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Amygdala Hijacking in Joy and Anger – Reasoning on the after-effects

It’s weird the conflicting feelings you get with anger. Anger, as I understand it, is a result of broken expectations…people or things violating what you believe supposed to happen. I always get a sense of guilt associated with anger. The guilt washes over and intermingles with the anger as the anger is cooling off.

I don’t feel the conflict with the experience of happiness. As happiness cools down there’s a return to normalcy rather than a contemplation or second guessing of that happiness.

I wonder if the guilt feeling after the anger cool down is a result of the amygdala releasing control of the consciousness back to the cortex. When the release of control happens we move from acting and thinking based on emotion to thinking with logic. Logic can be confusing since we are social animals and have a tendency to want to reconcile differences rather than move forward in a state of turmoil.

That’s probably why happiness doesn’t have the same cool down reaction. It’s imagine that when we experience joy the amygdala also hijacks control from the cortex, but when the cool down happens the cortex only has to reflect on the social connections/successes we’ve made during the joyous event, which is not counter to our tendency to be social animals. – Carl


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