How a teenager turned her amygdala into a friend

I have received a wonderful e-mail from a mother about what her teenage daughter and their family dynamics have gained from getting to know about the amygdala, the alarm of the brain.

In my books, I describe why EVERY child, teenager, and adult deserve to know about the amygdala. Just like we know from an early age that we have a big toe and an elbow, we should, in my opinion, also know:

  • that we have two almond-shaped structures called the amygdala in our brain that constantly scans our surroundings for dangers and will let us know immediately if it comes across something that seems like a threat or resembles a threat from our past.
  • why the amygdala can easily run wild and hijack the rest of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex thus hampering its ability to think, analyse, put things into perspective and regulate emotions.
  • how we can calm the amygdala again (thus dampening anger or fear).

Here, a mother describes how knowledge of amygdala and use of the Amygdala Bottle has helped them:

“I have a husband, a 16-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. The two teens have had so many quarrels over the years. He typically says something that winds her up – and she yells, leaves the room and slams the door. Right before the summer holidays, I read about the amygdala and shared this knowledge with my daughter. We started making Amygdala Bottles together. She gladly found our stock of glitter and food colouring and we made different kinds. Afterwards, we had the loveliest holidays for 14 days – without any conflicts at all! Sometimes, my daughter went a little quiet and I sensed that she took some deep breaths before continuing the social interaction with inner calm. Later, she told me that she had decided that her big brother shouldn’t be allowed to trigger her amygdala. She wanted to regulate that herself. Thank you so much, Anette, this was exactly the tool we needed. Of course, she is allowed to be angry, but it is just very humiliating to return to the room after having been hijacked by the amygdala and excessively upset. It is much more empowering for her to walk down useful paths via experiences through which she gains experience with regulating herself emotionally and strengthening her inner peace.”

Sociologist (MA) Anette Prehn is a prolific keynote speaker, trainer, and bestselling non-fiction author, who has inspired hundreds of thousands across the planet, since establishing her business in 2005.

Anette Prehn is on a mission to make neuroscience available to all, i.e. easy to understand, remember and apply. She has worked in the field of NeuroLeadership since 2009 and has taught the rules of the brain to leaders and employees since, thus strengthening their leadership, learning, habit change, cognitive flexibility, and mental health.

Highly skilled at explaining complex ideas in down-to-earth and accessible language, and impossible to pigeonhole, Anette Prehn has developed techniques that make it easy for people to turn their brain into an ally rather than an opponent. The Framestorm® method, that is patented and trademarked, teaches people to flip and widen their perspective, thus paving the way for innovation, emotion regulation and making the most of whatever life throws at you.


In 2018-2019, Anette chaired The National Stress Panel, established by six Danish cabinet ministers. The panel comprised 10 experts and was tasked with identifying 12 actions to radically influence the stress level experienced in Denmark in recent years as well as to engage the Danish public in understanding what stress is and does and how mental health can be strengthened.

Her clients include Maersk, GN Group, Grundfos, Danfoss, Siemens, Bosch, Ericsson, Roche, Lego, Novo Nordic, Man Diesel and Turbo, Nordea, Danske Bank, 40+ Danish municipalities and 100+ educational institutions and schools.

She has written more than 20 books and mini books, among these "BrainSmart Leadership" and "Play Your Brain". 

Throughout these many years, her clients have been powerfully inspired to apply neuroscience to work situations, but they have also asked her::

“How do I more specifically apply the logics of the brain to parenting?” and “I can see my kids gaining from knowing this as well. What’s the best way to introduce them to these tools?”

Being the mother of two and the stepmother of two, those questions got Anette Prehn going.

She therefore started adding to her portfolio how parents, teachers and nursery nurses can become more BrainSmart, thus nuturing environments that help kids learn, thrive and regulate emotions relevantly.

In her Brain Friends series, she is sharing with children and teenagers how to strike up a friendship with their brain rather than being at the receiving end of its impulses and habits. 

Contact Anette by email: