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Episode 2: Fight, flight, freeze - or when your nervous system think they’re a bear

Updated: Nov 30, 2021


Have you ever been having a tough conversation and noticed your breathing is getting faster? Perhaps your palms are damp, your head is feeling foggy, or you're feeling the urge to run...this is our ancient brain shouting DANGER! It reckons the person you're speaking to is a bear and that you'd better do something, pronto.

In the second episode of Eggshells, the podcast exploring how to disagree well, Hannah and I dive into discussions about fight, flight and freeze. We find out:

- what the terms "fight, flight and freeze" mean in this context

- why we all adopt such behaviours in times of high stress

- what the polyvegal theory is, and why Dan Siegal's explanation is a useful way to understand and manage our own autonomic stress responses

Then next week, on 7 December, we'll let you know what we've discovered you can do to manage your stress response! Phew.

“This is a survival mechanism that's been hardwired into us. It is happening quicker than we can perceive what is actually occurring.”

Are you a fighter, a flee-er or a freezer (full of veggie burgers....just my freezer?)? Head to our podcast page for your 30 minute dose of Eggshells: episode 2 - fight, flight, freeze.

Meet David Cornish

For this episode we spoke with David, a freelance journalist, writer and pastoral support worker. Whilst recording his input with the Eggshells podcast, he worked as a chaplain to the staff of Kingston Hospital, supporting the wellbeing of NHS staff during the pandemic. He currently lives in Surbiton, Surrey, and has recently returned to freelance work to pursue writing and journalism. He previously wrote for publications including Wired, ShortList and The Independent. He can be found on Twitter at @d_cornish and would welcome conversation with anyone wishing to reflect on their experience of the pandemic.

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