journal Psychological Science and conducted by Matthew Lieberman and colleagues at UCLA.