Dr Daniel Siegel’s Hand Model of the Brain

This simple model from Dr Daniel Siegel is a great way to understand what’s happening in the brain when we get emotional triggered (he described it as ‘flipping your lid’).

Just the act of noticing and naming the emotion we’re experiencing is the first step to bringing the upstairs brain (the cortex) back online. “Name it to tame it!” It’s helpful because naming something involves the use of language which is a function of the upstairs brain/cortex. By activating this part of the brain we bring it back online and it can return to it’s role of regulating the downstairs brain (limbic system, brain stem).

Learning emotion regulation skills is a powerful way to enhance wellbeing and help young people navigate the sometimes choppy waters of their experience.

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