How do we control our fight or flight response? In this article we take a Vedic approach to centering our bodies and allowing the adrenal response to resolve through stillness.
We know about fight or flight, which is to meet a situation head on or to run from it for the means of survival. This can be a physical or emotional situation, or even a mental reaction internally with ourselves devoid of outside stimuli. A slightly deeper response is that of "freeze", in the freeze response we seize up or become blank and devoid of being able to make a course of action for survival. However, the freeze response is rooted in playing dead against a predator where running is not an option, or fighting is instant death.
There's a fourth response though that is less talked about and equally important to the other three. Fawn is the fourth trauma response, it's our codependency response. A literal sub reaction to people please in an environment that doesn't feel safe for our bodies, emotions, or mental well being. The inability to say no is a developed mechanism brought upon by the need to survive, this is achieved by giving into strict or threatening demands which will help preserve the life by simply accepting these abusive terms without outward objection.
A passive aggressive response is a combination of fight engaging and then converting to fawn due to the height of conflict feeling as if it can be overridden, but then is trapped and diverted so it becomes submissive while retaining a notion of fight in the passivity. Stockholm can develop through fawn for the emphasis of survival, but prolonged pretending leads to neural integration and that's what leads to not escaping when the opportunity is presented out of continual need to placate the danger which then becomes safety due to it transferring to familiar threats outside of possible threats, the known threat becomes the safest threat. Fawn explains the concept of never leaving the abuser for good when in a domestic partnership that is abusive.
How do we over-ride the fawn response?
Same way as in fight, flight, and freeze. We recognize the adrenal response and induce stillness within and allow the process to ride through while consciously reacting in a higher state giving clarity.
How do you simply attain that and apply it?
Two words, breath control. Below is an explanation of Simha Kriya and this will be used daily to help clear emotional and physical responses running on loop in the subconscious background. After some time using this you'll begin to notice deeper awareness and stillness within you when you're encountering daily stressors. Your reactions will be made from a state of calm rather than frenzied instinctive reactions based in connection with all the connected feelings that are still running on loops in the background and further compounded by related feelings in new situations. Clear the body to feel the body.
As seen in the picture above, either take a seated position or stand, and do twenty one deep inhales and exhales with the mouth fully open and tongue hanging out all the way. Breathe from the mouth and not your nose, same with your exhale.
Now switch to position two, do the same exact process of breathing for the same count as in position one, only difference is the tongue is fully extended and touching the roof of your mouth with your teeth showing and mouth open wide.
Last position, in position three we will be seated and take in one big breath and tense the whole body and hold the breath as long as you can. Upon exhale you'll relax fully and send all the good feelings and calmness you just gathered straight to the point in between your eyebrows.
***You may feel lightheaded doing this technique, that's ok, we are fully oxygenating the body and all organs. This technique is also using the center under your tongue where the purest chi is held and formed and we are washing all the meridians. Think of this as a body purge, a meditation, and a parasympathetic reset.***