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Respond vs. React

We empower ourselves when we respond to situations instead of reacting to them.

To respond to a situation means to make a choice as to how to interact with it (or we make the choice to not interact with it at all). To react is to go on auto pilot. It is based on instinct or the subconscious mind.

When we react we allow ourselves to be controlled by external parties, uncontrolled emotions, and subconscious programming. When we respond we are showing self-mastery and personal responsibility.

In regard to responding vs. reacting, Dr. Joshua David Stone wrote, “You wouldn’t let a person shove physical poison down your physical mouth. So don’t let people shove mental poison into your mind. You don’t want the subconscious mind to run your life and you don’t want other people to run your life either.”  [1]Soul Psychology, Dr. Joshua David Stone


“We know that when anger manifests in us, we should not do anything, we should not say anything. Because doing or saying something out of anger will bring about negative things that will make us regret later.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Hanh did not recommend ignoring anger, quite the contrary. His advice was to take care of the anger. If the anger needs to be explained to another person, then explain it with loving and calm speech. If that cannot be accomplished, then write it down.

Additionally, mindful breathing, mindful walking, and finding the root cause of it can help bring relief from the burden and suffering. [2]Plum Village

Hahn stated that, “the teaching of the Buddha is that anger can never remove anger. Anger can only promote more anger. Only understanding and compassion can put down the flame of anger in us and in the other person. Understanding and compassion is the only antidote for anger. And using that, you heal yourself and you help heal the people who are victims of anger.”

• Breathing in, I know that anger is here.
• Breathing out, I know that the anger is [in] me.
• Breathing in, I know that anger is unpleasant
• Breathing out, I know this feeling will pass.
• Breathing in, I am calm.
• Breathing out, I am strong enough to take care of this anger. [3]Thich Nhat Hahn 

Gallbladder and Gallbladder Meridian
When the gallbladder is deficient, indecision, procrastination, hesitation, and timidity will prevail. When the gallbladder is in excess, anger and impulsiveness will be manifest. [4]Easterncurrents.ca An imbalanced liver can also be related to anger, frustration, resentment, or rage.


February 23,2023


1 Soul Psychology, Dr. Joshua David Stone
2 Plum Village
3 Thich Nhat Hahn 
4 Easterncurrents.ca