“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.