You find yourself being chased and you end up being backed onto an edge. You are scared and frightful of the thing chasing you. You stop and turn to face your fear. What is your next action?

Do you fight the thing which scares you? Do you stand your ground?

Do you keep running despite knowing you may not be able to get away?

Do you freeze and shut down?

These responses are known as the Fight, flight or Freeze responses. These are part of the bodies natural stress response system and are our automatic reactions to fear. The primary trio comprises fight, flight, or freeze, yet there are two additional responses: Friend and flop. Collectively, these constitute the 5Fs.

Will you ask others for help to face your fear? Or try and befriend your fear?

Will you flop? Becoming submissive to the fear (doing what you are told in order to please) or play dead (so they go away)

So facing your fear will you either: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Friend or Flop?

There is part of our brain called the Amygdala which is part of the Limbic System (the part of our brain which controls our emotional responses to events) and is responsible for triggering one of our 5 F’s response. When the Amygdala part of our brain senses danger it will send automatic responses to help our bodies prepare for our automatic responses. This can include release of adrenaline (to help energy), release of cortisol (to help relieve pain), speed up heart rate (to increase blood/oxygen flow) and tighten muscles. All of these natural reactions help our bodies to make the split second decision to either fight, flight, freeze, friend or flop.

https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/tools-for-victims-and-survivors/understanding-your-response/fight-or-flight/

https://www.starsdorset.org/blog/how-the-brain-works-in-response-to-a-traumatic-event-fight-flight-freeze-flop-friend

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