More Than Two Options

“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.”

 C.J. Redwine,  Defiance
man standing and walking going on boxing ring surrounded with people
Photo by Attentie Attentie

It’s indeed wonderful to know that fight or flight are not the only options for us in moments of conflict that we experience with others. Running away from the matter never solves anything and neither does becoming combative or defensive. Harmony manifests in our lives during tumultuous experiences when our awareness is on the many other choices that we have to keep ourselves in balance. A commitment to practicing mindfulness makes dealing with conflict easier. In mindfulness, we can better maintain our presence as authentic beings.

The fight or flight response comes in moments of acute stress. Acute stress is very common and manifests when there is a perceived threat (imagined or real) whether it be physical, emotional or psychological. The autonomic nervous system is activated and there is a release in hormones thus increasing the heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. These threats vary widely from person to person and range from mild to intense. An example of mild acute stress response could be hearing the sudden glare of sirens from a fire truck in traffic. While a severe acute stress response may occur when having an argument with a partner or friend.

The onset of the flight or fight response is due to our reaction to something that has caused us to become fearful. Maybe we are fearful of losing an argument not realizing that it is not worth the time or energy to try and win every battle. Learning to pick and choose our battles wisely is a valuable life lesson worth learning. Perhaps, we are fearful of losing control because we have not accepted the fact that the only person that we can control is ourselves. Further, fight or flight may be our response because of the myth or self-defeating story that we replay in the backdrop of minds.

I’ve learned that when I am aware, I can make a decision to act according to what I know rather than surrendering to my contrary feelings.  My emotions should never be denied. They bring deeper understanding to the present experience. However, my emotions do not always serve me. It’s better to give more attention to making the right choices rather than basing our actions on the perceived or imagined threat we are experiencing.

When we become fearful our judgment is clouded and its more difficult to recall the tools that we know work in order to navigate our way to safe harbors. The worst times to make decisions is when we are in fear, hurried, angered, and fatigued. Pause. Take a moment to examine the circumstances. It’s important for us to be aware of how we feel so that we can prevent the flight or fight response and choose behaviors that help us and lead to the betterment of the situation at hand. In this way, we can stand in our own authentic power remaining true to ourselves. Let’s remember in the face of conflict and life’s challenges flight or fight are not the only two options. Inspired Joe Caruso, The Principles of Authentic Power: Finding Strength, Meaning, and Happiness in an Out-ofControl World.

“Peace doesn’t deny difficulty, but it has an inner calm and quietness even while enduring the difficulty.”

Glenn C. Stewart

Thank you for reading! Post a comment! Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Published by Dr. Deana Gordon

Dr. Deana Gordon: Authenticity. She presents herself via blog posts, presentations, or in consultations in a way that encourages others to be the best version of themselves. She finds it both a privilege and pleasure to coach others through this life process.

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