It’s important that you know the difference between reacting to life and responding to it, which is huge! Not knowing the difference can impact the quality of your life, your relationships, as well as your holistic health in a negative way. Knowing the difference can turn it all around! Read on and watch the video below to learn the best way to react to life. I also integrate Human Design Strategy for Generators and Manifesting Generators into the explanation!
Reacting Vs. Responding – What’s The Difference?
We talk about the difference between these two terms quite a lot in meditation circles. It’s so foundational in mindfulness practices, that I make sure my students and clients know the difference between response and reaction too.
The Problem With Reaction
Reaction is impulsive.
You’ve probably heard of the term “knee-jerk reaction”. It refers to quick action without thinking. Reacting to a situation in this manner can be a good thing if you’re in an emergency situation. If you put your hand on a hot stove or pot, your reaction is to pull your hand away as quickly as possible. You don’t think about whether you’re about to hit someone or something as your hand flies back. The priority is keeping yourself safe and avoiding more harm to yourself.
The problem with reacting is that this is the way people act most of the time. It’s not just for emergency situations. People react based on emotion, but not feelings that they’re aware of. Mindfulness is not in the equation at all. Instead, they act, speak, and make decisions based on past experiences, habits, addictions, and even past trauma.
Reacting is a stress response – acting in the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system state. This can damage your health with the constant secretion of stress hormones.
Reacting is all about self preservation and trying to avoid painful experiences. This also means that the person is not able to heal. Investigating these reactions is needed to create new mindful ways of being.
Why Responding To Life Is Ideal
Responding, on the other hand, is more thoughtful. You’re still noticing your emotions, but also considering your intention for the action. Hopefully, you’re also thinking of the long-term consequences of your actions.
When you respond, it’s from a bigger, wider perspective than more narrow-minded reactions.
Being able to pause and respond to a situation is one of the first steps in making changes that truly heal. This approach to life can help you break out of negative belief systems, become free of addictions, resolve stress, and create more peaceful circumstances in and around you. It also prevents you from doing something impulsive that you might regret!
The World Would Benefit From More Thoughtful Response
When we’re responding to others around us, we’re considering them and their feelings. The whole world needs this lesson!
With controversial heated subjects, it appears that we’re all just reacting from deep wounds which furthers the hatred and division. What’s needed is for everyone to pause and consider the opposite perspective. We can then respond in a respectful way to learn how to bridge differences.
Responding As Strategy For Human Design Generators And Manifesting Generators
Everyone needs to understand the difference between responding and reacting. I also wanted to bring it up here because Human Design is becoming such a popular way to add direction to one’s life. Since I’m offering Human Design Readings and “Responding” is the strategy for Generators and Manifesting Generators (who make up 70% of the population), it’s important for them to know the difference too!
Strategy, in the Human Design sense, is the way that we make decisions that keep us on our life path and in our “Self” theme. For Generators and Manifesting Generators, they need to respond to some inner or outer prompt that helps them take inspired action and fuels their excitement.
If they follow the strategy of the other Human Design Types instead -“informing” for Manifestors, “waiting for an invitation” for Projectors, or “waiting a lunar cycle” for Reflectors – it is likely that they will end up feeling frustrated which is the “not self” theme that makes them deviate from their authentic life path. And if they try to respond appropriately, but instead react in a defensive, primal way, this can also cause confusion and frustration. This is where people get lost when they try to figure out their Human Design on their own.
If you want to learn more about this, you can get a Human Design Reading from me, since it can take some time to fully integrate your strategy. I offer a 75 minute reading plus one week of coaching afterwards to help you make a successful shift.
I hope this gives you a lot to think about! As you bring more mindfulness into your day, you’ll see what triggers reactions and where you have more space to respond. I would love to know how this helps you! Please share your experience and ask any questions you may have in the comments below.
Well wishes to you!