You may be familiar with the two most popular “F’s” of your nervous system’s stress response… Fight or Flight. The response of the Sympathetic Nervous Systems actions during stress have often been short handed with these two principle characters.

But, did you know, there are more responses on this stage? You may recognize these other players in your normal response to stress.

Freeze: a hyper-alert state. Increased vigilance. A tense waiting state that never goes away. Noticed in the body as never disappearing tightness of some, or many, muscles.

Flop: a feeling of being empty of energy or choice. A hopelessness. A giving up in the face of stress for fear of further aggravating the stress or not being able to overcome it.

Fawn: when you pander to your threat, trying to ease the stress by cooling the fire. Often giving of your own wants and needs to calm the stressor down.

These are as sure a sign of our response to threat as any. Even though they may present more subtly, they are important signs to notice.