The beginning of the year is often a time used for reflection and an opportunity to implement change, or make new and more self-loving choices for the year ahead.
In this article we would like to take a moment to reflect upon the topic of reactions and delve a little deeper into how reacting can hold us back from living a healthy and joy filled life.
First of all let’s explore what a reaction is. A reaction takes place when we are triggered by an event, something someone says or does, something we have read, seen or even when we have an expectation of how something is going to be and then it pans out differently. A reaction may also occur as a result of a particular thought entering our head.
A reaction is triggered and the mechanism of a reaction is FIRST felt in our body. Our body may tense up, we may feel hurt, depressed, anxiousness or overwhelmed, we may harden, contract or tighten. Negative or sabotaging thoughts often quickly follow leading down to a path of self-destruction, comparison/jealousy, self-doubt, insecurity, shutdown or blame towards others.
Certain scenarios may play out in our mind about how things should have been, we may rebut back with the person we have a reaction to, or we may put a wall up and withdraw, often leaving others wondering what is going on.
We all have and have had reactions and therefore no doubt can relate. How we react can play out differently for each of us. For some or at times our reactions may be more obvious such as a burst of anger, rage, shut down or withdrawal. For others or at times, our reactions may go under the radar, being covered up with niceness and pleasantries.
It doesn’t really matter what reactions we have and how they play out, what matters is that they are all reactions and that we are having them in the first place.
Put simply, reactions take us to and keep us in a contracted state, distracted or separated from our natural expanded state of being our body knows so well.
Reactions don’t feel good in the body and when we hold onto them they can have significant affects to our health and wellbeing leading to anxiety, lack of sleep, worry, chronic stress, digestion issues just to name a few examples.
So how do we deal with our reactions?
Here is 10 simple steps to support in learning how to work with our reactions.
1) First of all, have the honesty that you are reacting and feel what these reactions are doing to your body, your state of mind and your being.
BODY CONNECTION / HONESTY
2) Feel how staying in reaction or even having them in the first place is not serving you, your relationships and doesn’t feel good.
ABSOLUTE HONESTY / RENOUNCE
3) Once you have decided that you want to do something about your reactions, start to observe what triggers them so you get to know your reactions intimately and can start to front foot them ie. know what triggers you so that you can be prepared for when they come.
OBSERVE / GET TO KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS
4) When you do begin to feel yourself react to something, choose to feel your body and what is taking place within. Feel the reaction that arises and nominate what the reaction is. Is it anger, hurt, do you go into protection or shut down?
PRACTICE NOMINATING, “I FEEL THIS “
5) Once you have connected with the mechanism of your reaction, let yourself feel this, stay with your body and connect with what the reaction is doing to you. Usually this isn’t a pleasant feeling, but the more you can stay with it, the more you have the opportunity for it to shift. As you develop more self-love in your body and in your living ways, the easier it will be to shift away from the reaction.
BRING UNDERSTANDING / START RE-IMPRINTING
6) Take a moment to pause and be with your body. Invite yourself to come back to a place of gentleness. You may like to try breathing a few gentle breaths. Give yourself the space to be with your reaction and meet it rather than get stuck in the cycle of the reaction. Be open to the reflection that has been offered to you via the person or thing. There is always a learning in it for us. If we have reacted, then there is a lesson to be learnt.
RE-CONNECT, GROW AND LEARN
7) Repeat this over and over again until you become very familiar with your reactions so that you are no longer afraid of them and are comfortable with working with them. Do not judge your reactions, but see them as a work in progress.
8) As you observe and familiarise yourself with your reactions and work with the above steps, you may find that your reactions become less and when you do react, the intensity may be less. You are able to now hold yourself in the face of what you might normally react to and those things that triggered you, no longer do.
9) Now is the time to enjoy the space that you feel in your body from not holding onto things. Enjoy the flow in your body and confirm what you no longer react to.
CELEBRATE & CONFIRM
10) Repeat the above 9 steps with each type of reaction that you discover.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
Enjoy bringing a fresh beginning to the new year not letting reactions rule you anymore.
Donna Nolan and Alexandra Plane offer Esoteric therapies, Massage therapies, Yoga/Yoga Therapy and Meditation at their clinics in Balmain, Cammeray and Balgowlah. Contact them for enquiries or bookings.