The Freeze Trauma Response

Episode 58

“Welcome to the Freeze Trauma Response. Unlike the other three responses <Fight, Flight and Fawn>, which are a call of action in the external world, Freeze happens in our bodies. Freeze is so fascinating. And as someone who really relates to this trauma response, I understand the dangers of it as well. It’s a reflexive response that’s turned inward and it’s greatly misunderstood.” 

-Jennifer Wallace, Podcast Co-Host and NeuroSomatic Psychedelic Integration Guide

Pod-Fam, this week we’re sharing our personal stories of Freeze Response along with thorough explanations of what it is and is not. In your healing journey it’s vital to expand your self-compassion and be curious as you begin to recognize the 4 F Trauma Responses in yourself. 

Do you often find yourself dissociating, leaving your body? Are your muscles tense most of the time? Do you have a hard time speaking up for yourself? Is your posture usually rounded? Have a hard time making eye contact? Does physical exhaustion take over your body sometimes? Have a tendency to procrastinate? Replay conversations and think of things you wish you would have said? 

If you’ve said yes to any of these, then you’ve most likely experienced the Freeze Trauma Response. Elisabeth wisely describes Freeze as Fight or Flight Responses on hold in this episode. During Freeze you’re preparing to protect yourself in a short amount of time and then you move into Fight or Flight.

However, if you experienced early childhood trauma or have complex trauma you may find yourself stuck in Freeze response because your body got conditioned to go into it as a form of protection. 

Encouraging words from Elisabeth,  “…like with all the other trauma responses, it’s important to remember that we are constantly changing. Our nervous system is constantly changing. Our brain is constantly changing. So even if you recognize yourself a lot in these <Freeze responses>, and it feels a little bit overwhelming and you realize that a lot of your life you’ve been cycling through these responses, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to stay that way forever. There are practical ways to work with your body, to discharge these emotions, to discharge the stress and to work with your nervous system to retrain yourself, to rewire yourself, to have different reactions, to not move into the same patterns over and over again.”

Highlights to listen for:

  • Elisabeth explains the 3 kinds of Freeze 
  • How to tell the difference between Freeze and chronic stress
  • Physical symptoms and signs of Freeze response
  • Differences between depression, chronic fatigue and Freeze
  • Links between procrastination, shame, inner critic and depression
  • The surprising roles posture and shame play in Freeze & how NSI tools can improve it
  • What stimulants like coffee do when you’re in a Freeze response
  • How rewiring your nervous system with NSI tools can lead you into healthy adaptive coping mechanisms
  • Elisabeth shares a real life of example how she moved through Freeze before a conflict conversation with her partner
  • How your Freeze response may affect communication in your relationships- and how to talk about it with your partner

We’re here to support your healing journey with NSI tools and the Brain-Based Wellness community. Join us LIVE on the site for 2 weeks for FREE at Rewire Trial. We hope to see you there!

Episode 58

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