The Freeze Response & How to Work Through It| 3.9.2022
In this episode, Kristen talks about the freeze response, what happens during a freeze response, and how to handle it.
- How to recognize a freeze response
- What causes a freeze response
- What happens to the body during a freeze response
- Questions to help you explore the fight-flight-freeze response
- Tips to help you get unstuck
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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about ideas on stress management and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not psychotherapy/counseling in any form.
Kristen D. Boice
Welcome to this week's Close the Chapter Oodcast. This episode today is another extremely important one to explore the freeze response and how to work through it what is the freeze response some history associated with it How does it live in your body? How does it impact you today in your relationships and then finally how to free yourself from it. It is an important episode that if you know someone with trauma or tends to shut down not feel like they have a voice feel stuck feels maybe frozen in time feels powerless This is the episode for you or a loved one or a family member and I know there's so many people in partnerships and relationships where someone is stuck in maybe fight trauma response and the other person is stuck in freeze and they are not able to connect because one is kind of the pursuer one is considered the distance or and so we have this pursuer distance or dynamic that can create the victim mentality. And one person can be seen as the aggressor, the other person can be seen as the victim and powerless. And we can break this cycle. So this episode is so important. If you're learning growing, evolving, having breakthroughs or highs, maybe this podcast is helping you to see things in a different way, I would absolutely be so grateful for your review, I read those and I like to post those and acknowledge you and just say thank you with much gratitude because I'm on a mission to help other people find freedom and healing. And you are the reason I do this podcast. And I cannot thank you enough for your encouragement, support and listening to the podcast. If you also want to keep on top of the latest and greatest episodes, get the newsletter and find out other programmes I'm offering speaking engagements my YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter comes out once a week. And I try to pack it full with helpful content helpful information to help you on your healing journey. You can get that for free at Kristen D Boice, k r i s t e n d Boice Bo ice.com forward slash free resources. And you will also get a free healing guide. It's a journal you can reuse it over and over and over, you can save it. And if you're in a relationship, and you both want to do it together, I highly recommend that or maybe you want to do it with a friend or someone else that's also on this healing journey. Or maybe you're doing therapy not together. But you both seen therapists This is a great way to continue deeper conversations. So you can get that for free at kristendboice.com. forward slash free resources. I'll also put that in the show notes and then follow on social I try to post stories on Instagram @kristenDBoice. And helpful information. And on Facebook. It's Kristen D Boice. Twitter's Kristen Boice. And then I have a YouTube channel. And you can just Google YouTube, Kristen Boice if you want videos. So we there's a lot of free content out there. My website also is packed with free content to help you I am passionate about helping you. So without further ado, let's dive into feeling stuck. And maybe it's the freeze response. And let's explore whether it is or isn't because lots of clients come into therapy and they're like I'm stuck. They feel stuck in their job. The career no longer serves them, they may have difficulty finding an engaging and meaningful relationships, they might say they feel like they're going through the motions of life, but they're not really having any joy. They kind of feel like they're just stuck in the same place over and over and they're ready to work through it. They might report feeling anxious or worried and we all get stuck at times. So I want to make sure that's clear. Like we all have moments in time where we're stuck. If it's a persistent theme in your life you might be living in a state of functional freeze a term coined by psychologists Peter Levine and he really developed Somatic Experiencing where he was the pioneer in noticing trauma responses of fight flight freeze and how they live in your body and that if we don't mobilise them and release them. We can have chronic illnesses, migraines, body aches and pain. And sometimes that's not necessarily due to actual disease or genetics. Sometimes it is he was offering another exploration for what might be happening in your body and ways to help release it. And so I work with a lot of high achieving individuals who are in a state of functional freeze. And these clients often share their ability to feel joy and peace are kind of muted, they feel anxious, worried, numb, in lack true vibrancy, they have trouble concentrating and struggle to connect with creativity. I think we all can come in and out of this. But we're going to explore whether you are in the functional free state, and I'm going to break this down on what is freeze and what is functional freeze? And what are the trauma responses. So