Act Versus React

Day Five of National Infertility Awareness Week

Act vs. React

What is your safety valve?

We all have an automatic response that is triggered when we sense danger or fear. Our body’s natural reaction is to go into fight or flight, and your body is doing exactly what it is designed to do. Studies have shown that the body reacts or triggers the fight or flight response when the trigger is in the mind or there is a a perceived threat or one is actually present.

Perceived threats I used to go into automatic fight or flight just listening to my nightly orders from the clinic for that evening’s drug administration; my body would spring into fight or flight for fear if I might not respond properly to the medication. This happened, sometimes, even before the orders were given. My heart would race, my body would get flushed and I would sweat! Talk about creating a reaction!

This scenario might resonate with you too… that for some reason you find yourself reacting and instead of acting.

So how do you become conscience of your automatic reaction and how do you make a different choice?
Being fully present for the situation is essential. I remember having a reaction to someone telling me to be present during the fertility journey and saying out loud to them “how much more present can I get?” I’m poked and prodded and definitely in the room for all the procedures!”

But here’s the “what I know now that I wish I knew then” advice about being present:
Feel the feeling. Let them come. Don’t try to block them, push them down or deny them.  Let them come full force, knowing that you’re in a fight or flight mode. Feel it and release.

Phew, that’s it. Simply being present for you. Then after you practice feeling and releasing, bring this awareness to the upcoming event that is making you an anxious.

Rehearse this self-dialogue: Every time I call the doctor’s office or listen to my nightly orders, I have a physical reaction. I chose to listen to my body and acknowledge its message….

Just the simple act of acknowledging a pattern can and will shift your awareness. Count to ten and take three deep breaths before embarking on a task. This will call in “acting” energy and put you in your power zone!

Every human has four endowments- self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.
Stephen Covey


(Originally Published April 25, 2013)

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