Don’t fight, flight (or freeze) your body and emotions


  • FIGHT: last-minute deadline crunch (“I will never surrender!”)
  • FLIGHT: procrastination (“let’s keep it at a temporal distance!”)
  • FREEZE: staring at the “chapter 1” of an unwritten report, piece of code, or email
Flight and freeze at their best. From PhD Comics and BoJack Horseman.

Attachment style

  • FIGHT: chasing and checking (anxious attachment style)
  • FLIGHT: needing space, avoiding difficult subjects, ghosting (avoidant-dismissive attachment style)
  • FREEZE: learned helplessness, hopelessness, or depression
From Attachment Theory — How Your Childhood Affects Your Love Style by Charisma on Command

Body sensations

  • FIGHT: grit one’s teeth and resist
  • FLIGHT: distracting ourselves
  • FREEZE: cutting ties with a body part / dissociating
Thanks to Jeziorko Czerniakowskie and Naturalne Morsy Warszawa, I am where I am — in cold water! Thanks to Stefan (from W Gruncie Ruchu), I am able to embrace it better.


  • FIGHT: anger / pushing
  • FLIGHT: distracting oneself
  • FREEZE: numbness, depression, learned helplessness
Now I read one of my favorite childhood games more metaphorically.
  • Denial → flight
  • Anger → fight
  • Bargaining → fight/flight (or maybe fawn)
  • Depression → freeze
  • Acceptance → no fear response!
“Don’t be afraid Mithrandir, you are not alone” — one of the most beautiful scenes from the Hobbit (movie).




PhD in quantum physics, deep learning & data viz specialist. Founder at Quantum Flytrap. /

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Piotr Migdał

Piotr Migdał

PhD in quantum physics, deep learning & data viz specialist. Founder at Quantum Flytrap. /

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