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my threat response: fight, flight or freeze

Jun 29, 2016 - 0 comments

I find that when i precieve a threat usually my first reaction is to fight. But in some situations where I feel a fight is unwise or impossible unfair then i freeze. those situations would be like when my appointment is bigger or smaller, smarter or less intelligent than me. I feel in those situations its unfair to fight. So I freeze and think about my options or try to calm down. I rarely walk away...or fly away.
I need to practise mindfulness with myself more so I can develop a good coping skill and don't automatically resort to flying away or fighting my opponents.
The first step is to practise deep breathing, 'calm the body calm the mind'. I will try this in the evening before bed as part of my meditation ritual to improve my sleep and anytime I feel anxious or unable to focus.
I will name my feelings as i feel them and notice how my body feels then do the deep breathing to calm any uncomfortable feelings.
The following is a chart on how my feelings affected me with my ex husband.
1. anger - when i felt angry with him i would freeze. i would feel nervous, irritable and my heart race, i would sense that i wanted to run away after some time.
2. anxiety - when i was anxious i would feel restless and confused
3. depression - this feeling made me immobized and unable to make decisions, i felt helpless and lack of energy
4. fear - I would feel scared and attacked. my body would urge me to hit or push him away
5. grief - I would feel like crying and want to be held
6/ guilt - I would feel anxious and neurotic and want to talk alot
7. jealousy - I would feel extremely threatened and want revenge
8. sadness - I would want to lie down and rest or to cry, not wanting physical affection but wanting just someone to talk to me
9. worry - I would breath fast and talk a lot and feel scared

I need to practise feeling these emotions and naming them. then wait for the feeling to pass without making and decisions. That is part of mindfulness control. I will try this everytime i feel an emotion thats like one of the above mentioned.

Tips for effective communication
1. avoid bringing up the past
2. use I statements
3. avoid email for important conversations. Use the phone or talk in person
4. be mindful of nonverbal cues
5. cultivate a gentle tone of voice
6. don't say everything
7. practise letting go

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