Our human bodies are so powerful and as you navigate your healing journey, it is vital for you to understand when your body enters a flight, flight, or freeze state and what you can do when that happens. As a practitioner I am here to empower you and remind you that healing is possible and within reach.

What is the fight, flight, or freeze response?

In simple terms, it is your body’s reaction to perceived danger. This stress response allows you to react quickly to perceived threats and when this happens there is a change that happens on a physiological level. These changes help you react in a timely and appropriate manner when the threat is real. Note that these responses are not a conscious decision as they happen on an unconscious level.

Fight or flight is an active defense response where you literally fight or flee in a situation. 

Freezing is when fight or flight gets put on hold and you prepare to further protect yourself. Oftentimes you are completely still in order to get ready for the next move you are going to make in order to protect yourself. Freezing can also feel like dissociation in a stressful situation.

What is going on in the body?

Your amygdala is what perceives a threat and then sends a message to your hypothalamus which then stimulates the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system which is located in the ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) is what drives the fight or flight response and the parasympathetic nervous system drives the freeze response. Adrenaline and cortisol are your stress hormones that get released when this happens.

Your body’s typical response

  • Heart rate and breathing increases
  • Skin gets cold or sweaty 
  • Pain perception decrease
  • Ears perk up 
  • Eyes dilate 
  • Blood thickens which prepares your body for injury 

All of these physiological responses make sense when there is a real perceived threat, but what do we do when our unconscious tells us there’s a threat but it is not real? We have to take action to help get us into a state of rest and digest. 

Oftentimes we think that meditating, journaling, and thinking positively will get us out of our fight, flight, or freeze state but this is not the case. We need to take a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down approach in order to help our bodies to transition out of the fight, flight, or freeze state. Overreaction happens when you get into that state when there is no real threat but it is a psychological response.

Overreaction can look like

  • Trauma triggers
  • Stressful life events
  • PTSD
  • High anxiety

top-down bottom-up calming strategies

  1. Emotional Freedom technique (Tapping)
  2. Deep breathing 
  3. Exercise
  4. Proper nourishment

What next?

Have you tried any of the above when you are in a stressful state and do not want to be? As a practitioner, I can help you cultivate a deeper sense of healing where you do not go into a fight or flight state as frequently and remain in a deeper state of calm. 

When you work one on one with a practitioner you start to cultivate a deeper sense of calm and transformation through consistent practice of calming techniques and processing things that you are unable to do on your own. If you are ready to say yes to your healing journey, sign up for a CLARITY CALL and find out how I can help you get to where you want to be.

Sending love and wellbeing your way!

Lisa 🧠

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