Don’t fight, flight (or freeze) your body and emotions - Deepstash
Don’t fight, flight (or freeze) your body and emotions

Don’t fight, flight (or freeze) your body and emotions

pmigdal.medium.com

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Procrastination is an emotional management problem.

Procrastination is an emotional management problem.

From a distance, procrastination looks like a time management problem. There is growing evidence that it is rather an emotional management problem — a flight response. Instead of facing the problem, we evade it. And how do other fear responses work? Here we go:

  • FIGHT: last-minute deadline crunch (“I will never surrender!”)
  • FLIGHT: procrastination (“let’s keep it at a temporal distance!”)
  • FREEZE: staring at the “chapter 1” of an unwritten report, piece of code, or email

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What's your attachment style?

What's your attachment style?

What are you afraid more of — loneliness or being in chains? Do you under- or overreact? What annoys you more: a partner being unresponsive, or too pushy and controlling?

  • FIGHT: chasing and checking (anxious attachment style)
  • FLIGHT: needing space, avoiding difficult subjects, ghosting (avoidant-dismissive attachment style)
  • FREEZE: learned helplessness, hopelessness, or depression

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What's your response to bodily sensations?

What's your response to bodily sensations?

You accidentally hit your finger with a hammer. What’s your first reaction? And then: what do you do next? Do you try to resist pain, talk with someone to shift focus, or try hard to not feel it at all?

  • FIGHT: grit one’s teeth and resist
  • FLIGHT: distracting ourselves
  • FREEZE: cutting ties with a body part / dissociating

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Try the mindfulness way.

Try the mindfulness way.

Next time try to… focus on the sensation. In a mindful way, observing and experiencing, but not judging. It won’t make the pain disappear, but it will make it less troublesome.

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How do you handle difficult emotions?

How do you handle difficult emotions?

Similarly as with our body — what do you do with difficult emotions? From small conflicts and frustrations to deep wounds from unsatisfied childhood needs, worst traumas, and feelings that bother you on a daily basis?

  • FIGHT: anger / pushing
  • FLIGHT: distracting oneself
  • FREEZE: numbness, depression, learned helplessness

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Accept who you are.

Accept who you are.

It does not mean that you suddenly start enjoying your pain (as with the hammer and the finger), or turning suffering into some mystical masochism. It’s about accepting that you are who you are.

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The 5 Stages of Grief model.

The 5 Stages of Grief model.

One example of such integration is the 5 Stages of Grief model. While it might be not a universal one, it turns out that these stages map beautifully into fear responses:

  • Denial → flight
  • Anger → fight
  • Bargaining → fight/flight (or maybe fawn )
  • Depression → freeze
  • Acceptance → no fear response!

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CURATED BY

heisenberg

Digital marketing at dentsu. Invested in the symbiosis of marketing, psychology, and design. Sometimes, I tweet about Marketing. 👉

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