How to Respond instead of Reacting

The 3 core needs are being challenged daily. So how can we build resilience and keep these challenges from becoming stressors?


Our core needs as humans are for safety, satisfaction, and connection. When these basic needs are met, we operate in a responsive mode, making wise choices and taking appropriate actions in our lives. When our core needs are not being met, we operate in a reactive mode, fearful, grasping, and feeling shame and unworthiness.


In our current circumstances, these challenges to our core needs could not be more obvious.


With the coronavirus pandemic we can see lots of people in reactive mode just by scrolling through our social media feeds. Obviously people are afraid of the virus, and their physical health being jeopardized. They fear for their financial safety, and the loss of the freedoms they’re used to. People are experiencing a lot of anger, helplessness and a sense of overwhelm.

The hoarding and stockpiling of food and supplies is a very clear example of a scarcity mindset. The desire to make sure their own needs are met, at the expense of rational thinking, and even when they have what they need, feeling the need to have more “just in case” demonstrates that they don’t trust that they'll ever have enough.

The sides people are taking during this pandemic are a clear example of disconnection, “Us vs. Them”. There is so much judgement and shaming of individuals, businesses, and governments about who should be doing or not doing things and when they should be doing them or not doing them.


So how can we as individuals (because unfortunately we can’t change the rest of the world) find ourselves in a responsive mode in spite of all of that?


We start by recognizing that in this moment right now we are safe. If you’re sitting down and reading this right now, you are not in danger. So even if danger is around the corner, it’s not here now.


Pausing to recognize the breath in your body, the food digesting in your belly, the furniture you’re sitting on and the roof over your head. Right here and right now, you are safe. Don’t just think it, know it. Experience it. Let that feeling of safety and calm and peace flood your body. Don’t let it rush off.


Next we find gratitude. Start with the big things and then get to the tiny ones. Notice and experience how much you really have, and not from a place of “you should be grateful because other people have so much less than you” but from a place of really noticing and having appreciation for what you have. Clean water, organic milk, ice cubes, wi-fi, a new bar of soap, clean sheets, etc.

Notice how it feels in your body when you have gratitude.


And finally recall and reconnect with the people in your life that have always helped you know your own worth. Parents, friends, teachers, mentors. They may be alive or they may not be, if they are, find them again and remember how it feels to be around people who allow you to be who you are. If they’re no longer here, you can still reconnect with them.

Remembering, writing about, reliving the experiences and how you felt in those times. You can use those memories to reconnect with the experience of being loved and supported, and know that the experience of belonging and feeling supported comes from within you. You can tap in to it anytime.


I help women build resilience by using yoga and mindset tools to explore which needs aren’t being met, and how we can meet those needs for ourselves. We have all of the tools and resources within us to meet our core needs. We don’t need to look outside ourselves for them.


If you’d like to chat more about how to restore balance to your body, mind, and spirit and spend more time in a responsive mode in this and any circumstance, I’d love to help.


I’m offering a Free Initial Yoga and Wellness Session so you can experience a coaching session and see how these tools can help bring a sense of peace and purpose to your life. You can schedule your session here.


Not ready for a session but want to join the conversation? I'd love for you to join our Clara Bella Wellness Community on Facebook. It's a welcoming and nurturing space for women to learn from and support one another. We'd love to have you there.


If you’d like to incorporate some of these tools into your daily practice. I've created some resources to share. You can access the Free Yoga and Wellness Tools resource here.


My hope is that you return to them often, whenever you need to check in, re-center, and feel at ease.