Stuck on Autopilot? Understanding Functional Freeze and Finding Your Way Back

Let’s face it, life throws a lot at us. Sometimes, we just keep pushing through, even when a part of us feels numb or disconnected. It’s like we’re on autopilot, going through the motions but missing out on the real stuff. This could be a sign of functional freeze, something we see quite often at our therapy practice.

What is Functional Freeze? It’s Like Hitting the Brakes on Your Emotions

Think back to a time you felt threatened. Maybe a close call while driving, or an argument that got heated. Your body probably went into “freeze mode,” trying to conserve energy and stay unnoticed. It’s a helpful survival trick, but when triggered by chronic stress or unresolved trauma, it can become a stuck record.

Here’s the thing: functional freeze can make you feel like you’re living in a constant state of low-grade stress.

Your body might be tense, your mind foggy, and expressing yourself can feel like wading through molasses. You might even feel emotionally numb, like you’ve lost touch with your feelings. This can make it hard to connect with others and feel truly happy.

Why Do We Freeze? It’s Not Your Fault

Look, functional freeze might feel uncomfortable, but it’s actually a protective mechanism. It’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, things are tough right now, let’s just get by.” The problem is, when it becomes a chronic thing, it can hold you back from experiencing life to the fullest.

The Good News: You Can Break Free From the Freeze

Here at my therapy practice, I specialize in helping people overcome functional freeze. It’s not about forcing happiness, but about reconnecting with yourself and learning healthy ways to cope with stress. We can work together to:

  • Spot Your Triggers: What situations or thoughts make you feel like you’re shutting down? Once you know what sets you off, you can start to develop a plan.
  • Tune Back In: Therapy can help you reconnect with your body sensations and emotions. It’s about understanding what’s going on inside so you can deal with it in a healthy way.
  • Develop Your Coping Toolbox: We’ll explore different techniques to manage stress and calm your nervous system when things get overwhelming.
  • Heal Old Wounds: Sometimes, past trauma can contribute to functional freeze. Therapy can provide a safe space to process those experiences and find healing.

Taking the First Step

Functional freeze can be isolating, but you don’t have to go through it alone. With the help of a qualified therapist, you can learn to manage your stress response, reconnect with yourself, and build a more fulfilling life.

We understand that seeking therapy can be a big decision. Our therapists at Calm Cool Collective Counselling offer a compassionate and supportive environment where you can feel safe to explore your challenges and work towards emotional well-being.

Fill out our Therapist Match Form, and we’ll connect you with a therapist within 12 hours. Plus, enjoy a FREE 15-minute phone consultation with your chosen therapist! Visit our website here to learn more.

Remember, you’re not broken. You’ve just been through a lot. Let’s work together to find your way back.

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