5 Small Ways to be Less Emotionally Reactive

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your response to it was overtaken by the emotions that emerged from it? Be it panic, upset or anger? Did your response help alleviate the situation, or did it perhaps make things worse?

We are emotional beings, but we are also able to manage our emotions. Here are 5 small ways to help to be less emotionally reactive:

  1. Think first, or as my Dad would say “engage brain”. By taking a few seconds to think before you speak or write, you are giving yourself time to consider your options on how best to respond.
  2. Try to be more curious about the situation. Can you take it as an opportunity to learn something about yourself?
  3. Put yourself in the shoes of others. What might a person be going through right now that could be the reason for certain behaviour? Is there a way of responding that avoids further confrontation and/or hurt feelings?
  4. Don’t respond immediately, if circumstances allow. Tell the person “let me get back to you on that”. Give yourself time to reflect on the situation and make a decision to respond in a way that’s true to yourself.
  5. Breathe. This is incredibly important. There are many simple breathing techniques that can help to relieve the tension in a situation. I learnt one recently from my Kundalini teacher, called Sitali Pranayama. I find it very useful.

If you are currently trying to navigate a troubling situation, either at work or in your personal life, and feel it might be helpful to get another’s perspective, please do contact me.

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