top of page

2 Levels of Emotional Reactivity (Day 99)

Today and this whole week we're looking at our emotional reactivity in two ways:

  1. The situational reactivity that comes up in response to something currently happening in your life (e.g. 'I'm anxious about my upcoming talk' or 'I'm frustrated about being stuck in traffic'). This is what we've mostly been focusing on so far. Your task at this level is learning not to react in the moment. This way, eventually you'll stop adding to all of your stored-up reactivity.

  2. The stored-up reactivity that you've accumulated over a lifetime. This is an enormous problem, and until you get a handle on step 1 (above), you just keep adding to this pile. These are all of the emotional reactions over your whole life that never got dealt with, and so you carry them around with you always and everywhere. Your task at this level is to reduce and eventually eliminate this pile. When you find yourself reacting to something and it feels out of proportion, it's probably because the pent-up energy of these deeper reactions got triggered. These Core Reactions serve as the bedrock of our Core Beliefs, holding them in place and feeding them.

When you're practicing mindfulness – awareness and acceptance – you're dealing with both levels of reactivity. When something is happening in the moment, if you observe it and accept the impact, it won't stick and cause you any further problems. If nothing tricky is happening in any moment, you're still aware and accepting (particularly of body sensations). Doing this burns off a layer of your stored-up reactivity. This is a big reason why we need to keep practicing even when things seem calm and comfortable!

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page