React vs Respond: What should you do?

Do you also regret your words after a conversation?

We spend most of our time reacting to events and things happening in our environment. The problem is that these reactions aren't always the best course of action; as a result, they can upset others, make things worse for us, and even worsen the situation.

Sometimes we don't even intend to hurt others, but because we unknowingly react to the words of others, we may end up hurting our loved ones. 

This is why it is widely said by doctors and motivational and spiritual leaders to respond instead of reacting.

Before we move on to the practical advantages of responding, we must first know the difference between the two. Once we are aware of the pros and cons of reacting, we will automatically implement responding in our behavior.

inhale courage exhale fear

Reacting refers to an instant response to an event or circumstances. For example, you hit me, so I'll hit you. You cheated, so I'll cheat as well. You irritated me. I will irritate you more. A reaction is a movement, tendency, or action that is taken in the opposite direction of what is intended. The reaction is defensive, emotional, and aggressive. When you react, you lose your emotional power and stability.

Responding, on the other hand, refers to a behavior that comes slowly. It is mostly based on logic and knowledge of your conscious and subconscious mind. For instance, if someone blocks you without giving you any reason, you don't get panicked and wait for them to contact you and clarify the reason behind their action. The response is more deliberative and supported by logic.  People who respond instead of reacting have good relations, more peace in life, and live a happy life.

Ways to implement responding rather than reacting

The main reason I'm writing this blog post today is that recent events in my life have made me realize that I need to practice responding rather than reacting.
So I did some research and discovered the following simple yet effective methods that can help us all learn how to respond.

1. Mindful deep breathing- Work to relax your system and your body in order to ensure you are responding rather than reacting. Taking deep breaths can help to ground you and relieve any anxiety that might otherwise cause you to react.  5-10 deep inhales and exhales can do wonders for you and may save you from getting into trouble in the future.

2. Take a pause- Deep breathing makes you more aware of your body and its organs. The urge to act immediately can go away when we sit still, take a deep breath, pause and reflect on what and how we are feeling. Consider a thoughtful, compassionate response after pausing and being mindful.

3. Journaling- The recent thing I learned is to write what you are feeling. Writing about what is triggering us or making us feel bad HELPS! Journaling can be very helpful in clarifying an underlying issue, delving into a specific part of the problem, and giving you the right answer to respond to it.

4. Let go- Stop trying to control everything. Yes, sometimes we get so engrossed in keeping things our way that we forget to live our lives and enjoy the precious moments. Recognize that being happy is more important than being right. Allow yourself to feel freedom and joy by letting it go. Clinging to something, in the end, saps your strength and worth.

5. You always have a choice- Most often we react because we believe that is the only option we have. Our mind tricks us into believing that the only way to get what we want is to retaliate and throw a tantrum like a two-year-old. But we all know that isn't the case. When you think about it rationally, you'll notice that you always have a choice. Whatever situation you are in, there is always another way to handle it. 


We are always presented with two options to choose from. Whether it's our mother nagging us, a coworker being rude to us, or we haven't received our pay yet, if we learn to respond rather than just react, we can make things better rather than worse.

Let me know what do you think about responding vs reacting. How do you handle situations like this. Share your responses too!

Post a Comment