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Monday, February 4, 2019

The downstairs brain and the upstairs brain

Picture a brain like a house. Downstairs is where important things live. Basic functions like breathing, strong emotions, and innate reactions to danger, like fight, flight or freeze. It’s like the downstairs of a house, which is where we almost always find the basics—kitchen, living room, bathroom.
The upstairs brain is more complex. Thinking, imagining, planning – these things come from the upstairs brain. We use the upstairs brain to think critically, problem solve, and make good decisions. Important to note for those of us working with teens, the upstairs brain is not fully formed until our mid-20s!
When born the downstairs brain is fully formed, this is where all big emotions come from: fear, anxiety, melt downs, fight flight, freeze.

The upstairs brain is different, this is underdeveloped and this is where parents can help. The upstairs brain deals with problem solving, decision making, calming down.
This link is fantastic to help parents and children understand emotional development and why children " flip their lids" .

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