Why Do We ‘Flip Our Lid’?

We all have moments when we feel so overwhelmed by emotions that we ‘flip our lid.’ For some people this happens quite frequently, and their short fuse means they are consistently ‘losing it’ and acting out in erratic or irrational ways. For others this only happens occasionally, but when we do all hell breaks loose, and we scare the people around us with our behaviour.

In this short video by NeuroLeadership, Dr Daniel Siegel MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, shows us what happens in the brain when we flip our lid and our daily emotional journey becomes too much for us. Using a hand model to represent the brain, Dr Siegel simplifies the science of the process and makes it easier for adults and children to understand.

Showing the different areas of the brain, from the spine (the wrist), to the cortex (the outer hand), we see how every part of our brain and our emotions work together. When we’re overwhelmed, we can feel ourselves ‘flipping our lid’. When this happens, we are no longer flexible or capable of handling the situation. Instead we are agitated and can lose our moral reasoning.

Does this happen to you? Perhaps after a long day at work your child does something that triggers you to ‘flip your lid,’ or your partner doesn’t do something ‘right’ after you continually have asked them to do so, so you lash out at them in anger and stress.

Using the hand model, Dr Siegel explains that we can bring ourselves down from these heightened moments and repair our relationships. Saying, “When we can see in front of us, what is going on in the brain, we can change what the brain does,” his model empowers us to understand what is happening inside of us when tension begins to rise.

So instead of being overwhelmed when we feel our emotions triggering us to ‘flip our lid,’ we can teach our children to tell us when they need space. In our relationships, it may be a matter of knowing you are stressed and telling your partner you’re about to lose it, or perhaps there are some situations you need to avoid on the days you feel your emotions rising and overriding your frontal, rational reasoning.

Watch the video below and let us know how Dr Siegel’s hand model helps you.

Do you often ‘flip your lid’? Do you need help managing your stress and emotions? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

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