we have a deeper understanding, and then how to work through it. So let's dive into what is functional freeze freezing as a coping mechanism designed to protect you. And I need you to really understand this. And we're going to dive deeper into this. Because a lot of people who have had abuse, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, they say I should have spoken up, why didn't I say something, I wish I would have said something. And we really dive deep into it wasn't safe or adaptive for you to say something, there would have been a price that you would have paid that would have made it worse, and you are going into an automatic response to protect yourself. It wasn't a conscious thought, and it wasn't your fault. And the second thing I say is I believe you I believe that your pain is real, I believe what happened to you, because that creates a felt sense of safety. But I need you to know that these are automatic. And we're going to dive deeper into the science of this responses that were used to protect you, your child or your teen or you were older and you had a trauma. So let's dive into this. When we're under threat, a primitive defence a flight or freeze kick in to protect us. And there's two more we're going to also talk about I did two episodes ago, I did an episode on fawning, which is the people pleasing protection response and then there's flop and that's it mobilised response and we're going to talk more on those two responses briefly today. But if you want more on the fawning response, you can go back two episodes ago and listen to that episode because I dive deep into that will either fight physically or verbally or we'll try to escape both our fight and flight responses of active defensives, whereby a near instantaneous sequence of physiological responses and hormonal changes help us to either fight the threat or flee the safety when we can't fight or flee. However, either because we're too small or too little, we're trapped, we're overwhelmed or incapacitated in some way our body goes into a freeze mode. Examples of this might be a state of freeze include a child not having their physical or emotional needs met a victim of abuse a victim of an accident or natural disaster, one feels trapped and helpless, unable to flee or fight as a result will freeze. And again, this is an adaptive response in those situations, because we are going into an automatic response to protect us, this defence strategy will likely affect you later in life since the nervous system gets locked into a free state. So if you had this happen younger, it's frozen in time. That's what I like to say. It's kind of like an emotional rest of development where your body is frozen in time, if you aren't able to process and mobilise in real time, what you're feeling what you're thinking and move that out of your body and release it. And trauma, the freeze response becomes a much bigger and more visceral experience. When a person is in freeze mode, they will shut down, dissociate or split off from themselves allowing them to continue to function in the environment of the threatening situation. So let's define dissociation. Because we all have it if you've ever been in a stop sign, or stoplight, and then you get home and you're like did I stop at that stop sign? Did I stop at that stoplight? I don't even remember driving home. That's dissociation that's a mild form of dissociation. So we look at that on a continuum, how pervasive it is for you, how often does it happen? And dissociation is an adaptive response to threat and as a form of freezing. It is a strategy that is often used when the option of fighting or fleeing is not an option. You're just disconnected from your body. You're there but you're physically and emotionally not there you left to protect yourself, okay? And when we are in dissociation things are trapped in our body. We need to know that because you're kind of paralysed. That's what I want to say about that. And you may experience later in life physical or emotional symptoms and not know why like you might have a situation where you are in a car accident when you're younger, and you went into freeze. And let's say you had a fender bender as an adult, and you are having a massive body response to it and an emotional response. But it really wasn't correlated to this better accident, it was really the dotted line to the car accident you were in when you're younger, and you weren't able to process and release, the trauma trapped in the body, and the emotions experienced that. So oftentimes someone will come in with a current trigger, but they don't maybe even have a memory or an association of something younger. And then we can do EMDR or brainspotting, a trauma treatment modality that's been researched and used and we use it and pathways to healing counselling. All of our clinicians are trained in that. I've also gone through it my own life, you can unlock and unfreeze what was trapped in the body. We also have Somatic Experiencing therapies, which are great, that's bodywork therapy, that can be helpful. And so we want to dive into all of the trauma responses a little bit more. And then we're going to focus on the freeze response. And then we're going to come back to some questions that I want you to ask yourself. So let's dive into what is the fight flight freeze response, which is an involuntary physiological change that happens in your body and mind when a person feels threatened. This response exists to keep