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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Under reacting to situations

"We need to break the habit of overreacting because of speedy assumption and judgments."

When was the last time you overreacted to something that happened in your life? Maybe it was work or family related. Maybe you saw something you didn't agree with on the news. Either way, after you cooled off and thought about it, you may have felt like you were overreacting in the heat of the moment. Perhaps a family member or coworker had to step in and become the voice of reason since your understanding of the situation may not have had all the details.

Sometimes we are quick to make up our minds with feelings over facts since our emotions are felt instantly, while we gather more evidence afterward, if at all. Also, when we receive unfavorable news or experience unfortunate circumstances, it's human nature to experience negative emotions that may tempt us to make irrational decisions, possibly leading to even worse consequences. We have all felt or seen the chain reaction of events that can unfold when overreacting to a situation. It's like adding fuel to a fire we would rather extinguish.

Photo by Tomas Anunziata on Pexels

I have been practicing the concept of under reacting to bad news or bad days. I have been learning to not let my emotions dictate how I react. I found the simplest way to do this is by delaying my reaction. This is where tapping into restraint becomes important for me until I can process all of the details and information I need to truly know what I'm dealing with. Practicing mindfulness has been a big help. Sometimes, I realize the unfortunate turn of events ended up paving the way for more favorable opportunities to present themselves. Looking at the situation from different perspectives and reframing my thoughts can provide more options and clarity.

I still find myself overreacting, but in smaller doses and more subtly. When we are able to temporarily remove ourselves from any negative experience and take a few steps back, we give ourselves the opportunity to make better informed choices about how we should proceed. We can prevent ourselves from saying or doing the wrong thing because we allowed our negative emotions to get in the way, possibly causing a regrettable offense. It can help us move on quicker since we find a way to extinguish the fire instead of mindlessly adding fuel to it. Under reacting can help prevent us from overreacting.

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