Tame your Reactivity – Be More Intentional in your Life

If I were to give an analogy for us collectively right now, it would be of a slingshot. Just like a slingshot, we’re all charged, wound up, and ready to react. And it strikes me that this feeling of reactivity is not much unlike a craving. An intense feeling to act reflexively to a trigger or feeling.

If that’s how you are feeling these days- you are not alone!

Take it from me. My alarm goes off at 5:45 ⏰ every morning, and immediately I reach for my phone. The first thing I see is my newsfeed 📲 and I am already agitated by what I read. Then I head over to Instagram where I find more divisiveness and discord or just a bunch of pictures of women without cellulite, and my agitation grows. Then I look into my inbox and find emails by insurance companies rejecting necessary medications for my patients.

By 6 a.m, I am so reactive that I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin 🤯.

And I know I’m not alone.

And really, who can blame us? Ever since the pandemic, it has been one thing after another, after another.

Moreover, this reactivity has been hardwired in our biology. As humans, we have evolved to react and respond to threats quickly as a mechanism of survival 🦁, otherwise, our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers, would have been eaten in the wild.

Problem is, thousands of years later, we are still responding to threats in the same way, except that the threat or stress is no longer acute. The stress is chronic as we go from one thing to another. And this kind of reactivity is not only harmful to our physical and emotional health, but to the way that we live our lives. This reactivity impacts our relationships, our workplaces and basically everything we do.

The good news is that there are ways that we can manage this reactivity, and it comes down to creating pause. If we condition ourselves to pause and create a little bit of space between our triggers and reactions, then we offer ourselves to respond with intention and clarity of mind.

There are many tools, strategies and practices that help cultivate this ability, which I discuss on this week’s HealthBite podcast. But for now here is my quick tip:

  1. Awareness – If you’re mindful, you’ll notice that you feel this reactivity bubbling up inside your body. You may feel your heart rate go up. You may feel tension in your jaw, in your throat,or you may feel the flutter in your gut. Be aware of what you are experiencing in your body and name it.
  2. Name the Emotion – Once you are aware to what is in the body, you’re better able to manage what’s in your mind. So what are the emotions you are experiencing? Name that too. Is it anxiety? Is it tension? Is it frustration? Is it just fatigue? Is it anger? Naming that emotion, again, frees you up from its effects.
  3. Be with It – Sit with the sensations, the feelings and the emotions. They may be uncomfortable but, you will not break! Doing this will build your resilience to adversity.
  4. Regulate yourself – there are many science based mind-body practices that help you regulate your nervous system. Deep breathing is just one that is so easily accessible and effective. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Right there you have activated your parasympathetic nervous system initiating a drop in your heart rate, your blood pressure and initiating a sense of calm.

You can hear more tools and tricks on this week’s HealthBite podcast found anywhere you pod 🎧 If you think this message would benefit someone you love (and seriously who would not benefit from taming their reactivity these days? Share this newsletter!

Wishing you a happy, healthy , emotionally regulated week!




My mission is to educate, empower and inspire my patients to achieve health and wellness by drawing on best medical practices and a holistic mind-body approach while integrating my personal value system grounded in empathy, integrity and authenticity

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I'm Dr Adrienne Youdim.

It’s time for a better way, one that acknowledges that quick and easy is unrealistic and untrue, judgement results in sabotage and will only impede our weight loss goals.

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