people safe, preparing them to face escape or hide from danger. Often people can experience this response whether or not the danger is real. As an adult, you may have something fire when I call fire, a trigger or an association. But it's really not about the current event, even though it looks like it is it's tied to a childhood event. So you may have something that happens to in your current life. For instance, let me give you a real life example. When I had a trigger of this, I spoke about it on the last podcast of not being liked. And it was intense, my body was having a response. So I knew there was something deeper here. So after therapy, I go in the meantime, I was able to journal about it and come up with an experience that I had in first grade where I was felt like rejection on the bus like nobody would sit with me. And then it took me to some family systems where there was triangulation of my family, which means there were third parties pulled into the mix, people were talking bad about each other, it was actually my mom. And so then that was where we kind of focused on those two memories. And were able to with EMDR kind of get to a resolution of my body response and having a place where I could nurture my little girl who was on that bus. And I could love her and I could attend to her and I could acknowledge her shame of feeling unlovable, and unworthy, and boring, and all the negative shame stories that I have to work through it. So I don't project that or put that on someone else and make them responsible for making me feel better when it's not really connected to them. It's connected to something deeper. So we can have situations that are triggering a deeper event that's happened or experience for you. That's not really the current situation. So it's important. That's why I love therapy. That's why I love journaling. That's why I love doing this work because you can clear out what no longer serves you and get unstuck by processing those body sensations, emotions, and then learn how to nurture the younger part of you that split off that dissociated that felt scared that felt unworthy that felt defective that felt shame and clear that so okay, we're going to keep going because this there's so much to cover here. The fight flight or freeze response is how the body responds to perceived threats. It is involuntary and involves a number of physiological changes to help someone prepare to fight or take action to eliminate the danger that your fight response flee, which involves escaping the danger and freeze which involves becoming a mobile I want you to think about an animal that either attacks perceived threat that runs as fast as it can to escape the threat or some that kind of played dead or freeze in response to a threat. So some people also include the fourth option, which I did the podcast on last week, which is font or appease. fawning involves trying to please the person who represents a threat in order to prevent harm. Another potential reaction is tonic immobility, which some referred to as flop, so it's another F fight flight freeze fawn or flop some introducing a new response trauma response that we haven't talked about on the podcast as flop. This involves becoming completely physically or mentally unresponsive fainting a response to fear is an example of a flop response. So I'll give you an example of flop so my dad was hit by a car crossing the street after an NBA Indiana pacer game downtown here in Indianapolis and a truck came around the corner. He was crossing the street on the crosswalk and was hit along with my brother at the time. And my dad kind of protected my brother but he was injured pretty badly. He broke his hip, his arm, his ribs, it was a lot. And so I was an adult and I went to see him in the hospital. And he was pretty, I'm trying to frame how that you can imagine what that look like. He looked hurt. In the minute I walked in, I was flooded with emotions, I was flooded with emotion, seen him and I want to put some disclaimers in here. It's okay, if you need to take some deep breaths while you're listening to this podcast, maybe you're having a response, just hearing some of this. So I want you to take several deep breaths in through your nose out through your mouth throughout the podcast. So you can I just regulate yourself through it if need be. But I walked in, I saw him and I fainted. I went down was like I think I'm gonna fail. There I go. And so that wheel made it to the ER, and do all these vitals will there was nothing wrong with me. I had a flop response. And to seen him, I didn't know that's what that was called, I had no idea that there was a thing called flop. And that makes sense. