How to Stop Reacting and Start Responding

We are all guilty of being in a situation where we act immediately, without thinking — and in turn, we react. These reactions can be, for example, out of anger or hurt — they are reflexive reactions or patterns. It is often the way we react on a regular basis. Perhaps it's bursts of yelling with judgement or tears of frustration and anger emerge. We may also have a certain way of reacting out of sadness, confusion, disappointment, jealousy and the list goes on. These reflexive reactions often cause conflict and make a situation far more difficult than need be.

So what if you were able to respond in a calm non-reactive way? How do you stop reacting and start responding? One way is to practice yoga. You pause, you take a breath, you create a space. You bring awareness to your breath. You bring awareness to the situation. If you are angry, can you breathe into the space you have created and see where the anger comes from? Can you breathe into the space and respond in a different way? Do you always need to be right? Is this an argument you have over and over again with no resolution? What is it that made you so angry? 

When we can pause, take a breathe, create a space, and be aware of our Selves in that moment we can often find a way to respond, and not react. This, of course, is a practice. We have a choice, and the more we know our Selves, the easier it is to see our own patterns and where we can allow our Selves the space to dig deeper and become more conscious of our actions. 

Responding instead of reacting takes time, skill and practice. Having difficult conversations and learning how to express your emotions in a healthy and concise manner is challenging. Often times we avoid these conversations, and in turn, let our emotions get the best of us. I've been studying and practicing communication skills to help us to recognize & shift stress patterns when communicating. Which is why I'm offering a 14 hour workshop on Yogic Communication Skills. We will identify patters and learn ways to become more skillful, loving and healthy humans!

When we create more space for our Selves and the people around us, we begin to have healthier relationships with our Selves and others, and we begin to know our Selves on a deeper level. We begin to grow and expand into more conscious, more aware human beings. And that's what Yoga is all about!