In Search Of Brilliance

Do you Respond or React?

What do you normally do?


Every moment of our waking life we do one of these two things. "Respond" or "React." When the kids wake you up early, when you get cut up in traffic or when you forget your brolly and it rains. These small and seemingly insignificant occurrences can have a huge impact on us both physically and mentally and over time can even change how you think and view the world. 

And now more than ever, in these uncertain times, it is so important to focus on the positives whilst managing the negatives. Admittedly many of us are facing very challenging personal situations through no fault of our own but you do have a choice to make…..

When you go to the doctors you will have heard the expression that your body has "Responded" to a medicine (positive) or that you have "Reacted" to a medicine (negative). And it's the same principal with our minds.

If every time you encounter a situation you "React" by shouting, being angry or frustrated then your adrenal glands will release cortisol which flows through your body and wreaks havoc on your biological system. To counteract this your endocrine glands produce hormones to suppress the cortisol until the body returns to a state of metabolic equilibrium. And although this "Reaction" was momentary, these chemicals can stay floating around for quite some time. This constant repetition of a micro process over time can cause many systematic problems. Ultimately it is not good for our health to be in this negative state.

So, what can you do?

The first step in this cycle is recognition. As and when this happens you need to have a conscious awareness of what you are experiencing. No need to try and stop it at this stage – just recognise what is happening. Once this is readily recognisable then the next stage is to take responsibility for what you do next. And this is not easy - especially when you are habitually used to letting outside influences affect your internal state. Whether we like it or not, we ultimately have a choice. We can choose to either "Respond" or "React" to everything that happens in our life -  good, bad or indifferent. And this will massively impact your future quality of life.

One thing to note - don’t be afraid of asking for help if available – you will be amazed at how many people are willing to listen and support if only you ask them.

So take control. You never know, a pause, a deep breath and maybe an outward smile may help you to navigate these difficult times.