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was scared, I was sad. I couldn't process it. And I didn't have the words, the words were not coming out of my mouth, except for I'm going to fail. Because I was already in the brainstem, my autonomic nervous system kicked in. And it was an automatic response. And down I went, but now I have a name for it, I flopped. And there's probably a tendency that I'm going to have to watch. If I get overwhelmed with feelings I'm going to need to breathe before entering any kind of situations that I didn't have these tools before this strike 20 years ago. No, it was probably 15 years ago, I don't remember, I didn't know to breathe. Before going into those situations, I didn't know to feel my feet on the floor. I didn't know to stay connected to my body through the breath. And through naming how I felt and looking at things in the room to help ground me and orient me to the space. And if it got too much to look away to take something with me that I can hold. If I needed something to regulate me like something soft, it can be a piece of felt, it could have been something like a cross or something a heart or something that means something. And some people take rosary beads, whatever that looks like for you. If you don't have trauma around those things, take something that's comforting and prayer into centre myself before I walked in the room I didn't do that I just walked in. And therefore my flop response was just so automatic because I didn't have my nervous system regulated. And it's so helpful to name these things to name your fight your flee your fawn or your flop responses and learn how to ground and centre it and acknowledge and nurture yourself before you get into those situations. That is the ultimate now we can't always do that. Because we can always prepare for these triggers. What do we do when we're in the trigger? I'm going to go over that. So keep hanging with me. Okay, so what do all these responses make up they make an acute stress response. In our nervous system. An acute stress response causes the body's automatic which we named nervous system, a lot of people call it the a n s to activate. This is the part of the nervous system that controls rapid and unconscious responses such as reflexes, and the automatic nervous system can send messages that tell the body to prepare for danger in different ways. If someone experiences either the fight or flight responses, they will develop rapid breathing and heart rate flushed or pale skin tense muscles. muscle tension can also create constricted feelings in the throat and result in a person's voice becoming higher pitched, diluted pupils. In dry mouth a person in fight or flight may feel extremely alert, agitated, confrontational, or like they need to leave a room or location. A severe flight or fight response can become a panic attack. It can also trigger asthma attacks and people with the condition. Okay, so we are going to dive into those fight or flight responses. Those are actually more adaptive than you would think in a trauma response because they're mobilising what's in the body. The freeze response involves a different psychological, physiological process that fight other than fight or flight. Research from 2015 describes it as an attentive and mobility while the person who is frozen is extremely alert. They're also unable to move or take action against the danger. Freezing causes physical and mobility a drop in the heart rate rather than an increase in muscle tension. Okay, so why do some people freeze or flop This is the big question while freezing like a counter into way to respond to danger. It serves a purpose just as fight or flight does freezing may prepare someone for action. So this is really interesting at 2017. Reviews suggested that freezing may function as a time for the brain to decide how to respond to the threat. Think about it. That makes a lot of sense. In experiments where participants had more time to prepare to take action, a period of freezing was more common. In animal studies, scientists have observed that freezing enables animals to continue scanning the environment in order to decide what to do next. Okay, the next reason why people might go to freeze or flop is increase visual perception. A 2015 study argues that freezing is associated with a better perception of one's surroundings, the researchers tested people's reactions to shock and how this affected their ability to understand visual information. Those who froze had a better understanding of what they saw and low quality or poorly defined images and processed threat, Revelation information faster EMDR. A lot of times when people have a freeze response, they have very clear images of memories. And we're able to work with those images and have them be less intense, can't erase them, but they don't have the intensity in the body, they don't have the intense level of disturbance, it still might feel disturbing, but not as disturbing. And that's why I love brain spotting and EMDR it really can effectively reduce the power it has in your nervous system. It can also help someone hide think about it in some situations being very still may keep and have worked. If you keep still it may be more safe than if you're reacting if you're fighting, it is more safe oftentimes. And so especially with children, because you are trapped, you have no outs. And I want you to really know that in many animals will not eat something that is dead. And so if an animal pretends to be dead, the chances of them keeping safe are higher because they don't want to eat. A lot of animals don't want to eat dead animals, okay, it also reduces the impact of the event a 2017 article suggests that the freeze response may be related to dissociation which we already talked about, and frame that, again, dissociation is something that could occur when a person has a traumatic experience, and makes us severely distressing events feel less real, causing a person to feel numb or detached. This may explain why the freeze response is more common in people with previous experiences of trauma, okay? And dissociation is something that can be worked through. Because we don't want to dissociate when our children need us because they're crying. We don't want to dissociate