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Can Exercise Keep You From Flipping Your Lid?

Ever since T turned three, I’ve been knee deep in parenting books.  More accurately, earlobe deep.  In audiobooks.  What brought this on? One day, and I can’t tell you what inspired this, I roared at him.  No lie.  Like a dinosaur.  For those of you who know me, you may know this is somewhat out of character, as I am a fairly quiet gal.  I have no idea where it came from, and though he was momentarily frightened, the overall effect was genuine awe.  Distraction accomplished?

A book and a half into Dr. Dan Siegel’s work, he mentioned how exercise can keep us from flipping our lid (check out this Mindfulness Monday post for a refresher on what occurs in the brain when we “flip our lid”.)

Ironically, my limbic or “reptilian” brain was taking over when I went all dinosaur on my son.  Did I harken back to my most primitive instincts?  Though my behavior that day shall remain a mystery, I now know that doing a few jumping jacks will serve me better next time.  Exercise is a quick way to access our higher level thinking.  Three year olds are only beginning to develop this area of the brain, but as adults we have the option of switching gears.

So, next time you are about to go apeshit (or dinosaur) on someone, do a few burpees.  You may be able to solve your disagreement amicably, or at the very least confuse them into forgetting it all together….

For more tips, tricks, and musings on health, head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

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T’s actual response to me asking him why he was eating the carrot off the ground from the snowman we made 5 days ago….