Emotional Reactivity

This article clearly explains what emotional reactivity is and how to overcome it. As you may already know, mastery of your feelings and thoughts is the key to lasting happiness and wellbeing. So, take my hand and let me guide you through the subtle realms of the mind...

What is emotional reactivity?

Imagine you are at the bank and the clerk gets irritated when you ask some basic questions about your account. That person is said to be emotionally reactive. What is more, it's as unpleasant to live out negative emotions, as it is to be exposed to emotionally reactive behavior.

Irritation and anger are unpleasant mental states. In other words, it's impossible to experience happiness and ease while bathing in negative emotions. However, many people believe that anger is a pleasant release not unlike a locomotive that lets go of steam, but anyone with first-hand experience of mindfulness knows that anger gives rise to lingering restlessness and unease.

Another interesting point, is that it's more accepted to be emotionally reactive round family and friends than strangers. Generally speaking, it's true to say that only highly emotionally reactive individuals unload their negative emotions on people they don't know well. The feelings build up quickly and are so unpleasant that they are unable to contain them. The emotional build up is fast, since the person resists the situation like a crying baby. Please note that there is no acceptance of the present moment.

How emotionally reactive are you?

Here are some situations that can trigger emotional reactivity:

- You realize your camera with all the photos from your holiday has been stolen.

- You arrive late to the departure terminal and are worried about missing your flight. Stress has been building up on the way to the airport, as a result you act impatiently while checking in.

- You are looking forward to meet your new lover for a romantic dinner, but a few hours beforehand he cancels. He tells you he got a surprise visit from an old friend and that they are going out to celebrate. How would you have reacted to that?

Discover Your True Potential

                          A Highly transformative Free ebook

                          Free Email Support...

Download your FREE ebook Now!

Enter your email:

By signing up for the free ebook, you agree to receive occasional newsletters from axel g.
You can unsubscribe at any time...

The Causes Of Emotional Reactivity

In the example at the bank, the cause of the irritated clerk could be that he was in a bad mood, was tired of his job, had had enough of answering the same questions over again or there was something about you that he didn't like. Either way, the unskillful reaction was the result of negative thinking. In short, he disliked the situation which in turn triggered unpleasant emotions. That, is what caused the irritation.

Most people that lose a camera full of photos react with anger and disappointment. Not accepting that the camera has been stolen, calls forth emotional reactivity.

At the airport you were in a hurry to catch your flight. As you checked in your bags, you expected the staff to be more efficient; but when it took longer than you could bear, unpleasant emotions flared up and you reacted with impatience. Not accepting the situation as it was, resulted in negative feelings. Or phrased differently, not being friends with the present moment, makes for unhappiness.

A cancelled date may lead to anger and disappointment. Resisting the fact that the date was cancelled, gave rise to negative emotions.

How To Overcome Emotional Reactivity

The key to mental and emotional balance is mindfulness, also called presence or awareness. While you are mindful it's easy to see that it's futile to get angry for example when missing a bus, since it won't change the situation for the better. On the contrary, it makes it worse since you have to cope with your anger too.

When you are mindful you feel at ease and do not spread negativity around you. So, mindfulness benefits everyone you meet. Moreover, a mindful individual has a skillful perspective on the situation, which preserves mental and emotional calm.

Here is a link to an informative post on mindfulness practice.

Taking Responsibility For Your Mental States

You should take full responsibility for your feelings and thoughts. By being emotionally reactive you literally pollute yourself and everyone around you. Take a moment to think about it.

What gives you the right to cause other people discomfort by lashing out your anger and frustration? The truth is that we have limited control over our feelings and thoughts. In other words, we are victims of our own minds.

Mindfulness makes it easier to overcome emotional reactivity. I strongly recommend this approach.

Best of luck!

Related:   Irritation & Anger   Emotional Reactions   Emotional Maturity

axel g > Emotions > Emotional Reactivity

All Rights Reserved ©2008-2018 axelg.com

Design by OS Templates