when our children start yelling at us. And we need to stay in our bodies and stay regulated so we can respond appropriately. And when we can notice dissociation, it really prevents connection in relationships. So if you're wanting a connected deep, authentic relationship, dissociation can be maladaptive because our trauma responses coming online when it doesn't need to, especially if we're in a healthy relationship. Here's some examples of a person is running out and suddenly encounters a large dog that is snarling at them. This could activate the fight flight freeze response, this person might or fawn and flop, okay, if it's in fight, they might become aggressive or throwing an object dog. Some of you may have had dog trauma. So just take a deep breath and kind of evaluate what was your response. And so you can understand, Oh, I didn't do anything bad. This was my autonomic nervous system kicking in trying to protect me flee is increasing their jogging speed in order to escape freeze was causing them to stop reading, fawn may try to calm the dog down and talk to the dog offer the dog something and flop you might become temporarily unconscious are faint. And this can happen in public speaking job interviews, exams can all trigger this same response. But really, it's connected to the dog response. And maybe you don't even know that because the body just basically associates it with that acute stress, the same acute stress you had with another traumatic event. Okay, so here, we want to jump into the questions to ask yourself and explore with curiosity. And then we're going to drop into more coping strategies. I know this is a lot to take on and to understand. But if you have this response, it's super important that you're identifying this or it's going to play out in your relationships, because someone might get intense with what they say. Or they might be more of a fighter. They might be a little more aggressive. And you're going to go into freeze and it's not going to be functional in the relationship. You're not going to have a voice. You're going to shut down in hard conversations. And so let's dive into some questions to ask yourself so we can work through this. We can thank it for service because it served you as a child and now You can nurture it, intend to it and know that you're safe. I'm not talking about extreme situations, I'm talking about day to day life where you are in a healthy relationship and you're safe. If you're in a not healthy relationship, that's a different episode. Okay, so four tips to help you get unstuck. And here's the questions I want you to explore. Number one, how has been in a state of freeze served you the Free State is a defence mechanism. So one point in time, its purpose, obviously, is to keep you safe, make a list of how it has kept you safe. For example, standing up for yourself may have not been safe for you, when you were a child, one of your parents may have had a bad temper, or was emotionally unavailable to you. So you doing that would not have gotten you the results that you needed as a child to have met your needs. So your autonomic nervous system was protecting you in different ways. Okay, number two, you probably want to get pen and paper for this meant to mention that earlier. Number two, where are you still living in a state of freeze? Okay, what do you mean by that? So the first question was, how was being in a state of free serve jail? Number two, where are you still living in a state of freeze? While freeze mode? Once kept you out of harm's way? Chances are, it's no longer serving you. Let's say that you were raised in an environment where you felt unsafe to speak up, how has that experience impacted your life? Do you feel confident to stand up for yourself a fight for what you want? And a healthy way? Of course, we have to be responsible for the energy we're bringing into the room? Are you willing to state your needs to others? Do you feel anxious and tend to shy away from attention? Look at your life now? And where? And how are you still living in a state of freeze? Breathe?
Why are we exploring these questions, we're exploring these questions to free you from the shackles of shame and immobility and being stuck. We are offering nurturing safety, and love to those parts that are scared, and that are still afraid to have a voice. They're afraid to speak up. Maybe you're afraid to move or make a choice that would mobilise you in a different direction, but for you, so hold all the compassion for yourself. And I know compassion is hard, because the shame wants to tell you, you're not enough. You're defective. It's all you which is not true. Those are lies. So stay open with curiosity. And just notice, that's all we're asking. Just notice as you're exploring these questions. Number three, examine your belief system. Exploring your belief system is important as it impacts your behaviour, how you feel about yourself, your attitude, your choices, your thoughts, your feelings. Do you believe the world is unsafe, and others are not to be trusted? And this is a pretty big question. Because right now there's some things going on in the world that may play a role in how you feel right now. So I just want you to take just in general, do you feel like the world is unsafe, and I know there's some unsafe, devastating, heartbreaking things going on right now. And so those traumatised parts might be really wanting to stay in a self protective mode, and just take a few deep breaths.
