Thursday, September 14, 2023

Overcoming the Freeze Response Before a Fight: Don't Get Stuck – 2 Tips to Help


In the moments leading up to a potentially confrontational situation, it is not uncommon to experience the "freeze" response, a physiological reaction rooted in our primal instinct to protect ourselves from danger. This response can sometimes render us motionless and seemingly paralyzed, unable to take decisive action. Learning how to circumvent the freeze response can help you maintain control and take appropriate steps to ensure your safety. Below, we delve into two significant tips to help you overcome this obstacle and avoid getting stuck in challenging moments.

Knowing what triggers your freeze response is a crucial first step in navigating it. Recognizing these triggers allows you to develop strategies to remain calm and collected. Here's how you can go about it:

  1. Self-Awareness: Cultivate a deep understanding of your emotions and physical responses to stimuli.
  2. Reflection: After an encounter where you experienced a freeze response, take time to analyze what exactly triggered this reaction.
  3. Simulation: Safely simulating a confrontational scenario can help gradually get accustomed to the triggers and respond to them more calmly.

One of the most effective ways to counteract the freeze response is to engage in breathing techniques that help to calm your nervous system. Here's a method you can employ:

4-7-8 Technique

  1. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  3. Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.

Repeat this cycle a few times to help reduce anxiety and regain control over your body's reactions.

Grounding routines help you reconnect with the present moment, pulling you out of the immobilizing freeze response. Here is how you can create a grounding routine:

  1. Physical Grounding: Engage your physical senses by focusing on something tangible, such as the texture of an object in your hand.
  2. Visual Grounding: Focus your sight on a specific item or area and try to note its details.
  3. Verbal Grounding: Develop a mantra or a phrase that you can repeat to yourself to help bring your focus back to the present.


  1. Practice: Regularly practice your grounding routine, which becomes a natural response in stressful situations.
  2. Personalize: Tailor your routine to include elements that are calming and reassuring for you.
  3. Counseling: If you find it challenging to develop a grounding routine independently, consider seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor.

Overcoming the freeze response before a fight involves understanding your triggers and equipping yourself with techniques to remain grounded and breathe consciously. By integrating breathing techniques and grounding routines into your daily life, you foster a resilience that can be a vital ally in challenging situations. Remember, the goal is not just to react but to do so in a manner that prioritizes your safety and well-being. With self-awareness and practical strategies, you can train yourself to confront confrontational situations confidently and comprehensively.



Post a Comment