Responding Instead of Reacting

In today’s episode we will have a conversation about the importance of Reacting vs. Responding. Sometimes a reaction is unavoidable, however if you have the opportunity to slooooooooow doooooooooown, just take a few moments and choose to respond.
Just a few seconds is all it takes to reduce your stress greatly!

Listen in at: https://www.jasonmefford.com/fireandearthpodcast/

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of the fire and earth podcast i’m your co host Jason medford.

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Kathy Gruver: And I am Kathy gruver and I am so excited about this conversation we’re going to have today Jason you know when I taught them mini meditation we talked about breath work and mindfulness and all these things I know i’ve mentioned taking a pause.

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Kathy Gruver: Right there’s power in that pause because one of the things you get to do in that pause is just to decide whether you’re going to react or respond.

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Kathy Gruver: And we went first responders right we don’t want first reactors nobody’s.

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Kathy Gruver: ever been accused of having a knee jerk response nobody’s ever accuse you of over responding it’s those reactions that get us in trouble and.

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Kathy Gruver: it’s been a stressful time here at the at the old homestead and I found myself getting stuck in reactivity which leads to more reactivity which leads to more reactivity and then it’s a really hard cycle to break, so I thought we’d have a conversation about responding versus reacting.

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Jason Mefford: let’s say it’s a good conversation like you said you know the pause it’s.

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Jason Mefford: There is there’s at seven seven seconds subconscious to conscious brain right pick up so that, when we get triggered again we’re not thinking cognitively about what we’re doing we’re reacting usually within those first seven seconds so.

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Jason Mefford: You know, unless you have healthy habits, so that when the when the triggers happen your your brain habit your habit brain takes over and you’re reacting, but in an appropriate way right.

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Jason Mefford: We need to stop and respond right and it is it’s that pause that ends up helping us catch up realize what just happened and then actually choose instead of reacting.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah yeah those reactions get us in trouble, now we need the reaction if you’re driving your car and another car squares at you, you want that reaction you don’t want to go oh.

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Jason Mefford: I don’t know there’s a car coming.

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Kathy Gruver: Now.

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Kathy Gruver: What are some options let’s do a brain map.

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Kathy Gruver: You know.

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Jason Mefford: Imagine how many more accidents, we would have on the road.

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Kathy Gruver: Right yes uh yeah That would be a mess, but but, in this situation i’ll give you an example, my computer died, the other morning it was stuck in this loop, where there was.

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Kathy Gruver: So it was so full that it was almost out of memory, so I went to delete stuff to open up memory.

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Kathy Gruver: And it was so full I couldn’t delete anything so I was stuck in this loop of I didn’t have enough memory, to delete but I needed to delete and I started freaking out.

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Kathy Gruver: And my very helpful boyfriend says why don’t you turn it off and turn it back on to which I went.

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Kathy Gruver: No it’ll never turned back on and I started flipped because i’ve had that happen, where there’s not enough memory to reboot it right, it just it’s just dead and I was so afraid to turn it off, I take it to the marketplace, the.

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Kathy Gruver: The guy says, you know, the first thing I did to fix it was it.

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Jason Mefford: It turned.

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turned it off.

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Kathy Gruver: Now that reaction was one i’ve already had a stressful week, so my stress level had risen I didn’t have the my memory was full too, so I didn’t have the capability to make a rational decision from there.

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Kathy Gruver: And it was based on a previous experience that i’ve had where the computer didn’t turn back on.

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Kathy Gruver: Now, regardless, they could have gotten it back on had I just pause for a moment I was already rushed that morning, had I pause for just a moment and went that’s a good idea let’s reboot it and see what happens.

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Kathy Gruver: I wouldn’t have wasted $195 the MAC store, you know, so it is about taking that pause and actually thinking through, I was not a place to do that and it caused a little bit of chaos.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s interesting because you bring that up and I actually you know, one of the group coaching calls I just had one of my programs, we were talking about resiliency you know which again is is.