Know that we're here together having this conversation. And I hope you feel safe enough to just stay with the process. And know you're being held with so much love, and so much tenderness and kindness and non judgmental warmth, to be able to continue to stay in the process of exploration. And I do want to say if this is really triggering, chances are you have some trauma that needs to be explored with a professional trauma therapist, and I want you to know that it's okay, I go to therapy. therapists have therapist by the way, we can't be doing this work without taking care of ourselves. Like we have to walk the walk. So I'm walking the walk. I do therapy too. Because I'm human, and I want to break generational cycles, I want to feel better, I want to work through these triggers when they come up and get to the bottom of them and get to the other side. And if you can't go to therapy, keep journaling and exploring and building a support system. There's tonnes of free 12 Step programmes. There's Codependents Anonymous, there's a there's Al Anon for those that have an addictive family systems. There's grief share. It's just if you need grief work, their suicide family groups if you've lost someone death by suicide, and I just want you to know there are so many support systems out there for free. So please don't hesitate to look online or go to your local church or go to a support nonprofit cancer places. There are universities that offer free therapy, so check your local university. And then if you really need some help and can't get it you can call one 800 273 talk. That's one 800 273 talk that's the suicide prevention hotline. Or you can text 74174 One and they will listen, they will hear you because when we feel heard our nervous system really relaxes. So as you're exploring these questions, just kind of connect to yourself and see where you might need some extra support. Do you feel as though it's safer to keep yourself small and not visible to others? How have your experiences that have kept you in a state of freeze impacted your belief systems, other aspects of your belief system that are holding you back? So number one was how has been in a state of freeze serve June? Number two, where are you still living in a state of freeze? Number three, examine your belief system. And number four, how do you feel about engaging more of the mobilised responses, which is kind of your fight mode, and I don't mean fight as an attack. I mean, fight is in self-regulated voice, how you really feel to get unstuck. It's crucial that you engage in saying how you feel speaking up is intimidating and acknowledging the feelings and is hard. Start by speaking up in less threatening environments. For example, you might speak up around people you trust, or maybe you know, some other people that are in therapy that you can speak up with, or maybe it's a support group, maybe you're in a Al Anon GriefShare. And you can have safety to speak up. They have boundaries that help you feel safe enough to speak up, build up your tolerance for uncomfortable feelings that arise and develop your confidence because confidence is built by doing something over and over and over and feeling like you have competence. But that doesn't come automatically, because our fight or flight response is a physiological reaction. It's vital that you involve your body in the process, you want to get your body moving, whether that looks like yoga, pilates, going for a walk, even if it's five minutes, going for a run, lifting weights, maybe playing in a sport, maybe you want to start up pickleball maybe you wanted to dance, I have a friend that says she's like, I've always wanted to belly dance. I'm like, Really, you go Go for it. Whatever floats your boat, but you're moving your body in whatever ways, Jazzercise whatever that looks like for you. But you're moving your body because when we're in freeze, we're not moving, we're immobile. And moving, your body empowers you. And release is what's being held in the body. So that is so important. We want to slow the breath down. The stress response causes fast shallow breathing, people can slow this down with square breathing. You know, I love square breathing, where we inhale through the nose, hold and slowly exhale out your mouth like you're cooling soup
is so important. Because what that does is it helps you move into a more regulated place in your body. And you repeat that over and over. And you don't just practice this, when you're in a stress response. You do this every day. That's why yoga is so good meditation, any breath work. So if you have like the calm app, headspace, YouTube has lots of free breathing apps. Or if you go to my page, every mental health Monday that I do with Noblesville, Mayor Christiansen, I do breathing at the very beginning. So if you go to YouTube, Kristen Boice, you can listen to those videos, and hear me walk you through the breathing. And you could do that every hour, you could do that. That's what I recommend at the beginning to really get you in your body to remember to breathe, because it's not natural, we don't go Oh, and sometimes out my clients will say all I hear it in my head is you saying Just breathe. And now I'm going to connect to my body, I'm going to name my emotion, I'm going to notice what's happening in my body, I'm going to either sit with that emotion and let it come up and out. And the next emotion will come up and out emotions come and go. And we really want to if you get really triggered on a situation, the