Blog Post

Are You Freaked Out? Responding vs. Reacting

freaking out journalThis would be a theme in so many of my clients’ sessions the past few weeks.

Some people say they have Never been this anxious; others have had mild anxiety recently or for a lifetime.

There’s ALOT going on in our world right now & it’s freaking people out. People who usually DON’T freak out.

I’ve been sharing some of my BEST TOOLS with so many people that I knew I needed to write about it, and in fact – give a workshop to take it deeper. (Email me or details on the website soon.)

Then I was at World Market and saw this journal (pictured here) freaking out journaland it was perfect, and I laughed so hard and knew I had to share it with you. 

I mean, if there’s a book for this, it’s a real THING, right? Taking it all so seriously!

There are many reasons we might feel like we are freaking out. Urban Dictionary says it means to “lose your ‘normal’ usual self and go crazy, either due to extreme fear, anger or excitement.”

Let’s just say most of you are not freaking out in the good way. And some of the usual tools aren’t working for you.

For example, if I tell you to “just breathe through it” you may throw your phone or at the very least, unsubscribe to my newletter, I just know it!

So let’s get real, shall we? Yes, breathing properly is an incredibly helpful thing to do and there are all kinds of reasons that managing our physiological responses help our psychological responses.

What’s triggering you?
Something you read, or heard on the news or social media?
A co-worker or manager’s comment?
A customer’s anger?
Your spouse’s behavior?
Your kiddo’s “attitude?”

Check out this wonderful quote from Viktor Frankl —
Frankl quote - space
When you can master this piece, you will have Peace.

The Power of a Response vs. a Reaction requires:

Having awareness you’ve been triggered.

Finding some way to soothe your initial physical response prior to Reacting. (Space, also known as a Sacred Pause.)

Allowing your Wise Mind to explore what just happened; WHY you feel hurt, angry or scared or ashamed or misunderstood or attacked.
(You may wish to Process that more deeply later, alone or with a trusted person, even in a journal. Trust me, there is richness and even healing to be discovered.)

Ask yourself:
What’s REALLY going on here? (with me and possibly, with them)
What do you truly NEED in that moment?
What’s a RESPONSE that might (appropriately) help you to meet that need?

With practice, this mindful approach helps avoid those times when you just react and then later, regret how you reacted because in hindsight it was hurtful to you (“that’s not like me!”), to someone else, or disruptive to an important relationship.

Give it a try & leave a response (versus a reaction) in the comments below, please!

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