When you are threatened, your body responds with the fight, flight or freeze reaction, whether the threat is real or perceived. The threat may be something as simple as a negative thought.
We touched briefly on the Fight, Flight or freeze response in Lesson Two. The symptoms can include:
 Increased heart rate and tense muscles
 Upset stomach / “butterflies”
 Thoughts passing quickly / seeing red
 Fast, sometimes regrettable verbal or physical reactions
Think about times when you have experienced this: what sent you into a fight, flight or freeze reaction? What situations or phrases do you find threatening? For teachers, a threat to authority may cause a reaction.
Remember that anger has an underlying emotion. To overcome a fight, flight or freeze reaction, the underlying emotion and threat must be recognized, and the physical symptoms stabilized. Once the symptoms are stable and the threat addressed, the remaining adrenaline can be absorbed through physical activity and relaxation practice. Sometimes the threat is as simple as a thought.
Overcoming a fight, flight or freeze reaction is essential to becoming more assertive. Becoming more assertive helps students to manage others’ bad behavior in a calm and capable way.