Often when we are under the pump, stressed, out-of-balance or juggling too many things we will experience negative emotion of some kind (e.g. frustration, worry, anxiousness, sadness, anger). When we find ourselves feeling like this, if we are not fully aware in the moment, we will act out of habit (things we learnt when we were kids).
There are two typical default responses and reactions we have as humans that are unhealthy for us. I’ll share these with you first so you recognise when you might be responding in this way. This awareness will enable you to become more conscious and then you can choose a third, healthy option for dealing with challenging situations.
The first unhelpful response to stress is Fight versus Flight, which is:
Take a moment now to do a self-check on the times, situations and in what interactions you are likely to respond with either fight or flight.
The second unhelpful response to stress is to be Reactive. This is displayed by child-like behaviours that typically get us short-term wins while damaging relationships and credibility in the long term. Examples include using sarcasm, yelling, demanding, shutting down, withdrawing, ignoring, being passive, raising past arguments, being overly nice, being the victim where the world owes you something, or not sharing important information with others.
We tend to choose this when:
Okay, your turn, have a smile to yourself as you reflect on which of these tactics you have drawn on in the past. Notice to yourself if you are more or less likely to use them in certain types of situations or with certain types of people.
The fabulous news is there is a third, helpful option where you choose your response in the moment, fresh, whenever you notice stress or pressure has entered your life. It is called the in-the-moment response, and it:
It is so simple. Just ask yourself three questions:
In what situations will you choose the in-the-moment response over old reactive responses?