Fight Flight Freeze Fawn: Really Understand Your Stress Response ~ Mental Health 101 Kati Morton

Fight Flight Freeze Fawn: Really Understand Your Stress Response ~ Mental Health 101 Kati Morton

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Today we are going to talk about our stress response, otherwise known as fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. Now I know you are probably wondering what freeze and fawn are, and why we don’t hear about them as often, well that’s what we will dig into today, so stay tuned.

Let’s start out by explaining what our stress response is. Whenever our nervous system believes that we are threatened either physically or emotionally (and it doesn’t matter if we are truly at risk or not, we just have to think we are), like if we think someone could attack us, or if the situation at hand requires more resources then we have, we can be pushed into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. Being pushed into this state causes our amygdala and entire limbic system to sound the alarm. This change in our brain focuses our body on survival and takes the planning and more organized part of our brain, our prefrontal cortex, offline. This can cause us to feel on edge, act impulsively, and even feel overwhelmed emotionally. It’s supposed to be short lived, save us from a perceived threat, and then go away, but for many of us it can last for much much longer.

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