The Broken to Brave Podcast

Recognizing and Breaking Free From Freeze Syndrome

March 12, 2024 Dr. Stephanie Lopez Episode 42
Recognizing and Breaking Free From Freeze Syndrome
The Broken to Brave Podcast
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The Broken to Brave Podcast
Recognizing and Breaking Free From Freeze Syndrome
Mar 12, 2024 Episode 42
Dr. Stephanie Lopez

Have you ever felt paralyzed by fear or uncertainty, trapped in a cold grip you can't seem to shake off? This episode dives into the heart of that immobilizing freeze response, a place many of us know all too well. It's a journey through the emotional landscape that many neglect—the nuanced freeze response that can halt us in our tracks, leaving us numb and without direction.

But there's a beacon of hope on this path, and it's called the Brave Academy. This program is a lighthouse for those of you navigating the choppy waters of emotional turmoil. Here, you'll find solace in strategies to regulate your emotions, recalibrate your nervous system, and ultimately, uncover the best version of yourself. Imagine feeling happy, calm, and at peace—this is not a distant dream, but a tangible reality that awaits.

In this episode, you'll learn the following:
1. How to identify the signs of freeze syndrome.
2. Strategies for recovery and prevention.
3. Importance of curiosity and inner exploration.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt paralyzed by fear or uncertainty, trapped in a cold grip you can't seem to shake off? This episode dives into the heart of that immobilizing freeze response, a place many of us know all too well. It's a journey through the emotional landscape that many neglect—the nuanced freeze response that can halt us in our tracks, leaving us numb and without direction.

But there's a beacon of hope on this path, and it's called the Brave Academy. This program is a lighthouse for those of you navigating the choppy waters of emotional turmoil. Here, you'll find solace in strategies to regulate your emotions, recalibrate your nervous system, and ultimately, uncover the best version of yourself. Imagine feeling happy, calm, and at peace—this is not a distant dream, but a tangible reality that awaits.

In this episode, you'll learn the following:
1. How to identify the signs of freeze syndrome.
2. Strategies for recovery and prevention.
3. Importance of curiosity and inner exploration.

5-Day BRAVE-cation Healing Retreat:
www.brave-method.com/retreat-priority-list

______________________________________

[FREE TRAINING]
How high-achieving women can
DITCH anxiety in as little as five minutes a day

www.brave-method.com/anxiety

Which of these results do you want and inspire you the most?
www.brave-method.com/testimonials

💗 Dr. Steph
@DrStephanieLopez
www.brave-method.com




Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Dr Steph and I'm here to guide you on your journey to healing from a difficult relationship with your mother, whether she was narcissistic, emotionally immature or just plain toxic. I want you to know that you are, in fact, not broken and you do not have to suffer from anxiety or explosive emotional reactions like lashing out. You can break the cycle. You are a strong, capable woman who can handle any challenge that comes your way, and I'm going to show you how to have the ultimate control over your reactions so that you are unstoppable. Welcome to the Broken to Brave podcast, welcome back. I just want to take a minute to say thank you. Thank you for listening to the podcast and thank you for sharing it with others so that they can benefit from what I share as well. I really appreciate you and I want to specifically thank Brooke, who left a podcast review recently. She said Stephanie helps make sense of why I feel how I do and why I felt that way when I grew up. I appreciate this when it comes to regulating my emotions and I have learned so much. So again, thank you, brooke, for reviewing the podcast. Every single time one of you reviews the podcast, it tells the platform to show it to more people, and I know that it takes time out of your day, but what I really want you to know is that it does help. So thank you again. I appreciate each of you.

Speaker 1:

Now, today, I'm going to talk about something that's really important, that doesn't get as much attention as it probably should, and that is the freeze syndrome. What are the signs and how do you get out of it? Before I dive in, I want to share something that brought up a bunch of emotion for me. Well, let me be specific. It actually brought up a lot of positive emotion, and I just I don't know, I just can't help but share it.

Speaker 1:

After the four day bravecation healing retreat on February 25th well, it ended on February 25th I began receiving messages from multiple attendees about how the experience was for them. One of them, who was attending for the first time, was astonished because she said it felt like I could see into her soul and that of other attendees, and just to know exactly what they needed. See into her soul. That's the words that she used. And then another woman, who attended for the second time, said this experience seemed different and she said I don't know how you're going to take this, but it was almost like God speaking through you. And then another client who was attending for the first time said that it was like magic watching me real time, and she felt as if the universe knew exactly what she needed and I was the vessel to deliver it. And as I reread those messages this morning, it brought tears to my eyes.

