Emotional hijacking can either save our lives or cripple them, depending on the situation and the emotional trigger of either fight, flight or freeze.
The problem we face today according to Daniel Goleman, is that our brains and specifically the amygdala cannot differentiate between actual physical threats and complex symbolic threats. In other words, to the amygdala there is really no difference between the fear of being eaten by a hungry predator, and the fear we may feel towards a demanding, dominating and over-bearing boss. The overall feeling is fear and the amygdala goes into over-drive, attempting to hijack us in order to save us from this scary situation. Do we run, fight or freeze?
It is probably safe to say that most of us will not be dinner for hungry predators any time soon, but the threat of a dominant, terrifying boss who triggers stress and fear in us can be very real.
With both scenarios mentioned above we narrow our attention and fixate on the emotion. Our thoughts become pre-occupied with the emotion of fear. The danger is when we act on that emoti