How to respond instead of reacting?

Often, we let our emotions take over and end up reacting to situations in a way that can make us regret. It is important to learn to be mindful of the words we speak and the actions we take that can impact the people around us. “Learning how to do this is life-changing for your personal growth and your relationships. But remember, you’re not looking for perfection here — only progress. The more you practice these steps, the easier it becomes,” wrote Therapist Sadaf Siddiqi as she explained the importance of learning to respond instead of reacting. She further emphasised on the importance of mindfully responding and how it can have significant impact for our own personal growth and the relationships that we keep with others.

One of the most important things to do when we are triggered and we know that emotions can take over, we should pause. This is more difficult than it sounds and often the process can be discouraging. No matter what we are doing at the moment, we should stop and take a pause.

After we stop whatever we were doing, we should take a few deep breaths. This helps in allowing more oxygen to the brain and managing impulsive decisions. It also helps in making the anxious mind understand that we are not in danger. This practice has an overall calming effect on the mind and the body.

We should regularly check-in with ourselves to understand our past experiences, our traumas and our emotions. This will help us to be more aware and regulate our emotions better.

Once we know that we are having a difficult time, instead of being harsh on ourselves, we should validate our emotions and give us the affirmations that we need.

We should carefully weigh the repercussions of our actions and make conscious choices.

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