4 Top Tips for Overcoming the Reptilian Brain

The reptilian brain is one of the oldest neurological and hormonal systems in our bodies. It controls our ancient fight or flight response that we share with many animals and reptiles. The reptilian brain is eminently useful and a necessary component of our biological makeup. But it can go wrong. An overresponsive reptilian brain will result in crushing anxiety, overworked somatic systems, and chronic illness. Here are four tips for controlling and subduing an overresponsive reptilian brain.

Deep Breathing

A key move to overcoming a fight or flight response is to deep breath. This means slowly filling your lungs to full capacity through the nose and then gently breathing it all out before repeating the process. This will calm you down.

Square Breathing

Square breathing is deep breathing. But here you breathe in to the count of five, hold to the count of five, and breathe out to the count of five. Repeat.


When the reptilian brain initiates an unnecessary fight or flight response, you need to be mindful. Focus on where you are, what you are doing, and who you are with. This will keep you grounded.

Diminish Threat

Anxiety disorders develop as the reptilian response is disproportionate to the situation. A good way of retraining your cognition is to remind yourself that you are safe and that it is not a life or death situation.