first thing you're going to do if you're in a freeze response is kind of connect to your body, you're going to come back to your breath. And then you're going to start slowly connecting to your senses. So you might look around the room. Look for something that might offer you comfort or just look at an object that you can describe shape, size, texture colour, you might notice that you can start noticing what you hear and reconnecting to just your nervous system. Sometimes I like to have people take an oil with them like a peppermint oil or lavender or something that helps with smell that can kind of calm them down. I was on an aeroplane with some of my girlfriends, and this is years ago. And one of them was kind of like I'm scared and I said here let me get my oil out and then we're sniffing these oils out of the bottle. I mean, it was fine to calm the nervous system down and she's like that really worked and I'm Like, yeah, it really is helpful. And then to carry something in your hand, if you need something soft, if you need something, I think I mentioned this earlier, just to help your nervous system go, I'm okay, I'm safe, I can handle this. And being able to believe that is really important. And we want to talk about taking care of yourself. So we know sleep is important. You can do a meditation app, like I said, the calm or headspace or YouTube, sleep meditation to get your body more relaxed, drinking enough water nutritions important, these are basics that I want to make sure we're talking about and kind of having a routine, I'm telling you for trauma that is so helpful to get up. You have your breathing, you have your century, maybe you do a five minute journal exercise, maybe you do some reading, listening to a podcast, listening to your music, whatever that looks like for you. It's also important that you're naming and processing your emotions, not numbing him with a lot of alcohol, or smoking or whatever using food. Because what that does is you're not able to release those emotions that need to be processed, you're not connected to the body sensations we all can get into where we want to numb out on TV, or binge watching shows your social media. And when we recognise what we're doing, just be kind to yourself, and explore what you're feeling, explore might what really be going on. And then it's so important to know when you need extra support. So high word over those options as well. There's lots of options out there. And I want you to know that you are worthy that you matter that you're important. And it's so important, you're looking at your freeze response and how it might be impacting you in all facets of your life as a partner, as a person, as a parent, as a co worker in your job at home, where you shut down in your life only you get to decide if you want to work through this and tend to that freeze response and work through it so you can come alive, you can have more joy because you're connecting to all your emotions, you're learning how to speak up and have a voice. You're learning how to name how you feel, you're learning how to have courageous conversations instead of shutting down. And sometimes that shut down may be appropriate. When you can discern between I need to take some deep breaths and recenter. And then I can re engage in the conversation or you're shutting down to protect yourself. Those are two different responses. And so I want to encourage you to really start exploring fight flight, freeze, fawn or flop and how those might be impacting your life. We all have them. So you don't get out of this category for free. We all have these responses because they're automatic. When are they maladaptive rather than adaptive? That's the question, and we can start working on it. That's why I love journaling on a regular basis. B and here's some book recommendations on this. It's the Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Basal Vander Kolk. And that is the hallmark of learning about trauma and how it lives in the body. And then what happened to you. And Bruce Perry wrote that one, and that one also helps you understand trauma. And then the ones I like a lot are homecoming and healing the shame that binds you. And those are by Dr. John Bradshaw. I've mentioned those many times. So I could give you tonnes of resources. And what I know to be true is I've walked through so many strategies on this podcast. So go back, you can search episodes, you can go to the website, Kristen D Boice, and hitch podcast and search episodes. You can do it on the app, or whatever podcast app you're listening to. And you can just go back and look at all the titles and see what resonates with you. The one with Hilary Jacobs handle is a great one on naming emotions. There's so many good ones that I hope are helpful to you. So thank you for listening, and I will look forward to being with you again next week.
And remember, it's never too late to heal, and you're worth it. I promise you. You're worth it. The shame wants to tell you something different. I'm here to speak truth. I'll see you next week. Thank you so much for listening to the close the chapter podcast. My hope is that you took home some actionable steps, along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life. If you enjoy this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share with a friend or family member. For more information about how to get connected visit kristendboice.com. Thanks and have a great day.
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