top of page

Freeze! (Day 116)

Yesterday we looked at your fight and flight stress response. Today we're looking at a slightly less well-known, but more deeply impactful, freeze response. A common example of freezing (along a spectrum of intensity) is depression.

The freeze response occurs in all mammals when our brains decide that we cannot handle a threat, nor are we able to escape. Your body might feel numb and unable to move. You may feel as if you are not actually a part of your body. Freezing releases endorphins which serve to calm the body, and are also pain relievers, thus one can more easily handle a difficult event (like being eaten by a lion!). Freezing also allows one to block out a scary experience that may be too difficult to process in the moment.

Freezing is involuntary. You do not control when it will happen. It can look like a low-energy state, but underneath the outer shut-down, the dynamic energy of fight/flight is still raging. It's like flooring your car's accelerator and slamming on the brakes at the same time. This combination creates an enormous amount of turbulence in our bodies and minds.

All of our trauma is frozen in our bodies. These are our buried, unfinished emotional reactions. In the absence of addressing them, they will only get worse. Unfreezing is the key to releasing trauma. Our job is to unearth and thaw them with awareness and acceptance.


Keep observing your reactivity (watch others too). Is there something frozen in the experience? In you? It can be tricky to observe and feel a freeze – which is, by definition, a lack of something. Be patient, it's right under your nose!

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page