For most people, whenever something happens, it will cause an automatic and immediate reaction. Although this reaction comes naturally, it isn’t always appropriate or helpful. The reaction can often be skewed and disproportionate compared to the situation.
Here are two examples that may help to understand a reaction:
1) A boss sends their employee an email.
Before the employee even reads the email, they automatically and immediately think they have done something wrong and are in trouble. They feel high anxiety straight away. The reality is that the email doesn’t say anything bad at all – it’s simply an email containing information. The employee’s reaction came naturally to them but it wasn’t really helpful and their anxiety was unnecessary.
2) A person takes the train to college. The train is late.
The person feels terribly stressed and decides not to go to college at all and goes back home instead. This is a very ‘black and white’ type of reaction, which means it is out of proportion with the situation that actually happened.