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Attention regulates emotion: Focus and self-control

from Psychology Today

Daniel Goleman, an author and contributor for Psychology Today, writes: "When my sons were just two or so and would get upset, I sometimes used distraction to calm them down: 'Look at that birdie,' or an all-service, enthusiastic 'What's that?' with my gaze or finger directing their focus toward something else. Attention regulates emotion. This little ploy uses selective attention to quiet the agitated amygdala. So long as a toddler stays tuned to some interesting object of focus, the distress calms; the moment that thing loses its fascination, the distress, if still held on to by networks in the amygdala, comes roaring back. The trick, of course, lies in keeping the baby intrigued long enough for the amygdala to calm." more

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