What do pain, fatigue, poor circulation, fibro fog, and slowed digestion have in common with a Disney movie? No, I won’t ask you to sing “Let It Go.” But, we’re in the right vicinity. When stressed, the fight or flight response can make us feel frozen (sans comical animated characters). It’s time to look at the fight, flight, or freeze response and its connection to pain and fibromyalgia.
Have you noticed that when you feel fear or anxiety, you have a tendency to freeze? Nothing moves except perhaps your eyes. You may not be aware, but that “freeze” tendency affects more than what meets your eyes. Your internal processes also freeze or slow down. This includes blood flow, digestion, cognitive function (the ability to reason), and much more.
So, from now on, when you think of the fight or flight response, also think about your propensity to freeze. (Brrrrrr!)
In the fibro world, I’ve written before about the tendency to take short, shallow breaths. At times, we may even unknowingly hold our breath.
I know that I do.
I hold my breath when I’m stressed and even sometimes when I’m happy and excited. This article, Fibromyalgia Stress Reset shares information on how breathing can provide us with a reset button of sorts.
I’ve also written about the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system responses as they relate to the fight or flight reaction. This article, The Antidote to Stress shares tips on what to do when faced with this response.
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Wanna know more about the subject? Check out this article from StressStop.com regarding the Fight Flight or Freeze response.