Freeze. Don’t go left. Don’t go right. Don’t go forward. Stop. We’re familiar with the phrase fight or flight. Neuro-science now introduces us to the freeze response as an integral link in the survival chain. It’s an animal reaction. When my dog is scared by a loud sound she stops dead, suddenly incapable of jumping up into her favourite chair.
Sometimes we want children just to stop. Stop fighting. Stop moving around, stop talking. But when stop gets exaggerated and becomes the norm, profound withdrawal can set in. That’s a place of discouragement for receiving and sending trust. Loving becomes difficult.
Statis or full stop is the hardest place to be in. If you ask a member of the military which is more difficult, to stand at attention for an hour or to run, running is always the preferred option. If a person in freeze mode is further traumatized, profound anxiety can set in.
The good news is that the central nervous system can re-learn and re-exercise emotional mobility. If you’ve become used to stopping and doing nothing out of fear of being further frightened or traumatized, I can help you around your roadblock. Give me a call. Keep moving.