The Women's Journal

Overcoming The Emotional Fight Or Flight

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By Joe White

It can feel like an 800-pound gorilla on your chest. 

Between the pandemic, political division, economic uncertainty, the cumulative impact of it all, and as a result, we have been living in a period of uncertainty with the feeling of not being in control of our lives. 

This manifests in feelings of uncertainty.

In the past 12 months, I am seeing more and more individuals come to me for coaching because they feel stuck in an emotional fight or flight. 

The fight or flight response is a natural survival instinct that triggers our body’s stress response system when faced with a perceived threat. However, when this response becomes a constant presence, it wreaks havoc on our overall well-being and diminishes our quality of life. Let’s explore the challenges posed by this state, regain control, and establish a sense of groundedness.

Living in an unending state of emotional fight or flight can yield grave consequences. Heightened stress levels weaken our immune system, raise blood pressure, disrupt our gut health, and increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease. Moreover, it detrimentally affects our mental and emotional health, giving rise to anxiety, anger, depression, and burnout.

Ironically, the more we strive to regain control, the more we feel it slipping away, entangling us in a spiral of despair.

To break free from the grip of the emotional fight or flight response and reclaim our sense of control, we must challenge the notion that everything around us is urgent and important. In reality, only a select few truly matter. I often encourage my clients to envision a wall adorned with 200 screws. Initially, we believe that all 200 of these screws demand our immediate attention and significance, investing all our time and energy into tightening them, fearing that we may overlook one. However, the truth is that only 2 or 3 screws hold genuine importance for us, rendering the remaining 197 relatively insignificant.

Emotional fight or flight resembles a plane ensnared in turbulent air—nobody desires to linger there. The path to liberation lies in ascending above, searching for cleaner, calmer skies.

Achieving this involves making a conscious choice to step out of the chaotic current, relinquishing the pursuit of fleeting happiness, and instead following our hearts, focusing on what truly matters most to us. By declaring our personal priorities, we reclaim the power to shape our lives accordingly.


Joe White, President and founder of Get Life Coaching, started Delaware’s first Life Coaching practice in Delaware over 23 years ago. Joe overcame a near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction 27 years ago and changed his life forever. Today Joe specializes in working with individuals who desire deep and sustainable change in their lives. He has worked with over 1 million individuals and businesses around the world. Joe also owns the Firewalk Institute of Research and Education, which trains and certifies firewalk instructors all over the world, including such notables as Tony Robbins and T. Harv. Ekers.   


“My experience with Joe and Get Life has been beyond any experience I could have ever imagined. Rewiring my thinking patterns and coming here has reconnected me to my heart. It has given me new hope, purpose, and freedom to challenge my own beliefs. The individuals I have met are inspiring. This program is a gift to my soul.”  ~ Sue K.

“Before I started with Get Life, I felt my life was out of control and I felt powerless to do anything about it. Joe White will get you MASSIVE breakthroughs and tools to take back control of your power and direction in your life. Never before have I ever felt clear with what I want, where I want to go, and how to get there.”  ~ Luke C.

Joe White

Get Life Coaching