3 Steps to Unlock Disproportionate Reactions
Do you have moments when you find yourself wreaking havoc and on a rampage that is out of proportion to the situation you are in? Moments where you think, “This can’t be me!”
I do. And I wonder who I am in that moment. But I’ve learned over the years how to find freedom from many of these disproportionate reactions that reoccur in similar situations.
First, it is important to pay attention to where you don’t have reactions. The times where you work through difficulties and tensions feeling balanced. You experience yourself living in a way that is in harmony with your values and purpose. Here is a place where you can identify your strengths and talents.
Then when you find yourself in a situation that triggers a disproportionate reaction, here are three steps you can put into practice to transform your experience:
First, Learn to Observe yourself in the moment:
- What is triggering you? The key here is to slow down enough in the moment to notice where you are, who you are with, and the full context of the situation.
- When it is possible, take time to write down what you observed. Be diligent about including details.
- Then spend time looking at the situation and notice what you caused you to be reactive. And determine how this situation is similar to other times you were reactive. Look for patterns that set off your triggers.
Second, Focus Inward:
- Self-reflection employs your mind. In this practice, learn to use your mind to be an observer of your body to build self-awareness.
- Self-awareness is a sensory process that allows you to observe details in your body: e.g. increased heart rate, change in breathing, tight muscles in your jaw, and/or other changes in your body.
- Using both your mind and body to notice the sensations of your body provide you powerful feedback that opens the door to self-inquiry. Here you can write again. When have I felt this way before? Is there a pattern?
Finally, looking at the whole of your life and accept that what happens today as a reactionary trigger has roots in your past:
- Realize the reactions are letting you know where you’ve have been hurt by another in some way.
- Allow the feelings to emerge as sensations in your body and accept them rather than bury them where they will lurk to come out another day.
- Transform the emotions by seeing them in the light of today, accepting them, and letting them go.
Through practice of the 3-steps, it is possible to heal experiences of your life to become free from reactions. Once you are free of reactions it is possible to live a deeper connection with yourself and others.
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