The Rural Mindset Podcast™ Episode 13 - Habitual Reactivity
On this episode of The Rural Mindset Podcast™ you will learn about Habitual Reactivity.
Habitual reactivity is your way of responding to stressors or tense situations. You may shutdown, you may blow up, you may brush it off. This is a response that comes from your autonomic nervous system that is your fight, flight or freeze response that is trying to keep you safe. It isn't really productive for us to have a fight or flight response as much as we do, because it was utilized mostly in hunter-gatherer times when we had to have this stress response to stay alive. Our stressors in 2022 look a lot different now than the stressors that made us have these responses in the first place.
Instead of staying alive from other predators in predator/prey relationships, we are sorting cattle, writing math tests, public speaking, or working with our family.
The thing about this being a mammalian response is that this happens in our lower brain space, where as our calming, rational brain is our upper cortex. This higher cortex allows us to stop in our tracks and re-wire our behaviour when we are experiencing something that is a stress.
Note: a stressor can be wind outside, your computer being slow, not having enough sleep, working out, math tests, cattle not listening, horses being silly in training, your children making a mess, and so much more.
Our habitual reactivity is something we learn from a very young age and is partially nature and partially nurture, but that doesn't mean that it can't change.
When your lower-level brain takes over and we are in a habitual reactivity response we need to work on consciously make decisions to create space and have a response rather than a reaction. This is created through presence, emotional intelligence, and calming breath work. When we react to something, the stimulus is glued to the response. When we respond to something, we create space in the situation and can have a thought out response rather than a habitual reaction.
One way that we can do this is by practicing presence and mindfulness so that we can rewire our brains to change our response with intention slowly through creating new habits.
How to start? Learn your body clues (sweating, shaking, increased heart rate, agitation, stomach ache, etc.). Start learning to pause throughout your day. Learn to practice breath work. Learn to pause when you feel your body clues creeping up.
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