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Jason Mefford: You so so some of the signs that you’re talking about there right is it’s like.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, if we if we understand if we know that our brain is fall or memory is for our life is fall we’re having stressful times if we recognize that we’re in a particularly stressful time we’re going to be more likely.

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Jason Mefford: To react, instead of respond.

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Jason Mefford: yep right, and so you know, the more that we can do as we start to recognize that we’re getting to that point.

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Jason Mefford: right, then, then we end up our inhibitions are down they’re gone right, and so this happens, you know, again, I mean how many stories are there of Stupid drunk texts and other stuff right because people are.

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Kathy Gruver: drunk I did.

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Jason Mefford: You didn’t mean it I apologize.

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Jason Mefford: But it but it’s the same kind of thing right, I mean when you when you get over intoxicated we tend to react and do things that often we we regret later.

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Jason Mefford: So, even without alcohol it’s the same thing it’s the stress levels in your body go up as these other things have happened some of these stories pop up because of triggers.

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Jason Mefford: Right you got triggered.

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Jason Mefford: Oh, my gosh my computer’s not doing whatever it needs to be there’s probably some business reason why it’s like I gotta have my computer right all these things started adding up to your stress level.

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Jason Mefford: yeah so yeah when when something comes out at that point, then, we tend to not not respond but react.

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Kathy Gruver: So you react yeah and here’s one thing that helped me resolve all of that, so I had a podcast that I was supposed to do in about an hour and I had a coach and client that night that I was supposed to do on zoom.

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Kathy Gruver: I texted the podcast lady, and I said i’m so sorry my computer just died.

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Kathy Gruver: So rather than rushing to find someone else xp resident guilt pulling my boyfriend off his computer trying to figure out how to get on us like I simply set that boundary and there was very honest with the people, and I said.

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Kathy Gruver: I can’t do that, and you know, I was trying to get them to rush the computer, so I could do that coaching call that night and then.

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Kathy Gruver: You know, I was trying to find a way to make this work and I texted my coaching call that night, and I said, you know what i’m so sorry my computer just died i’m just you know, and she goes oh that’s okay i’ve been feeling sick all day tomorrow’s better anyway.

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Kathy Gruver: So it.

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Kathy Gruver: worked out better anyway, you know, and so, rather than stressing myself out even more trying to find ways to solve all these simply.

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Kathy Gruver: moved stuff you know I took control over what I could, which was my scheduling.

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Kathy Gruver: And then that call me down enough that I could start to handle everything else.

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Kathy Gruver: So it was you know when stress builds up, and it was one of those weeks, where you know documents got lost and things are being delayed, and you know all that stuff that’s out of our control.

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Kathy Gruver: What can you take control over how can you do a pattern interrupt to stop that craziness jump off the crazy carousel.

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Kathy Gruver: Maybe it’s a walk maybe it’s a meditation maybe it’s lunch with a friend, maybe it’s a glass of wine, maybe it’s a pet cat for a while and just get back into yourself and help stop that craziness that’s the pause that helps us choose what we’re going to do next.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and what’s interesting too is because taking that pause is important not only to reduce our stress levels slow our brain down right that’s that’s one reason for doing it, but the other two is we usually don’t have the answer.

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Jason Mefford: Until we slow down to write because it’s that whole Einstein quote right the same level of thinking that caused the problem cannot find the solution, you know paraphrased right.

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Jason Mefford: Is when we’re in that you know super beta state and we’re freaking out well in that freaked out state we’re the ones, causing the problem so guess what you’re never gonna figure out.

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Jason Mefford: The solution if you’re still in that freaked out state so slowing yourself down and I don’t know how many times, this has happened to me right and i’m sure it’s happened to you as well.

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Jason Mefford: Is you just slow down you go pet the cat you get up you go take a shower and all of a sudden thing you know how to fix it yeah.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah well when we’re in the stress a fear looks look at the classic fight or flight response.

