Feelings, Emotions, Reactions – How to break the habit of reacting and start responding.

When you have a situation that makes you happy, joyful, excited, sad, angry, anxious, disappointed, or any feeling you experience – It. Is. All. You. It is a good time to learn how to own your emotions, your feelings, your reactions. Your re-actions are learned and become an ingrained, no-thought habit over time.

Think of this as breaking a habit. Is it simple or easy to break this habit? Kind of. The level of work depends on how much importance you put on how others effect you. If your reactions or feelings are always based on other people’s actions then you may have a bit of work to do to break this habit.

It’s a good time to feel your own feelings, not manipulated feelings based on the words or actions of other people.

Personally, I am a work in progress. I’ve come a long way over the past 20-ish years of working on this. My outer reaction is controlled when my emotions are triggered. I have learned to listen, then ask questions to figure out what is going on with the person I’m interacting with. I take time to respond, practice the pause. Guess what? 99% of the time whatever they have going on that is triggering me, has nothing to do with my actions. Practice the pause? But it’s the heat of the moment, I must get my 2 cents in there or it won’t be heard and I am right! Contrary to popular belief, you can take your time to work through your reaction and come up with a response. Or choose to not respond at all because 99% of the time it’s not about you.

So, what does that mean? If 99% of interactions with others have nothing to do with my actions, what is causing my emotional reaction? Huh. Wait for it… It’s ME! My baggage. My expectations. My conditioned reactions. My emotions and feelings. It is a continuous exploration of self to figure out why you are feeling disgusted, disappointed, angry, sad, anxious, excited, happy, joyful. Our conditioned re-action is easy enough to fix with a little self-awareness and one simple question.

It’s as simple as asking “why?”. Why is this person in my face? Why am I so excited? Why am I disappointed? When you have the answer to the first question ask why again. Why is this person angry? If you don’t know why start to really listen to what they are saying and let them run out of steam. This is your opportunity to practice the pause then respond. Once you have figured out that it is not personal its time to ask yourself why you took it personally. What triggered your emotional and feeling reaction and shut down your thinking ability?

If this is an abusive situation, get help. Immediately. This technique does not apply to abusive or potentially physical situations. Ever.

I’ve noticed that feelings have been narrowed down to base emotions, reactions have been pared down to a base emotion – happy, sad, anger, grief, fear, disgust, surprise or the new slang “triggered”. Outside of emotions is a huge array of feelings to describe our experience. Did you know there is a difference between feelings and emotions? There is. Emotions are bodily reactions activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain. Feelings are your interpretation of the emotional (physical) response, they are your re-action. Think of the fight, flight, freeze reactions, they are instinctual. Now think about how people are trained to experience those emotions but respond in exact opposite ways. Fortunately, this isn’t boot camp 😊

Learning to distinguish what you are feeling, the nuances, is incredibly important in breaking this habit. You need to be able to figure out your emotions and feelings to break the re-action habit. If you are interested, do an internet search for “emotion wheel”, there are plenty of free pintables to be found that break down base emotions into the feelings we experience.

If you want to get out of the emotional spiral of always reacting you must learn how to practice the pause to respond.

  1. Pause
  2. What am I feeling and why?
  3. Does it have anything to do with me?
  4. Do I want to engage in this event with this person?
  5. Respond

If you want more information or to expand on these thoughts schedule a consultation appointment for coaching at https://fourdirectionsalchemyscheduling.as.me/coachingconsult

A mantra meditation to help let go of the re-active self, to ground down into your true loving self.


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