A driver ran a red light and just barely missed your car. You are clearly shaken by the experience and trembling. This scenario is an example of how your fight, flight, freeze response is triggered. For generations, humans have been surrounded by danger whether it’s stemmed from dangerous predators, not knowing where our next meal would come from, or just staying warm during cold months. When presented with these dangerous situations our body quickly starts the fight, flight, freeze response.
The changes that occurred to our body during this response would help us survive. We would run or fight the predator. In some cases, we would freeze so we could think things through a bit more. Though the lives of humans have greatly changed in recent generations our bodies still have the same fight or flight response as our ancestors. Read on to learn more about how this response changes our bodies both physically and mentally and what we can do to help control it.
What Is Fight, Flight, Freeze?
The fight, flight, freeze is your body’s natural stress response to certain situations. According to Very Well Health, “The fight-or-flight response (also known as the acute stress response), refers to a physiological reaction that occurs when we are in the presence of something that is mentally or physically terrifying.”
This response is our body’s way of saving us from danger. In the past, it saved us from animals that were trying to attack us or kept us focused during a long hunt. However, nowadays, when the response is triggered it’s not always because of a truly dangerous situation and that’s when the fight, flight, freeze response becomes a problem. It’s in these situations that we need to learn to recognize our fears and anxieties to overcome them.