The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system that regulates the body's involuntary processes. While its primary job is to control the body's flight, fight, or freeze response, it is always active at some level to help maintain homeostasis. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the body to feed and breed, while the parasympathetic nervous system encourages rest and digest, maintaining balance in the body.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to a stressful event. It is the emotional or irrational part, while the neocortex is the thinking or rational part. When the amygdala gets the message that there is a fight, flight, or freeze situation, it prevents the message from getting to the neocortex. This is called an amygdala hijack and explains why people act irrationally when scared or emotional.
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