Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn Symptoms in the Body

One way to understand how the brain can create symptoms in the body is through fight, flight, freeze, fawn nervous system reactions. These stress or trauma reactions are real but they are protective in nature. They are meant to protect you from what the brain perceives as dangerous or threatening. Protection symptoms can be subtle or they can be really strong. They can literally try to shut you down (ie. freeze) physically through the parasympathetic nervous system or represent sympathetic fight or flight energy in the body that can come out in a myriad of physical symptoms.

It’s so important to remember that fight, flight, freeze, or fawn symptoms represent reactions from a fearful brain, not injury or damage from physical tissues in the body. As bad as the symptoms can feel, they are not dangerous or harmful and you are OK. It’s like having an anxiety panic attack vs. having a heart attack.

Part of our recovery is first recognizing and knowing we are having one of these brain and nervous system reactions and not something physical that needs physical attention. We want to then understand why it’s happening and subsequently learn ways to reduce these reactions over time. Reach out for coaching support if you would like to learn more about these reactions and how they may apply to you and your symptoms.