Remembering to pause and take a breath before we react can shift the energy of the outcome.
We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or simply being told something we did not want to hear. And it's natural.
When our emotions are triggered, they take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We often feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves - and sometimes it’s by yelling back at the person yelling at us.
However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks that come our way in life.
For one thing, our initial response is not always what’s best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to rage with rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions.
In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option.
Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously.
The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle realm of response, where something new can happen.