4 Steps to Stop Reacting

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. – Thomas Jefferson

I was reading a book the other day on start taking actions.

One of the topics discussed was on how to stop reacting. You know, about those daily incidents that you are frustrated with. And like a volcano eruption, you lashed out to anyone within your vicinity. It could be driving in a jam-packed highway. Or dealing with your cranky toddlers.

We all know that we need to respond and not react.

Theory sounds simple, but how do we do that?

Someone proposed a four step methodology.

First, stop doing. That’s right, you have thoughts running in your mind, telling you to do things “automatically”. Realise that these actions are not the optimal actions. That is why it is crucial to first stop doing anything. It is wiser to risk being perceived to be staying stunned like an idiot, than to lash out and become a jerk.

Secondly, take a deep breath. Breathing is calming. Breathing is a main component in yoga. Just breathe. Breathe deeply. Notice how your diaphragm moves. Notice how your belly move. Take one, take two, take a couple more. Make sure you are taking your breaths slowly.

Thirdly, be aware of how you are feeling. Right now. What emotions are you having? Don’t make any rash actions when you are angry. We are creatures blessed with a gift of thinking. Use it wisely. Don’t let your emotions dictate you.

Finally, think of happy thoughts. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s your children. Maybe it’s your winning in the local sports. Maybe it’s just chilling out in your last vacation. Whatever it is, just think back to happier thoughts. Be calm and serene. You can not be both happy and angry at the same time.

How would you incorporate these 4 simple steps in your life right now?

Meng

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