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Pause Before Reacting

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

Have you ever noticed that sometimes your emotions have caused you to react in ways that you’ve regretted with your children or a partner? Now take a moment to imagine a “future you” that could choose how to respond calmly. Take three deep breaths while visualizing this successful “future you” handling conflict in a calm, assured, and patient manner.

Culturally, helping people and children understand their emotions isn’t considered as important as intellectual abilities. Yet, many in the mental health field understand emotional intelligence and its impact on the quality of relationships. Take a moment to think about how your relationships would be different if every time a conflict arose, people take just a few seconds to pause before reacting.

Why? Research has shown when you can identify and label your emotions, you are better able to calm yourself, and choose how to respond rather than react. When a person in a high-pressure situation can manage their emotions, they are better able to communicate and manage conflict in all their relationships. Whether at, home, school, work, or in the public, being in command of our emotions leads to better interactions with others.

As a parent and role model for your children, you can teach them how to respond when stress gets high. As a partner, you might have already tried convincing the other person in your relationship how much their behavior impacts you. Sometimes, the first step you can take in changing relationship dynamics is finding ways for yourself to respond calmly.

Patty Ostberg-Speiker, MA is trained in techniques to help people manage their emotions. She enjoys helping parents, couples, and families face the challenges of emotionally charged conflict resolution. Call and set up a free consultation or for your first appointment with Patty at 651-208-2930.

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