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Coronavirus – Fight, Flight Or Freeze – How Are You Responding?

Fight, Flight Or Freeze – How Are You Responding To The Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis?

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how to override the hardwired response to the pandemic crisis by using powerful resources you already possess known as Psychological Capital.

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
Are you heartbroken, angry, lost, lonely, confused, depressed, hung up, or pining over your ex? Do you know how your ex is truly affecting you and do you want to benefit from personalized advice, action steps and revelations? Take my free breakup test and get your own personalized report.

The 6 Love Languages. Yes 6! What is Yours?
Love is an expression and therefore it has a language – a form of communicating and expressing. Each one of us feels love and feels loved in different ways. In a relationship, to get your needs met, your partner must also understand and speak your language. Watch my video to learn the 6 love languages

Now, let’s talk about how to override the hardwired response to the Coronavirus pandemic crisis by using powerful resources you already possess known as Psychological Capital.

When faced with a threat or crisis, there are three primary responses – fear, anger or paralysis – fight, flight or freeze. However, they are not the only options you have, they are simply the unconscious reactions that most of us use. How are you responding to the pandemic?

If you respond with paralysis, then you will fail to take any action to improve or help your situation. You might simply give up and remain in an emotional state of hopelessness and powerlessness. You will believe that you are incapable of changing things or doing anything effectively. That might be manifested as sitting at home and doing nothing – simply wasting hours on social media and the web or, oversleeping and hiding from the world.

The end result is depression. You don’t believe in your own strength, capabilities or resiliency.

If you respond with fear, then you will potentially be panicking and hallucinating about all of the worst possible scenarios and outcomes. You might be in an emotional state of anxiety. That might be manifested with you becoming obsessive, ruminating and constantly consumed and controlled by the desperate urge to read and watch everything on the news about the virus and pandemic.

The end result is anxiety and even panic attacks. You don’t believe that are you capable of overcoming the challenges and problems you face; you deeply doubt yourself.

If you respond with anger, then you will be constantly reacting to everything and everyone with aggression. Your emotional state will be hostility and emotional outbursts. You might be looking for people and things to blame for this outcome. This might be manifested with you shouting, condemning, arguing, antagonizing or provoking people in your life and on social media.

The end result is aggression that can also turn into rage and abuse. (Domestic violence has increased dramatically since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.) You are not skilled at facing your deeper emotions, you avoid any sense of responsibility for your responses, and you seek to blame others rather than focusing on a solution.

Another Way
The above three responses are unconscious responses for survival – part of our hardwiring responses to a perceived threat: fight, flight or freeze.

You will notice if you reread the last italicized sentence in each of those three key responses, that I reveal the behavioral approach that results in being hijacked by those three unconscious responses. Thus, our hardwired response to threats can be managed and controlled by a conscious choice to adopt a healthier and more effective strategy and response using your own resources.

Psychological Capital – PsyCap
There are four key resources that you possess recognized as Psychological Capital, and they can empower you even in this time of crisis: Hope, Optimism, Self-Efficacy and Resiliency (HERO.)

Hope is the willpower & determination to persevere to achieve your goals.
When you have hope, you set goals and begin to take action to realize those goals. Instead of giving into hopelessness, recognize that you can still conquer the challenge and crisis, you will need to be adaptable.

Action Step: Even in this time, you can still set some smaller, short term goals as well as daily goals.

Optimism is the overall positive expectation and belief that you yourself create positive outcomes. In other words, you believe that you have the power to turn around something bad and create a positive outcome/result. You are not helpless.

Action Step: There are things within your control; identify them and take action to form them the way you want. Accept the things that are outside of your control.

Efficacy or Self-Efficacy
Self-efficacy is the belief that you are capable of succeeding, and particularly of succeeding when faced with new challenges, territories and tasks. You have the ability to overcome these current challenges and difficulties.

Action Step: Write out a list of three events where you were challenged to do something in a new area or task; explain how you succeeded; list the qualities and characteristics that helped you succeed.

Resiliency is your ability to bounce back from disappointments & failures with new insights, wisdom & motivation. Everyone has failures, disappointments and setbacks; resiliency is measured by your ability to adapt and learn from those events and apply the new knowledge to motivate you to succeed, realize your goals and conquer new challenges.

Action Step: List three occasions where things did not turn out the way you wanted, and list the ways you overcame them and what you learned from them.

If you choose to complete the four above action steps, you will awaken to realize that you have much greater control of your life and outcomes than you previously thought possible. Of course, there are many things outside of your control. However, if you tap into your Psychological Capital, you will experience greater emotional wellness by developing a better relationship with yourself (improving your self-image and identity) and you will feel more confident and empowered because you are engaging greater control over yourself and your world.

Remember, you are the captain of your own ship. How will you choose to respond during the storm?

If you need help to overcome the past, release victimhood or be more grateful, book a one-on-one session with me. 

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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