Some of the best advice I’ve received in recent days is to practice underreacting. I have shared this advice with some friends, and we remind each other. We are ducks. We let stress roll off. We shrug. We say, “Whatever, Dude.”
My work culture and my husband’s is marked by overreacting—an emotionally charged response to another person’s behavior that may or may not even affect us. I say work culture, but I think overreacting to another person’s words or behavior can happen in all areas of life. I know when I’m doing it—I can feel the stress hormone in my blood and the desire to fix, to control, to do what I think is best or in many cases, to just feel angry and righteous about something that doesn’t even affect me. Hence, the glorious wisdom of underreacting. Underreacting means that if it doesn’t affect me, I shrug. If it does affect me, and it’s my purview to take action. I take action, but without the emotional charge.
Underreacting is pretty magical. It helps me keep things in perspective, and it keeps my blood pressure in a normal range.
However, there is a third option that I’m embarrassed to admit, I hadn’t given much option to. That option is being pro-active. I can move through my day reacting to what happens to me, or I can decide to make some things happen. If I am focused on my business, making my goals happen, I am less likely to get caught up in reactionary behaviors that derail my progress.
Be proactive going into your Monday. What do you want to accomplish at work this week? What do you want to accomplish in your personal life this week? What do you want to create? It feels amazing to move from overreacting to underreacting—how much better to move your focus from reacting to creating!