RESPOND vs REACT
You may think they are the same thing, but in fact they are literally worlds apart,
the one creates an entirely different reality from the other.
In every moment we have a choice to engage with life in love or in fear.
An event occurs, a trigger point – a glass breaks, the boss shouts, the kids left the kitchen
in a state (that’s a personal one lol), a traffic jam when we are running late. The list is endless,
almost every moment presents an opportunity for a reaction or a response.
A REACTION is our automatic gut reply to an event, it’s generally not logical, rational
or appropriate. We react to defend, it’s the instinctual unconscious behaviour of the reptilian brain.
It happens in an instant, without thought, a knee jerk reaction and usually emotionally charged.
The result is invariably the situation goes from bad to worse.
A RESPONSE is slower not so immediate, it’s more rational, it takes time to assess the
situation. Responses are conscious informed choices that result in a more compassionate
and kinder outcome.
The trigger event is still the same but the outcome is vastly different.
The process of moving from a reactive to a responsive position involves three simple steps:
When we react to something we don’t even stop to breathe before the words or actions
are in progress. BUT if we can recognise the trigger before we do or say anything,
even walk away if we have to until we have gained a sense of composure and
from this more centred place we get to choose what we do next.
The PAUSE is the KEY to being mindful, to catch your mind in that moment of
automated unconscious reaction. Do nothing but take ONE complete MINDFULL breath,
allow that to infuse your body and release, at the least, some of the tension.
Stopping and breathing relaxes the mind and from this place it’s easier to rationally
ASSESS the situation and do what is more appropriate from a compassionate perspective.
Reaction and response may look alike but they FEEL very different and have a totally
different long term effect. Creating a gap between the circumstances and your
behavior gives you a sense of having more control over your life and allows
for making better choices.