Speaker 1:

Like I do not take comments like this lightly and I know deep in my soul that I am doing the work that I was put on this planet to do and, after working with so many women, I know most do not feel seen, heard or understood, and what I often hear is they feel like, well, nobody's going to get my struggles or this isn't as bad as other people's struggles, comparing themselves. I'm just curious if you felt that. And, yeah, just like the fact that in my presence they often feel more seen than ever before, it just like. I don't even know how to put words on this, but it melts my heart and it makes me feel so happy and grateful that I get to do this work every single day. So I just wanted to share that with you. So thank you for being here and to each of you who are current and past clients. Thank you so much for trusting me and for trusting yourself.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let's dive into the freeze syndrome. Okay, so freeze syndrome or freeze response is one of the natural responses to a perceived threat or danger. Now, perceived is important because, you know, this is like evolutionary, the default response, and we are not like standing in front of a tiger anymore. However, our mind thinks that's the case and that's what kind of threat we're often responding to is like a physically hostile for lack of a better word situation Fight, flight or freeze. People know these are the default responses. However, most of the time it's like a conversation and people are avoiding a conversation because, deep down, part of them feels like they're going to die, but like, most likely, probably not. I'd like to say always, probably not. But hey, I know that I'll get that one person I'll be like well, this one time. So most likely, probably not. This is one of the body's default natural risk defense mechanisms, and fight or flight tends to be most talked about.

Speaker 1:

In freeze, what happens is it leaves someone feeling overwhelmed, threatened, immobilized and unable to react in the face of stress, fear or trauma. So if we just stop there and we look at this, unable or immobilized to react in the face of stress, fear or trauma. That's where the work needs to be done to shift the stress response, to shift the response to fear and to heal the trauma, and those are all things that I guide clients through. I'm going to keep building on this, though, and just be really clear about some of the signs that you may be experiencing in a freeze response, so that you can see, like, oh, is this me, do I know somebody that this happens to. So let's go over five really quick.

Speaker 1:

One is physical immobility literally stuck or frozen in a situation and unable to move or act. Second one emotional numbness, like lacking an emotional response, feeling like disconnected or detached from emotions, maybe feeling a little flat or a lot flat. Number three making, maybe difficulty making decisions due to overwhelmed feelings. You might feel like spacey or zone out or find it hard to think clearly or not feel fully present. Number four having increased anxiety and generally that is not visible from the outside, some physical symptoms. There could be increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. And then, finally, number five muscles may feel tense as well. So I want you to think through those five signs and consider is this true for me, is this a response that I tend to have Now.

Speaker 1:

Experiencing one or more of these doesn't necessarily mean that you are definitely experiencing a freeze response. However, these are some of the most common signs, so I just want you to think about the extent to which it comes up for you. And what I want to dive into next is how do you recover from a freeze response? That's the first thing. How do you get out of it? And then how do you reduce the likelihood of occurrence? And what we don't want to do is put a bandaid on the situation.

Speaker 1:

So a lot of times, people will just address symptoms that are coming up, and I'll give you an example. Like with tense muscles, one of the tips that you may read or hear about on a podcast or Instagram or in a book is like to loosen up all the muscles in your body, like bit through, bit through, like stretching type things. Now, yes, that will help. However, that is putting a bandaid on the situation. My approach you probably know by now is to address the root cause, like we can do the band-aid stuff as well if you want to, but like let's go deep and heal so that this isn't an issue for you anymore. Does that make sense? I'm assuming that if you're here and you're listening, it does, and that's what you want. You don't want to just put a band-aid on this situation.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so what's most important for someone who is experiencing free syndrome is to prioritize three things To address the root cause, how to regulate your emotions, calming your nervous system. And building inner safety and part of that can be like the healing of any trauma. That happened as well. Here's three concrete steps for you. I'm gonna walk you through this bit by bit.

Speaker 1:

Okay, if you resonate with experiencing the signs of free syndrome, you may have never learned to regulate your emotions in a healthy way. As humans, we are all born with the innate ability to up Regulate or to go into fight flat flight or freeze. Freeze is also hyper arousal. So this is all up regulation and I want you to think about it. Have you ever had to think about Going into one of these responses or does it just happen? It just happens because this is the default response. And just because it's the default response doesn't mean that you can't change it. It just means that it's automated until it's changed. So we are. We are all born with that innate ability to up regulate, but we are not born with the innate ability to down regulate or to come down from that. That is something that has to be learned, and For those with emotionally immature, narcissistic or toxic mothers, it is likely like highly likely, that you were not taught, unless you had some other saint in your life.

