How to React Wisely?

I love to be productive and get stuff done. Clearly, being disciplined and organized helps a lot in both career and personal life, it helps a lot with things you can control.

Yet, there  are thousands of issues in life, out of our control, which require from us either a reaction or a respond.  Thus, managing your reactions wisely can be of an even greater value.

If ocean can calm yourself, so can you

I digged into this topic for a while and here is a summary of my discoveries:

How to React Wisely:

Instead of going with the first, emotional, ego-driven reaction we should find within ourselves sense and will power to produce a mindful response.

  • Ego-driven instant reaction – no good
    (fights, ruined relationships, stress, anger, negativity, resentment etc.)
  • Mindfull response – super good
    (peaceful mind, win-win communication, business growth, companionship etc.)

Traditionally, as many other virtues in life, reaction muscle can also be trained.
Here is what you can do:

Be Prepared

Take care of yourself in advance, meaning eat on time, get some rest, get some exercise. A person who feels well will react well. On the other hand, a person who is tired, hurrying and hungry have a higher chance to flip out. Take care of yourself to be able to take care of your reactions.

All that makes you a more balanced, content person will help you respond wisely instead of reacting passively. A calm person has a higher chance of taking control of the first strong emotions that arrive with an event.

Give it Time

Generally, the worst reactions that we get, the ones we regret afterward are usually those, which we expressed right after the stimulus.The best thing you can do is develop a habit, not to respond to a mail, argument or issue right away.

Give it time. Count till 100, go for a walk. Write it down and deal with it in an hour. That way, your first fierce frustration, anger, and even excitement will pass and you will be able to think and thus respond with a clear head.

Name it

If due to a situation you are flooded with fear, anger or frustration, the following move can help a lot: name, out loud or in your head, the emotion you are feeling.

Just say to yourself, “I am pissed“. It will immidiately diminish the strenght of the feeling. Our brain emotional and logical parts simply don’t operate simultaneously. Thus, when you will switch on the logical one, the emotional part will step back.

Shift the Focus

Could it be that you are overreacting because you are limiting the way you perceived the situation?

Most often, 75% of what is stressing us out is actually in our head. Before expressing out your initial feelings regarding the situation, make sure you looked at it from the different angles.

Try approaching it from the position of your partner, colleague or the client. Make sure you are not focusing on yourself too much. Make sure you are not inventing the problem. In other words, re-perceive.

Set a Reminder

To practice all the above techniques in a regular manner you might consider setting yourself a reminder. Some choose to wear a wrist bracelet, which should by mere presence remind not to get carried away with emotions.

I, personally, added a card saying “Mindful Reactions” to my daily routine list. Now each time I check the plan for the day I remember to also mind my reactions and responses to what the day gives me.

– Enjoy your day and let the day enjoy you;)!-

P.S. Digging even further in the realm of mindfulness and reactions, I stumbled upon the book “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle. It really helped me understand the underlying reasons of our so often harmful reactions.

Moreover, it actually reveals a different great approach to life…! ..yet that is altogether another story…

If you liked / disliked the article or have your own tips and advises, feel free to share in the comments bellow!

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