Choose Your Reactions

We’ve all been in situations that can put us in a bad mood: traffic jams, dealing with unruly children, interacting with rude co-workers … the list goes on. But have you developed the self-discipline to choose your reaction to the situation?

I admit that while in the midst of a stressful situation, it’s hard to consciously choose to stay positive or to not let something upset you. In that moment, negativity may surround you, and negativity is very contagious. That’s why I recommend everyone develop a procedure for dealing with stressful situations. My favorite is the Stop, Think, and Go procedure, which I explain here.

Whatever procedure you opt to use for yourself and to teach your children, the key is to use it. Then, you can redirect your thinking to more positive choices, depending on the situation you’re in. For example, some better choices you can make are:

  • I choose to use this time stuck in traffic listening to relaxing music or an audio book.
  • I choose to stay calm while this toddler is throwing a tantrum.
  • I choose to smile and excuse myself from this rude co-worker rather than engage him.

Choosing your response in any situation requires a healthy dose of self-discipline, but with practice, it becomes easier. Try it today.