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  • Writer's pictureChristina Cunningham Spinler

Flipping your lid

Understanding how your brain processes stress can provide insight into why communication can be challenging during times of stress.

The "flipped lid" refers to a metaphorical state in which the brain becomes overwhelmed by stress or emotion, causing us to feel out of control. To help us understand how this happens, Dr. Dan Siegel developed a hand model of the brain that can be used as a tool in therapy and self-regulation.

The hand model of the brain involves using your hand to represent the brain, with the wrist representing the spinal cord and the fingers representing different parts of the brain. The thumb represents the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions such as decision-making and problem-solving. The other four fingers represent the limbic system, which is responsible for our emotional responses.

When we experience stress or strong emotions, the limbic system can become overactive and "flip our lid", causing us to react impulsively and lose access to our prefrontal cortex. This can make it difficult to regulate our emotions and make good decisions.

By using the hand model of the brain to visualize this process, we can better understand what is happening in our brain and learn strategies to manage our emotions and prevent ourselves from "flipping our lid". This tool can be especially helpful in therapy, where it can be used to teach clients about the brain-body connection and help them develop skills for emotional regulation and self-awareness.

This is by Dr. Dan Siegel's Hand Brain Explained By La Shanda Sugg, LPC

Another great video by Inspired Living Medical


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