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.”

Anette Prehn is on a mission to make neuroscience available to all, i.e. easy to understand, remember and apply.

She is a keynote speaker, trainer and author who has inspired hundreds of thousands across the planet. People call her “the Cruyff of applied neuroscience”.

Anette Prehn is a also an entrepreneur who has been running her own successful business since 2005. 

Her clients include Maersk, Grundfos, Danfoss, Siemens, Bosch, Ericsson, Roche, Lego, Novo Nordic, Man Diesel and Turbo GN Group, and Danske Bank.

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 has started adding to her portfolio how parents, teachers and nursery nurses can become more BrainSmart, thus nuturing an environment that helps 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 one’s brain rather than being at the receiving end only of its impulses and habits. 

Contact Anette by email: