The amygdala, that original “lizard brain” buried deep down in our heads, has an important function. When we hear a noise in the night, we’re startled. When a car drifts into our lane, we hit the brakes.
It’s always on alert, like the home security camera that watches out for movement.
But most of the time, of course, our lives aren’t at risk.
When a customer is angry, they’re unlikely to attack us. A conflict with an employee doesn’t lead to Russian Roulette.
The trouble is, our lizard brain doesn’t get this. Better safe than sorry, it says – all systems on high alert!
That makes everyday situations more stressful than they need to be.
So, if you want to step away from daily fight or flight, it pays to put the lizard on a leash, to train it a little, to calm it down.
It will still be there when there’s a bear on the cabin deck, but it won’t sound the klaxon when an email arrives.
Mindfulness work alters the brain. It creates actual physical changes that make our minds more suitable for 21st Century business.
That’s one reason why we say that mindfulness makes our lives easier. After all, it’s a lot less stressful when the lizard knows its place.