Respond More, React Less

respond more

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor Frankl

I am on a mission to respond more and react less. Why? Because I have realized this is a big key to my sanity and to wellness in general. Every time we react we create a lot of unnecessary stress when to avoid all that we could just pause, take a breath and choose to respond. This “pause” between circumstance and your behavior is what contributes to gaining a sense of control and well-being in your life. This is not only the key to wellness but the key to personal growth as you realize you have a choice and that you can create your reality based on the choice you make.

When you react you are coming from your personality, your past conditioning and your habits. Reactions are unconscious and we usually don’t even know we are reacting until things have settled down and we’ve had a chance to reflect. A reaction is usually accompanied by a whirlwind of emotions because when we react, we do so very quickly and without thinking. These emotions can trigger stress in our body and mind which overtime can lead to distress, dis-ease and illness the more and more we react.

When you respond you come more from your soul, your authentic self which is the wiser more compassionate part of you. I really want to emphasize this here because this is why I created my blog; to help people express more from their authentic self (soul) and less from their conditioned self (personality). A response is always more authentic than a reaction.

When you respond you are taking RESPONSIBILITY for your words and actions because you are consciously making a choice instead of going into default reactive mode.

It takes a lot of practice and a level of maturity to respond more and react less. We are learning to control our emotions instead of letting our emotions control us. This is a very challenging practice but one that will payoff tremendously leading to a greater sense of well-being and confidence that you can handle whatever comes your way.

Here are some steps you can take to get you started.

HOW TO RESPOND MORE AND REACT LESS

1. STOP and PAY ATTENTION. Notice when you are in a challenging situation, when something or someone has triggered you.

2. BREATHE. Take a few deep breaths to stay calm and watch your reaction go away.

3. CHOOSE. Determine what your options are and make a conscious decision? Decide on the best course of action then ACT.

4. REFLECT. What did you learn from the situation?

My daily yoga practice has helped me learn this process. There are many challenging yoga poses that are held for long times and when I learned to breathe through the challenge and to remain calm I could then choose to find some ease in the pose instead of struggling to do the pose perfectly. After all yoga is not about the how you do the pose or how you look in the pose. It is about being present and when you are present you can respond.

Too many of us spend the majority of our time in reactive mode. We can’t help but react; it’s going to happen, but can you respond more and react less in life’s challenging situations?
You have a choice and there is power in that choice.

Whenever you consider the best way to respond you can improve your life. Relationships will be better, your health will improve and you find your life flowing much more harmoniously. Be patient with yourself as you learn this new way of acting in your life.

Practice this today: while in traffic, in conversations with your family, at work, at the gym or while in line at the grocery store. Try it and let me know how it goes.

 

Love,

Tracy

 

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Tracy!

    The key for me, “When you respond you are taking RESPONSIBILITY for your words and actions because you are consciously making a choice instead of going into default reactive mode.”

    When we react we can lose control. We can also do and say things we may regret. And that is not a good thing. I do like the suggestions to stop, breathe, choose and reflect. They really help to put things in it’s proper perspective.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Kelvin

    • Tracy Warren says

      Hi Kevin,
      Glad you found this post helpful. I agree with you that reacting can lead to regret.
      I have found this true on many occasions which is why I need to write about it to remind myself to respond more.

      Tracy

  2. Sarah Pass says

    Hi Tracy!
    Great work! My grandson K. was always praised for quick reaction in sports and there are many situations where that is an asset, especially the modern virtual world our children live in. One day he was working with me outside and we had a fire going. He had been using an older rake with a wooden handle and metal tines. The metal part fell off the handle into the fire and he reached in and grabbed it rather than lifting it out with the handle or just leaving it until the fire cooled. Unfortunately, he has also used that quick reaction in many human situations and been burned.
    I hope you have great personal fulfillment with your writing and that you keep it up. People are forever giving me journals that I begin and write in a short time. I would love to share your discipline.
    I love you dearly.

    • Tracy Warren says

      Hi Sarah!
      Thanks for sharing the story of your grandson. I agree that sometimes being able to react quickly is an important thing especially when it comes to keeping yourself or someone else safe. After that reactions don’t necessarily serve us hence is why I aim to respond more and react less.

      Thank you for your support and encouragement with my blog.

      Love you much. Big Hugs,
      Tracy

  3. says

    Beautiful post and in line with what I am growing into myself. Acting from a well of truth and love within rather than reacting to what is external is not something that comes naturally but something I am getting better at with Practice. I came here Via Courtney Carvers SCBS . x

    • Tracy Warren says

      Hi Tammy! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. So glad to hear you are working on acting from within instead of reacting to the external. Keep it up and I’m sure you will find a lot more peace and empowerment in your life. xoxo Tracy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *