How do you proactively respond to discouragement

10 tips for moving from reactive to proactive in situations

A.We all encounter life experiences when we are temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair or confusion. In these situations, the way we manage the moment can mean the difference between being proactive and reactive, confident and insecure, and between success and failure.

Below are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations, using excerpts from my book (click on the title): "How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Feelings". All of these tips have in common that they cause a positive break in a negative mental or emotional state. These mindful interjections, however short or long, provide a psychological opening from which to recalibrate and choose a stronger action. Not all of these tips may apply to your particular situation. Just use what works and throw the rest away.

1. When you are angry and upset with someoneBefore you say or do something you might regret later, take a deep breath and slowly count to ten. In most cases, by the age of ten you would have found a better way to communicate the problem so that you can reduce the problem rather than escalate it. If after counting to ten you are still upset, take some time off if possible and repeat the problem after you have calmed down.

2. When you feel detrimental to someone else's behavior towards youAvoid getting negative results right away. Instead, think of several ways to look at the situation before reacting. For example, I might be tempted to believe that my friend didn't return my call because she was ignoring me, or I might consider the possibility that she was very busy. If we avoid personalizing other people's behavior, we can look at their expressions more objectively and reduce the possibility of misunderstandings (1).

3. When you are dealing with a difficult personTry to put yourself in the shoes of the challenging person, even for a moment, and complete the sentence: "It doesn't have to be easy ..." For example:

“My child is so resilient. It doesn't have to be easy to deal with your school and your social pressure ... "

“My manager is very demanding. It doesn't have to be easy to have such high expectations of their performance from superiors. Management ... ”

To be sure, empathetic statements do not excuse unacceptable behavior. The point is to remember that because of their own problems, people do what they do. As long as we are sensible and considerate, the difficult behaviors of others say much more about them than they do about us.

You can find more tips on dealing with difficult people in my books. "How to communicate effectively and deal with difficult people", and "How to deal successfully with passive-aggressive people".

4. When someone pressures you To make a decision that you are not sure about, just buy time and say, "I'll think about it." This phrase can instantly relieve the psychological pressure and enable you to take better control of the situation. Whether it's a friend asking for a favor, a romantic interest in a date, or strong pressure to sell, take the time to evaluate the pros and cons of the situation and consider someone else Want to negotiate an agreement or whether you will do so I'm better off saying "no".

5. When you are nervous and anxiousPut cold water on your face, which will trigger the mammalian diving reflex and instantly slow the heart rate between ten and twenty-five percent. It is also helpful to get some fresh air and breathe deeply through your diaphragm. (2) (3).

6. When you feel under stressHave a hot cup of decaffeinated green tea. Research shows that green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which helps reduce stress. Holding the mug with the warm drink in your hand can also improve your mood. Avoid drinks containing caffeine, which can make you feel nervous (4) (5).

7. When you feel anxious or discouragedTry intense aerobic exercise. Recharge energy. The way we use our bodies greatly affects how we feel. As the saying goes - movement dictates emotions. As you experience the vitality of your body, your confidence will grow too (6) (7).

8. When you are obsessed In a way, you know that whether it is hypersensitivity, unnecessary fear, or unhealthy rumination is not good for you. Use a technique developed by psychologist Eric Maisel and tell yourself, "I'm not tripping over it!" Distract yourself with constructive activities so as not to get stuck. Seek feedback from trusted colleagues and credible advisors to maintain objectivity (8).

9. When you feel overwhelmed, confused, or uninspiredGet out into nature and surround yourself with the colors green and blue that have a calming effect (9) (10). Find a panoramic view and look into the distance. Walk. Take a deep breath. Immerse yourself in the splendor of nature. Come back with a fresh perspective and new inspiration.

10. When you go through setbacks and failuresAsk, "What's the lesson here?" "How can I learn from this experience?" "What's most important now?" and "If I think outside the box, what are better answers?" The higher the quality of the questions we ask, the better the quality of the answers we get. Ask constructive questions based on learning and priorities and we can get the right perspective to address the current situation.

“I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt is another step forward.” 

- Thomas A. Edison

"Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business and had a nervous breakdown before becoming President of the United States."

- Wall Street Journal

In my book (click on the title) you will learn how to reduce or eliminate more than fifteen types of negative attitudes and feelings: "How to let go of negative thoughts and feelings."

Also available(Click on the title):

"How to reduce anxiety and increase security in difficult situations"

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Preston Ni, available as a moderator, workshop leader and private coach. For more information, please contact [email protected] or visit

© 2015 Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. A copyright infringement can prosecute the infringer.

Choose References

(1) Adler, Ronald & Proctor II, Russell. Look out, look inside (2011).

(2) Marazziti, Donatella, Angela Di Muro and Paolo Castrogiovanni. Mental stress and changes in body temperature in humans. Physiology & Behavior (1992).

(3) Bacon DF, Bruce DS. Effects of different thermal and apnoeic conditions on the human diving reflex. Undersea Biomed Research (1978).

(4) 5. Yokogoshi H., Kobayashi M., Mochizuki M., Terashima T. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats. Neurochem Research. (1998).

(5) Winston AP, Hardwick E., Jaberi N. Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 11 (2013).

(6) Petruzzello, Steven J., Daniel M. Landers, and Walter Salazar. Exercise and Anxiety Reduction: Examining Temperature as an Explanation for Affective Changes. Journal of Sport and Movement Psychology (1993).

(7) Amen, Daniel G. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (1999).

(8) Maisel, Eric. 30 days for better mental health (2015).

(9) Margaret P. Calkins. Use of color as a therapeutic tool (2010).

(10) Itten, J. The art of color: The subjective experience and the objective justification of color (1997).