Amygdala

Many times we come across situations when the feelings of others have an immediate effect on us. A genuine smile accompanied by a cheerful greeting can pull us from the sullenest of moods and on the contrary someone’s anger, wrath, impatience, etc can spoil our perfectly happy day.

I came across an interesting piece of reading about this common behavior of the brain which said that emotions are contagious. Apparently, the brain catches these strong emotions, just like the body succumbing to a severe infection. This dose of exposure to positive or negative feelings stays with one as a mood and reflects in an afterglow (or afterglower). The sum of interactions with various people over the day adds and subtracts to finally result in the resulting mood that we carry home at the end of the day.

Amygdala is an almond-shaped area in the midbrain that triggers the fight, flight, or freeze response to danger. But, fear most powerfully arouses the amyglada. Driven by any alarm, the complex circuitry of amyglada strengthens its perception and we become attentive to all the smiles or frowns which give help us interpret the danger or someone’s intentions better. This heightened sensitivity can also increase our susceptibility to others toxins.

Effectively, this little part of the brain acts as radar for the brain, by calling its attention to anything puzzling or important to learn.

Amyglada is not just an early warning system to our brain, but also one of the reasons why we get effected by others moods. So the next time someone yells at you for no reason and you feel low, blame it on the amyglada for spreading the emotional contagion.

Have happy day! 😀

(Hope I have managed to spread a positive emotional contagion 😉 )

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