Response vs. Reaction

“Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem” ~Anonymous

Response and Reaction are two different things.  I used to live my life in a knee-jerk reaction mode and it hindered my ability to see things clearly.  I now live through the eyes of “focus on the solution and not the problem”.  I equate reaction to the natural “fight vs. flight” our bodies have instinctively. When a person reacts to something or a situation, they often do not think the process through, having unexpected results.  Having a logical and appropriate emotional response to a situation is evaluating the process of the problem and responding to it accordingly.  Using strategies that you have taught yourself is a way of using a response system vs. reaction system.

At Hazelden Treatment Center, part of our daily routine was mediation.  During the mediation, we would place a plant thermometer on our finger to measure the temperature of our hands. In a true reaction mode, the temperature would be lower in your extremities because most of the blood is rushing to the core of your body.  In a response mode, the temperature would be regulated to stay about the same, as you would be using a response system to thoughts and anxieties.  This was an essential tool that I remember and intend to start using again.  When a person’s body goes into “fight or flight” mode, most of the time, their body will have a natural response and send more blood to the core of the body to protect the organs.  At least, this is what I was taught when I was at Hazelden working on improving myself and living a life in active recovery.  

Are you using a response or reaction to view and resolve your problems today? 

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