Ever wondered why your emotions sometimes overpower your logic? In this Science Lab article, Ridhima explores the epic showdown between your heart and brain during your teenage years. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of adolescent brain development!
Adult v/s teen brain
In the whirlwind of teenage emotions, have you ever wondered why you make certain choices? As the famous movie ‘Chemical Hearts’ suggests, teenage brains undergo a massive upgrade before reaching full adulthood. It’s like a burst of connections and synapses, helping you figure out right from wrong, your likes and dislikes, and who you aspire to be. A Stanford study also states that it isn’t until the age of 25 or above that the rational part of teen brains is fully developed.
It has also been found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.
What was I thinking, really?
Unlike grown-ups who think with the prefrontal cortex, you’re in touch with your emotions. So, when those overwhelming feelings hit, it’s less about thinking and more about feeling, just like when Ranveer Singh delivers his iconic dialogues. So, when intense feelings take over, it’s less about thinking and more about feeling.
Subsequently, it doesn’t matter how smart you are or how well you score on class tests or tests like the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something you can excel in, at least not yet. Making sound judgments can be a real puzzle during your teenage years. Your brain is still under construction, and the connections between emotions and decision-making are developing at different rates. That’s why, when you’re swept away by intense emotions, it’s tough to explain what you were thinking. In reality, you were feeling more than thinking.
It’s okay to not be ok!
And when you feel more, excessive worry, social anxiety, prolonged sadness, and difficulties with focus or behaviour may come knocking. Keep an eye out for notable changes in sleep, eating habits, or daily activities; they could be signals that it’s time to ask for help. If any negative feelings persist for more than a couple of weeks, it might be a sign of something more serious like depression, and it’s crucial to seek professional help. Remember, there’s no shame in reaching out.
To boost your mental well-being, physical activity, a balanced diet, and enough sleep are your allies..
Parents – your real-life heroes
Remember those Bollywood scenes where parents play pivotal roles in rescuing the hero/heroine from the miseries? Well, your parents could be the real heroes here. Engaging in discussions, being present, and showing genuine interest are the essentials for the supporting cast. They’re your mentors, guiding you through your script to resilience and independence.
Even when it seems like you’re pushing them away, understanding the ongoing development of your teenage brain can help your parents be effective mentors. Despite your facade, you benefit immensely from their support. Their involvement today can significantly impact your life tomorrow.
The next time you find yourself locking the door and retreating to a corner of your room after a breakup or a failed exam, consumed by sadness and not in the mood to eat, and your mom approaches you with concern, don’t push her away.
Names have been changed. This article has been authored by a member of our TeenBook Advisory Board (TAB). To learn more about what TAB is and how to join, please click here.
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