Week Three Picks: Our friend Amygdala

The Amygdala (ah-mig-da-la) is a son of a bitch. But it’s your friend… your almond-shaped friend. It’s only looking out for you just like a protective mother. But like her, the amygdala can take protecting to another level.

The Amygdala

Referred to as the lizard brain, the amygdala is responsible your flight or fight responses, but mainly flight. Its main function is to control your emotions and motivations. The amygdala keeps a tally on your fear, anger and negativity for the most part. It’s literarily the voice inside your head telling you to “don’t do it,” “think about it,” or “what will (so-and-so) say/think about this?”.

One trick the amygdala performs is the art of combining your memories with your certain response to those events (i.e. how you felt when the bully punched you in the stomach on your way to Drama class or when Suzie Shakespeare said no when you asked her to prom).

It compartmentalizes every emotion and stores them in the appropriate areas of your brain for later use (i.e. “Hey Michael, you remember when “that” happen, WE WON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN!!!).

The amygdala is also why we can figure out what we were doing/smelling/eating/listening to when we heard two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, when O.J. was acquitted or when you crashed into that fire hydrant.

The downside is that too much of the amygdala thinking can lead to some bad habits such as obsessing over trivial matters, becoming too critical and just making excuses for yourself.

Whether it’s exercising or trying to figure out a project at home or work, there is always some seed of doubt waiting to grow (“I can’t do this,” “This is way too hard,” “What did I get myself into?”). The amygdala, out of concern and safety, whispers these lines consistently. With every setback, it grows louder and louder until your brain goes back to reference any minor or major failure to make you feel it’s okay to quit or delay things for a while.

That, my friend, is procrastination and it keeps you from succeeding. But there’s good news. It works the other way. A string of little successes can reinforce all of the mental triggers for future references when challenged in a similar situation (i.e. you don’t put your hand over the fire because you’ll get burned or the healthy feeling you’ll have when you decide not to pick up that cigarette).

I guess I’m simplifying, but that’s the short and skinny of our maternal friend, Amygdala. You can find a more technical analysis here.

Plus, here’s a nifty video about the lizard brain and ways to conquer it.


What are some of the ways that you conquer your lizard brain? Comment below! 

WEEK 3 PICKS

Last Week: 7-9
Season: 18-14
“Back to Life, Back to Reality…”

PICKS ARE IN BOLD.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT BUFFALO BILLS — 1:00 p.m.

TENNESSEE TITANS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00 p.m.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS– 1:00 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — 1:00 p.m.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 1:00 p.m.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS — 1:00 p.m.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 1:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — 1:00 p.m.

DALLAS COWBOYS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS — 1:00 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:05 p.m.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 4:25 p.m.

DENVER BRONCOS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

CHICAGO BEARS AT N.Y. JETS — 8:30 p.m.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER!!!

October 18 is my mother’s birthday.

More than my mother, she’s my friend. She’s one of my wife’s best friends and talks to her more than I do.

For her last birthday, we took her to Disney as part of her bucket list. It was also the first time she rode a plane. Moving about with two new knees, Mom wasn’t too keen on being active at the airport until she learned of wheelchair assistance. I think she didn’t lay one foot on the ground while at Orlando or Akron-Canton.  It makes me long for the day that I’m elderly. But movement was not a problem that week. She was ridin’ dirty in her scooter.

Back to the plane… As we were boarding from Akron-Canton, I had to tell the closest attendant that this was my mother’s maiden voyage via sky. He then gave my mother a slight sigh.

Honey, you get to go First Class!
WHAT!!!
Yes honey, that’s how we do it around here!

Mom thought she won the lottery. Leather seat in a row all to herself; she felt like a queen… until takeoff.  As the plane marched unto the runway, my mother’s face was covered not wanting to take a peek out the window or anywhere near the cabin. She noticed a slight tilt that steadily increased. Looking at the window, she saw I-77 get smaller until her focus was on the horizon. I didn’t hear any screams, so I assumed she was still intact.  One hour in, I asked how she was doing.

How fast are we going?
Very fast.
Like 55 mph?

