🔥 Fight response
When under pressure, do you find yourself feeling irritable, agitated, or hyperactive? Individuals exhibiting the fight stress response often feel overwhelmed by an influx of energy, leading to restlessness and a feeling of being on edge.
You might find yourself jumping from one task to another, unable to concentrate on one thing for too long. You might also experience frantic energy that leads to impulsive decisions, racing thoughts, and a quickened heart rate.
If this sounds like you, you’ll benefit most from activities that calm you down, such as:
Listening to soothing music
Creating artwork or doodling
Practicing meditation or muscle relaxation techniques
Taking an easy walk in nature
For more tips, check out our guide on the visualization method for stress management.
🌧 Flight response
When you’re faced with stress, do you become numb, withdrawn, or zoned out? Do you struggle with productivity, or have difficulty starting tasks?
You may find yourself feeling detached from work or social activities, spending more time thinking than acting. It may feel as though you’re moving in slow motion, with every task seeming to require a lot of effort.
If this sounds like you, you’ll respond best to activities that are stimulating and energizing, such as:
If you struggle with procrastination, check out our guide on overcoming procrastination.
❄️ Freeze response
Do you freeze when under pressure? Do you feel stuck, or struggle to perform even the simplest tasks?
You may find yourself curled up in a ball, unable to move, as the deadline approaches. This inactivity, or lethargy, may last for prolonged periods of time and is characterized by a lack of mental energy required to perform.
If this sounds like you, you’ll respond best to activities that reboot your nervous system and reactivate your mind and body. You could start with deep breaths and mindful observations of your surroundings: what do you see and hear? It may also be helpful to move around, releasing muscle tension and reconnecting with your environment. The best exercises are those that engage both arms and legs, like:
You might also want to try grounding techniques, which can help reset your nervous system.