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Kathy Gruver: You have a couple choices you’re running from the bear you’re fighting the bear or you freeze and do that thing.

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Kathy Gruver: you’re not meant to be doing higher brain function you’re not critically, you know thinking you’re not doing math your thing is run fight or freeze, those are your options, so when you’re in a stress state that isn’t that physical stressor well I.

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Kathy Gruver: I thought I would get this computer to work, and you know I didn’t pause to actually make a logical choice because my brain was not in a state to do that.

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Kathy Gruver: So that’s what that fight or flight response does, and you know we have to ask the question is that fight or flight where the.

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Kathy Gruver: Computer it already is a truly you know, should I mount this giant stress the fact that my my reef eyes not done yet.

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Kathy Gruver: Does that deserve this fight or flight response to something that I can’t control anyway and that’s what stresses it’s that feeling of being out of control of things that what we’re being given is too big for us to handle.

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Kathy Gruver: So what can we handle let’s make a different choice you know that’s that’s what we can control.

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yep.

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Jason Mefford: yeah great points and again, you know how do we do this well we just kind of telling you here right so go back rewind we’ll go through them again right but.

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Jason Mefford: When you recognize it take a pause that because, again, most of the time, like you know, like you said Cathy if we’re if we’re in a car and we’re driving and we’re about to get in an accident that’s when we want our body to just take over.

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Jason Mefford: yep okay if if there’s some physical threat to us, we want our body to take over, we want to react, but 99% of what we go through every single day is not those kinds of things so yeah pet the cat or the dog, if you have a dog right get up walk outside go stand in the grass ground yourself.

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Jason Mefford: You know.

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breeze.

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Jason Mefford: You know lots of different things that you can end up doing just to pattern interrupt and kind of slow yourself back down so you can think clearly again and then actually respond instead of reacting.

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Kathy Gruver: yep and set those boundaries, if you are seriously in such a state that you can’t do that thing that you said you do.

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Kathy Gruver: Tell the person that and just rearrange it, you know.

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Kathy Gruver: The woman, that I was doing the podcast with was not mad at me that my computer that she’s like oh we’ve all been there, not a problem, let me know when you come back the coaching client actually worked out better for her.

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Kathy Gruver: That we moved it to the following day, and I was like doing that oh I can’t cancel in your life she’s new and I.

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Kathy Gruver: worked out better just be honest with people set those boundaries, if you see you’re going into a really stressful week don’t add more to it, you know you have a choice of.

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Kathy Gruver: What you fill your schedule with and how many things you put into your onto your plate so it’s about making better choices and that way when the stress comes up you’ll be more apt to respond, rather than react.

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Jason Mefford: ding ding ding.

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Kathy Gruver: ding ding I think the horse has been beaten.

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Jason Mefford: No animals were harmed in the making of this podcast.

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Kathy Gruver: Except for alister who might have been outside but yeah he.

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Jason Mefford: He he brought it upon himself by searching or by to you right so.

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Kathy Gruver: not respond he.

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Kathy Gruver: Cast alright.

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Kathy Gruver: So there we go so everybody hope you have a stress free day.

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Kathy Gruver: i’m definitely more calm so that’s.

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Good.

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Kathy Gruver: yeah.

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Kathy Gruver: All right, i’m Kathy Gruber, I can be reached at Kathy Gruber calm.

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Jason Mefford: And i’m Jason method, I can be reached at Jason method calm so relax chill lack and make sure I don’t know I just.

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Kathy Gruver: chillax we’re going to work.

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Jason Mefford: we’re we’re we’re doing woodworking.

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Kathy Gruver: it’s relaxing.

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Relaxing.

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Kathy Gruver: I think it’s.

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Jason Mefford: chillax oh there we go chill chill ads unscripted everyone.

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Jason Mefford: And unedited so all right well with that go out, you know be be a little bit more cognizant if you’re feeling stressed relax so that you’re responding instead of reacting and catch us on the next episode of the fire and earth podcast we’ll see you.

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yeah.

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