Once she had gotten over the shock of our speed, she had one more question.

What are those white things outside?
What things?
The white puffy things.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

MOMMA’S MORNING MOUTHFUL
An egg
A cup of milk
3/4 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup of strawberries/blueberries or any berries
A tablespoon of pecans or almonds
A teaspoon of whey protein or isolate
”       ”               ”  ground flaxseed
A teaspoon of yogurt
1/2  sliced banana

Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl and nuke it for about two minutes. After it’s not so hot anymore, slap on the banana slices and dap the yogurt on it.
BOOM!
Momma's Morning Mouthful

Who needs coffee? You got energy for the day, right there.  Let’s run some laps around Magic Kingdom!

MY PICKS
LAST WEEK: 11-4
SEASON: 55-37

THU, OCT 17 TIME (ET)
Seattle at Arizona 8:25 PM SEATTLE
SUN, OCT 20 TIME (ET)
Tampa Bay at Atlanta 1:00 PM ATLANTA
Cincinnati at Detroit 1:00 PM CINCINNATI
Buffalo at Miami 1:00 PM MIAMI
New England at NY Jets 1:00 PM NEW ENGLAND
Dallas at Philadelphia 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
Chicago at Washington 1:00 PM CHICAGO
St. Louis at Carolina 1:00 PM ST. LOUIS
San Diego at Jacksonville 1:00 PM SAN DIEGO
San Francisco at Tennessee 4:05 PM SAN FRANCISCO
Cleveland at Green Bay 4:25 PM GREEN BAY
Houston at Kansas City 4:25 PM KANSAS CITY
Baltimore at Pittsburgh 4:25 PM PITTSBURGH
Denver at Indianapolis 8:30 PM DENVER
MON, OCT 21 TIME (ET)
Minnesota at NY Giants 8:30 PM NEW YORK
·Bye: Oakland, New Orleans

What the hell was that?

I was preparing to interview a man who ran a charity that helps people shout louder. It should have been easy. Tell me about your organization. Where did you find the inspiration to help others yell more? What shouting event will you participate in this year? But he wanted to make it hard.

He was 70-year old man with a Southern draw that I thought funny being that he was from the Sudan. Nonetheless, he was excited. After identifying myself as a freelance writer from the greatest magazine of all time, I heard a sigh.

  I have a scoop. I’m building a gated community of shouters. They would live together. They’d shout at each other, of course. And best of all, they live in perfect harmony. The world needs more shouters, but you my friend, you need to be here. It’s no good that I’m shouting on a phone. Be here. In person. 

I was in France at the time and still interested in his utopia of screaming. He sighed again.

It’s just not the same. I can’t share this over the phone. It’s just not right. 

…and time.

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! Burger

1 egg
1 pound ground beef (lean)
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped spinach
2 tablespoons Mexican-blend cheese

You start off with an egg. Crack it. Into a bowl of course. Now, put the rest of it in the bowl. Add some pepper or salt if you want.
It’s fun to take your hands and go silly putty. If you get it right, you have four delicious quarter pounders.
I hope you know how to cook a burger. Do I have to do everything?
Medium to High, 7 minutes on each side.

You can call them spinach oatmeal burgers.

You can call them spinach oatmeal burgers.

Thanks for listening.

LAST WEEK: 8-8
SEASON: 27-21

THU, SEP 26
San Francisco at St. Louis SAN FRANCISCO
SUN, SEP 29
Baltimore at Buffalo BALTIMORE
Cincinnati at Cleveland CINCINNATI
Chicago at Detroit DETROIT
NY Giants at Kansas City KANSAS CITY
Arizona at Tampa Bay ARIZONA
Indianapolis at Jacksonville INDIANAPOLIS
Seattle at Houston HOUSTON
Pittsburgh at Minnesota PITTSBURGH
NY Jets at Tennessee TENNESSEE
Washington at Oakland OAKLAND
Philadelphia at Denver DENVER
Dallas at San Diego DALLAS
New England at Atlanta NEW ENGLAND
MON, SEP 30
Miami at New Orleans NEW ORLEANS
·Bye: Green Bay, Carolina