Reflective vs. Reactive Examples and Strategies

reflective vs reactive with examples and strategies to help you

Have you ever reacted quickly in a situation or chosen to do something that you later regretted? Still, the effect of this choice leads to different outcomes than you originally desired. We all make choices every day, with some of these choices being easy, like what to wear, but others can be more challenging, like planning a vacation.

When we are faced with a more challenging situation, researchers at FinditHealth found that it is essential to take time to analyze the current situation. This way, you will not respond in a way that may not be helpful for you and others around you.

reflective vs reactive with examples and strategies to help you

Reflective Vs. Reactive Examples

reflective vs reactive and proactivity examples

People tend to use two main styles of thought known as reflective and reactive thinking. They can vary from social aspects in your work and thought patterns in emotions and even everyday situations.

These two main styles are how the brain processes information to make decisions: reflective and reactive systems.

A reflective thinker takes their time and thinks slowly about a subject. They develop ideas gradually and tend to ponder the thoughts or decisions in their unconscious mind. A reflective thinker seeks the best solution and is in no hurry. They will often disregard the choice if they are not happy with the final answer. This type of thinking is typically done alone, but conversations with others can help and provide different perspectives. People who think reflectively are often open to suggestions to seek the best answer with effective decision-making. Even when they have a decision, they may be available to challenges.

Whereas a reactive thinker decides in the moment based on their current feelings or emotions. They will leap to decisions quickly, which, while can be helpful, often the answers are not the best. A danger with reactive thinking is that you assume your answer is the only answer because you did not take the time to consider other options.

A reactive thinking mind works well where speed can be an advantage, such as in negotiations. It’s also that an intelligent person, or having a high knowledge of a specific subject, can be reactive with their speed of thought because they do not have to think. Reactive thinking can lead to overconfidence as you are less likely to be open to returning to the subject. It’s the notion of concluding and then quickly moving on to something else.

Reflective Vs. Reactive Strategies

reflective vs reactive for thinking proactively and having strategies to achieve success

Reactive decision making is short-term thinking, and reflective work is long-term. We spend most of our days on reactive work, like emails, text messages, and phone calls. It’s the things that require attention now and can be completed fast. Reactive thinking is excellent when you need to hurry, like quickly deciding on a place for lunch if you have a short work break.

While both thinking styles are helpful, reflective thinking is seen more as the critical work as this is where the real progress comes from. It’s evaluating long-term strategies, gaming out the options for a big decision, or writing out an argument. It’s thinking carefully about each word and the overall meaning of a subject.

Reflective thinking is best saved for long-term decisions and choices you need to make. This type of thinking is best for decisions regarding homes, careers, and even lifestyle choices. Reflective thinking can also be seen as an act of self-care because you are taking the time to prioritize your thoughts and needs. Meditation can be a wonderful act of self-care to give you insight into your unconscious mind for these decisions and further your emotional intelligence.

Reflective thinking can make you reexamine your life and want to do things differently.

To change direction and do something different than before.

It’s the time when the need is greater than the consequence, so you are inspired to make a necessary change or do things differently in your own life.

Proactive Thinking

When you are proactive, you start your year, month, week, or a day on purpose. You set clear goals for the future and start your day with clear intentions. Being proactive means taking an active role in your future and making decisions with the foresight of what may come next. It can also be thought of as responsible decision-making. 

Proactive people prefer words like “what’s my alternative,” “I can try a different approach,” or “I have a plan.” To help with proactive thinking try starting an evening journal practice. Through writing, you can clear your mind, brainstorm ideas, and plan life events. This is because writing mainly helps us express our thoughts and feelings, bring ideas to life, and organize activities.

Proactive people take the initiative to build habits, routines, and behaviors that will consistently advance their lives instead of waiting to be acted upon. Being proactive allows you to be prepared for anything that life throws your way, giving you the upper hand in any situation. Having a proactive mindset allows you to live a simple life.

Proactive Vs. Reactive Examples

A proactive way of thinking is preparing for the situation ahead of time. A person can anticipate events that could arise out of control in a situation. When you have a proactive mindset, you think and plan about the future and what lies ahead. It’s the notion of acting and planning today to make tomorrow better. People who are proactive at work make better use of resources, including time, energy, and money. 

They prevent the problem from occurring as anticipated and implement preventive measures. Proactive people respond promptly and appropriately to issues that can’t be avoided, thus reducing their negative impact. 

As a result, they experience less stress and feel a greater sense of control. Proactive thinking is the feeling of being self-sufficient and prioritizing spiritual abundance. This notion of attaining a spiritual level where you connect with the universe, the source of all things. Therefore, everything is accessible to you.

On the contrary, being reactive means allowing circumstances to control you, rather than the other way around. Reactive people only act when required, and it must be done now. It’s like getting to the airport and realizing you need to book a flight in five minutes. Or not saving any money during your life and waiting until the day you retire to plan for retirement. 

This type of thinking doesn’t work and isn’t practical for long-term decisions and goals. Also, when you have a reactive mindset, you give away your control in the situation and even to other people. You allow the case to determine your emotions and thoughts.

Conclusion – Research by

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How we communicate matters, and it has the power to influence our thinking and those around us. It can even help us connect to our higher self which is that part of you that controls true awareness, pure wisdom, connecting us to all that is present.

Our team at FinditHealth encourages you to explore these channels of thought and see what transforms in your life.

Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches