How to Change My Reactive Behavior

It can be difficult to notice your overreactions if you are constantly in a reactive state. When you have large reactions to small incidences, chances are something else is going on with you. You could be lacking in sleep, under a lot of stress or there might be an underlying cause unknown to you at this time.

To change your reactive behavior, you must first notice it. Oh, I only dropped my pen on the floor, and look how angry I got! A driver pulled out in front of me, and I tailgated him, all the while saying to myself I’m going to get that so and so! In these hypothetical situations your angry reaction instantly went from zero to 10. That can be unsettling.

Other reactions you may experience besides anger can be fear and sadness. You could also react to a specific individual who triggers you. That person may unconsciously remind you of someone in your life that has caused you harm. The harm could have been spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically. Whatever your reactions may be, there are steps you can take to minimize your behavior.  

Seeking therapeutic help may be the wisest action you can take to help you with your reactive behavior. Through the therapeutic process you can gain insight as to why you have such overwhelming reactions to people, places and things. Your therapist can also help you with coping skills, too.

Practice counting to 10 before your emotions take the upper hand. Taking a few deep breaths can also help slow down your reaction. Try not to beat yourself up if you don’t catch yourself ahead of time. You’ll get there. Changing behavior takes time and practice.

When your boss puts pressure on you to get the project done, you can let her know you’ll do the best you can. That’s really all you can do in work situations, and it takes the pressure off you. If you feel overwhelmed, instead of panicking, try taking a break and slow down your breathing. Breathe in to the count of two, and breath out to the count of four. Breathing in this manner can calm down your nervous system. Good for you for confronting your reactive behavior!

“It’s never overreacting to ask for what you need.”—Amy Poehler

Infinity Malibu offers cutting edge treatment in the perfect setting. Our licensed staff are discreet and compassionate. You’ll find our programs fulfilling and beneficial to your lasting recovery. There is no one good day to begin your recovery—there is only today. Make the call 888-266-9048

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