Responding, not Reacting
Reactions are learned, habitual actions that we do without conscious awareness. Have you ever chased the driver who has cut into your lane? Or yelled at your co-worker when they’ve made a mistake? These may have been moments when you reacted impulsively, rather than responded thoughtfully.
Reacting this way causes unnecessary stress. When we are emotionally triggered by something that was said or someone else’s actions, we may do or say something on an impulse that we may come to regret later.
Practising mindfulness enables us to pause, even in the midst of a difficult situation. That pause gives us a choice in how we wish to react. Instead of lashing out in anger or furrowing your brows in annoyance, stop, take a breath, recognise the emotion you’re feeling and ask yourself – how do you wish to respond?