Marriage Counseling – Fight Or Flight

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Marriage Counseling – Fight Or Flight

Psychology Tools is a website that provides information for therapists and other interested parties.  Naples fl marriage counseling as well as fort myers marriage counseling regularly work with those who experience fear in their marital relationships.  Many times the fear is based on reality.  Other times the fear is exaggerated.  The reaction to the body is the same.  The article below, which deals the flight  or fight responses, is reproduced and edited from Psychology Tools.

As naples fl marriage counseling knows, when faced with a life-threatening danger it often makes sense to run away or, if that is not possible, to  fight. The flight or fight response is an automatic survival mechanism which prepares the body to take these actions. All of the body sensations produced are happening for good reasons – to prepare your body to run away or fight – but may be experienced as uncomfortable when you do not know why they are happening.

Thoughts racing 

Quicker thinking helps us to evaluate danger and make rapid decisions. It can be very di cult to concentrate on anything apart from the danger (or escape routes) when the  fight or flight response is active.

Changes to vision

Vision can become acute so that more attention can be paid to danger. You might notice ‘tunnel vision’, or vision becoming ‘sharper.’

Dry mouth

The mouth is part of the digestive system. Digestion shuts down during dangerous situations as energy is diverted towards the muscles.

Heart beats faster

A faster heart beat feeds more blood to the muscles and enhances your ability to run away or fight.

Nausea and ‘butterflies’ in the stomach

Blood is diverted away from the digestive system which can lead to feelings of nausea or butterflies.’

Hands get cold

Blood vessels in the skin contract to force blood towards major muscle groups.

Muscles tense

Muscles all over the body tense in order to get you ready to run away or fight. Muscles may also shake or tremble, particularly if you stay still, as a way of staying ‘ready for action.’

Dizzy or lightheaded

If we don’t exercise (e.g. run away or fight) to use up the extra oxygen then we can quickly start to feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Breathing becomes quicker and shallower

Quicker breathing takes in more oxygen to power the muscles.  This makes the body more able to  fight or run away.

Adrenal glands release adrenaline

The adrenaline quickly signals other parts of the body to get ready to respond to danger.

Bladder urgency

Muscles in the bladder sometimes relax in response to extreme stress.

Palms become sweaty

When in danger the body sweats to keep cool.  A cool machine is an efficient machine, so sweating makes the body more likely to survive a dangerous event.

Naples FL marriage counseling would, by and large, agree with the descriptions provided above. But just knowing how your body responds to danger is not enough to change it.


If you are experiencing fear in your marriage, says naples fl marriage counseling, Dr. Ken Newberger, Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, may be of service to the two of you.  His office is located in Estero FL and serves all of Southwest Florida, particularly Lee and Collier Counties.  Most of his clients come from Naples, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Estero, and Fort Myers Beach FL.  View his process online which outlines his alternative approach to tradition marriage counseling.  Go to working with couples. Go to www.OurRelationshipsMatter.com. Or call him directly for a free telephone consultation to briefly discuss your specific case.

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