Learn To Respond, Not React


Easier said than done, I know. Essentially what I am asking you to do is train your mind. Challenge yourself this week to break away from the cycle that is fueled through a stimulus that reinforces the cycle that we are trying to break. A reaction is a learned behavior reinforced in times of fear, anxiety, and stress. One of the hardest patterns to break is the behavioral response of reacting- when to and not to. This cycle can create our identity since we are creatures of habit and feel impossible to break. They have become systemic approaches to the way we access emotion and interact with other people in our environment. Reacting to situations can lead us feeling emotionally drained, from both the physical result of the reaction and the emotional toll afterwards when leveraging feelings of guilt and shame. Reactions are instant. We often immediately feel guilty for our actions following a reaction.  A reaction is instant. It is fueled by the unconscious. 

Reactions are rooted in stress. Reactions are rooted in suffering. Reactions are fear. Let us work to respond this week.

Positive Distraction of The Week

When you are caught in a stimulus reaction, pause. Do not believe your thoughts, pause. When the fight, flight, or freeze mode activates, pause. Remember the love, and pause. When you are triggered, transform and breathe.

The brain allows us to think and reason. You are stronger than your negative thoughts and you are fiercer than an unconscious physical instinct. Your brain allows you to be mindful. You have the ability to attune and invoke an empathetic self-soothing calm. Challenge yourself to integrate the senses you feel at first to pause in order to respond. Work to self-soothe during times of stress, fear, and anxiety. Challenge yourself to pause. Be disciplined. We thoughtlessly listen to our emotions as anxiety comes in which make us react. Take a deep breath, and put yourself and the other person in perspective. Work on responding this week. A response is slow and ecological. It allows you to build upon previous information and considerations. It allows you to weigh the differences between varying pieces of information.

Have the patience to wade through the primordial current. Maintain your self control. Hold on to your dignity. Learn how to respond.

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

-Chinese proverb, author unknown

Let’s followup in a week. Best, Dr. Dyce


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