February 01, 2016
Fight Flight Or Freeze
One of the most crippling side effects of being highly sensitive is running high levels of anxiety. Sensitives, or SuperCeptors, are highly tuned to pick up on the nuances of their environments, keeping their bodies forever on alert. They are not the only ones, however. Anyone who has been imprinted by a stressful or traumatic period in their life, also has a brain tempered for further stress.
In the first five years of our lives everyone’s brain is being “tuned” for how it is going to react to the world. If those first years are filled with high levels of stress, we develop a brain prepared for more. Unfortunately, this creates a “trigger happy” stress response ready for danger behind every corner.
The Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is the circuit in the brain responsible for our stress response. There are two other major players in our stress response as well, the amygdala and the hippocampus. The Hippocampus is thought to be in charge of learning and memory. If we touch a hot stove, for example, we want to store a memory of that event so we avoid it in the future. Thus, every time the HPA axis is stimulated, the hippocampus gets a signal too. The amygdala is a more cognitive in nature. It works with the Hippocampus to decide whether something has the potential for being a stressful situation. In effect it anticipates stress, based on what has happened before, and activates the HPA axis accordingly.
Unfortunately, the amygdala can generate stress responses by seeing phantoms as easily as by seeing real dangers. Many of our energetic imprints from trauma in this lifetime, or even others, can set off the same response without an event actually having to happen. For this reason, the first order of business in regulating your stress response is to clear energetic imprints, or triggers, around trauma from your Lightbody. As the soul heals, you can begin the long process of reprogramming your hyper-vigilant brain.
When the stress system is activated, it creates reactions of fight, flight or freeze. Many people, when challenged with stressful situations, will turn and face the problem, ready to fight it head on. Others, however, will run for the hills. The third possibility is the onset of an immobility, or freeze, that grips the person’s will until it lets up. People who respond this way are overwhelmed with anxiety and cannot make a move or a decision until it lifts. They want to curl up, much like the possum who plays dead, until the environment feels safe again.
Many Sensitives struggle with being in freeze response states frequently, as they live in a world bustling with unseen information. Add pressure like performing well on an exam, and their brains can lock down, making it impossible to study, let alone excel. There are medications available, but they often have side effects that dampen sensitivity, undermining the authenticity sensitives rely on for guidance.
Freeze can lead to a deep spiral of depression, as one’s self esteem collapses when they cannot act, and believe it will never end. Freeze is a temporary state, however, and all that is required is a shift in consciousness. It is important to get out of the Limbic brain and into the higher levels of function like the Associative cortex. The great Spiritual Masters intuitively retrain their brains, with breathing (pranayama), chanting and meditation. Sitting meditations are often difficult for someone in freeze, however, thus a practice that involves the whole body is often more preferable. For this reason dance, yoga and walks in Nature are especially effective. Each movement reintegrates the body with the mind through breath and rhythm. If you are in freeze, take the first step to a thaw. Get into sunlight! Breathe! Move!
Christina Allen’s work as an Intuitive, Healer, Teacher and Founder and Director of the Austin Shamanic Center, combines a strong science background (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Master Yogi, Reiki Master, and profound Shamanic Healing, based in part on Q’ero Indian traditions of Peru). Learn more about upcoming classes, make private appointments: www.AustinShamanicCenter.com or (512) 391 9829.
© Austin All Natural, February, 2016