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How Long Does It Take To Calm Down?

This evening a friend of mine was extremely worked up and fighting with her significant other.  You know when there is a relationship squabble it is close to impossible to calm the parties down.  I attempted to relax the situation the only way I know how…with the Amygdala.


What is the Amygdala?  Good question.  The Amygdala is an almond-shaped mass of gray matter inside each cerebral hemisphere, involved with the experiencing of emotions.  Ok, that’s the definition but how does this help you?



The Amygdala helps control many emotions inside of you (including fear), but for the purposes of this post, we are going to focus on when anger brews and the Amygdala becomes inflamed.  Science tells us that it takes a full 18 minutes to become calm again.


What does this mean?  It means that when you are arguing with somebody and it continues to escalate, you need to walk away and spend a minimum of 18 minutes before you are truly calm enough to think rationally again.  Anything short of 18 and you will be just as worked up as you were when it started.


This worked for my friends tonight, and has helped me over the years.  In our current political climate, this thought process could help a lot of people.  The only time it doesn’t work is when it comes to our football team – I’d explain, but that would work me up too much!

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