Mentally Hijacked: How to Recognize Constructive and Destructive Emotions

Emotions are a natural and basic part of life. They signal how we feel about a certain situation or occurrence, so we can take the necessary action to deal with the situation. Emotions in this sense aren’t positive or negative, but are more along the lines of constructive or destructive, depending on how they are utilized. Emotions can become destructive and cause serious distress when they become overwhelming and take over how we act, what we say, and what we do. This emotional high-jacking is where many problems emerge.

The high-road and low-road

Taking a closer look at the human brain and how it relates to emotions, we can examine two overall parts of the brain; the high-road and low-road. Both parts communicate with each other and help us navigate through the world. The low-road is the primitive part of the brain, where our emotions immediately come from, and signals when we feel sad, mad, or fearful. This can be helpful when it’s necessary to act quickly for our safety, or to remind us how we felt in a previous similar situation.

But, this low-road route is where emotional high-jacking occurs. It can lead to rash decision making, not thinking before acting, and ultimately hurting ourselves or others.

Your low-road sends the immediate signal of an emotion, and the high-road then assesses the situation to see what needs to be done to deal with the threat. The high-road is there so we can think about things before acting, and find the best options to solve our problem.


Emotions are a natural and basic part of life. They signal how we feel about a certain situation or occurrence, so we can take the necessary action to deal with the situation. Emotions in this sense aren’t positive or negative, but are more along the lines of constructive or destructive, depending on how they are utilized. Emotions can become destructive and cause serious distress when they become overwhelming and take over how we act, what we say, and what we do. This emotional high-jacking is where many problems emerge.

The high-road and low-road

Taking a closer look at the human brain and how it relates to emotions, we can examine two overall parts of the brain; the high-road and low-road. Both parts communicate with each other and help us navigate through the world. The low-road is the primitive part of the brain, where our emotions immediately come from, and signals when we feel sad, mad, or fearful. This can be helpful when it’s necessary to act quickly for our safety, or to remind us how we felt in a previous similar situation.

But, this low-road route is where emotional high-jacking occurs. It can lead to rash decision making, not thinking before acting, and ultimately hurting ourselves or others.

Your low-road sends the immediate signal of an emotion, and the high-road then assesses the situation to see what needs to be done to deal with the threat. The high-road is there so we can think about things before acting, and find the best options to solve our problem.

If you’ve ever been emotional distraught, you know it can be tough to think straight.

Using emotions advantageously comes from thinking before acting, and can help to prevent causing harm to yourself and others. Leer más “Mentally Hijacked: How to Recognize Constructive and Destructive Emotions”