What’s more useful in responding to stress—a proactive or a reactive response? Actually, it’s both! What’s important is to find healthy proactive and reactive responses.
First, the proactive approach. Proactive approaches involve modifying your behavior or mindset before the stressful situation has occurred.
To illustrate, let’s imagine you are moving—typically a pretty stressful event!
Healthy proactive responses would include:
- Making a plan for moving day,
- Gathering all packing supplies in one area in advance,
- Asking friends and family for help with packing, moving or unpacking,
- Carefully labeling boxes with their contents and room destination in your new home,
- Making a floor plan with furniture placement to help the movers unload quickly,
- Hiring a cleaner to prepare your new home and clean your old one,
- Arranging child care for moving day, and
- Buying snacks and beverages for any friends who come to help.
The other approach to managing stress is reactive. Reactive approaches involve changing your behavior or mindset during or after the initial stress has occurred.
Healthy reactive responses would include:
- Playing your favorite music to ease the workload,
- Taking rest breaks when you need to,
- Stopping at regular intervals for food, water and the loo breaks,
- Celebrating every little step forward,
- Reminding yourself that you won’t feel unsettled for long, and
- Focusing on the positives about the move: what do you love about your new place?
Ideally, you want to practice healthy proactive AND reactive approaches. Regardless of the stressful event, be it a move, a job transition or a health crisis, you can think through your proactive and reactive responses. Prepare yourself ahead of time with healthy proactive strategies and use your healthy reactive strategies in the moment.
© Copyright 2012 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities.
During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll.
My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world.
111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness.
Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled.
Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else.
I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do.
By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire.
My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework.
For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.