Speaker 1:

You were not taught, and now you need to take the reins to build those skills, and if there's doubt in you that you can build those skills, I want you to know that it is possible for you. I've seen so many women do it. I've done it. It is possible for you. You just need to know all the pieces to the puzzle so that you can do that. Now, as part of this, your response to fear must evolve. This is something that I work thoroughly with on clients, and what I see is that the tendency is to listen to fear, but in actuality, that is giving away your power, and if you give away your power, you will always Feel stuck in the face of fear. So your response to fear has to evolve and your nervous system has to feel safe to let it evolve.

Speaker 1:

So let's just dive into the next thing. That's the first piece, and the next piece is calming your nervous system. And while I can teach you to calm your nervous system and you can Google ways to calm your nervous system, what I do is I like to go above and beyond and let's just recalibrate your nervous system Because, again, if we just are still up regulating them and then we're putting a bandaid on the situation to like, okay, let's use this tapping strategy or this strategy or that strategy to calm, how about we just reduce the likelihood that we are going to up, regulate and we recalibrate your nervous system? That's my preference and it works beautifully. So the my favorite and the most effective way to regulate and recalibrate your nervous system is through clinical or resonance breathwork. I am a clinical breathwork facilitator and it's my favorite because it's an elite form of breathwork where we actually use data from your body to determine your optimal breathing rate.

Speaker 1:

Let's pause there and let me explain that a little bit. Your optimal breathing rate is the pace of breath that you should be breathing at during breathwork to recalibrate your nervous system. So the data that we use from your body is I hold a session, I'll hold a session with you, I'll mail you an HR sensor, a heart rate sensor, and you'll wear the sensor during that session and we'll actually use data from your heart to determine your optimal breathing rate. It's wild, it's beautiful and it is an elite form of breathwork. Now, when you breathe at your optimal breathing rate, that brings your body out of fight, flight or freeze, and it's been shown by lots of research to recalibrate your nervous system in 10 weeks. And I'll be honest like I personally don't know of anything else that powerful Executives have used this, people that are like like athletes have used this. So people you can think about people in high pressure situations where they can't go into fight, flight or freeze or there will be an issue with getting the results that need to be gotten Use this type of breathwork to recalibrate their nervous system and shift how they automatically respond to life and to stress and to fear. That's pretty cool. I just sold myself on it, all right.

Speaker 1:

Finally, the last thing is building inner safety, and that is super important and also not really talked about much from what I see. And here's one of the most important things that you need to know about how to do that the more that you approach your experience with curiosity, the more safety you will build your emotions, your thoughts, the sensations in your body. When you turn away from those and you don't want to feel them, that creates the experience that it is not safe. When you're curious about them and you meet what's there, you will heighten the inner safety that you feel Okay and that's beautiful. I just had a flashback, just as I was saying this, to the retreat, one of my clients, who has done a brilliant job with this Brilliant. She has taken all of the recommendations that I give her, tries them on, does them to the full extent, and this is one of the ways she meets everything that's there with curiosity and explores it and looks at it and has wonder about it. That has brought her so much safety and security and inner peace. That's it for today. Those are the three things.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to repeat that just to make sure that we are on the same page how to regulate your emotions, calming your nervous system but honestly, it's really about recalibrating your nervous system and then building inner safety. If you listen to this episode and you're like holy macarons, this is me. I want this. Here's what I want you to know.

Speaker 1:

Inside of my six month program, the Brave Academy, I will guide you to do those very things Regulate your emotions not only calm, but actually recalibrate your nervous system, build inner safety and so much more so that you can show up as the best version of yourself and feel happy, calm, capable and at peace. I've got you. Life does not have to feel this hard. It really doesn't. To book a call and to learn more about working together, go to wwwbrave-methodcom slash book. That's brave-methodcom slash book and I will go ahead and put that link in the show notes so that you can just click it. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening today. If you're ready to heal, so that triggering situations no longer control you and so that you can feel empowered, brave and thrive in any situation, dm me the word brave on Instagram and I'll send you a training where you will learn three of the most common mistakes driven women are making that are keeping them stuck in negative emotions, and what you can do instead.

Overcoming Freeze Response in Healing
Brave Academy Program Details