The Alternative Reaction Technique is a deceptively simple way of transforming a negative attitude, emotion or mental state into a positive one. It essentially requires you to do only two things:
- Imagine an alternative positive way of reacting to whatever it is that is producing the negative state (which should be constructive and empowering)
- Choose to adopt this alternative reaction and ditch the unhelpful energy-leeching one
It seems almost too simple to be effective, but I promise you (and I don’t make promises lightly) that this has produced such radical transformations in my attitudes and emotions that I’ve been able to do things that I would never have been able to do with my old habitual patterns of reaction.
All you have to do when you are experiencing a negative state is to ask yourself “Is there any other possible way to react to this?” (Hint: there always is).
So if there’s a more empowering, constructive, positive way to react, why choose the reaction that makes you feel small? Choose the one that makes you feel big, so big that you can do anything, handle any situation, cope with any unexpected curveballs.
We can select our mental states. All we have to do is become mindful enough so that we are always aware of what they are in every moment, so that should they become unhelpful we can take immediate remedial action.
Your brain is YOURS; don’t forget that you are the boss. Choose beliefs, emotions, attitudes and thoughts that benefit you, and which help you to accomplish everything you want to do and be.