ACT and New Responses


Q:  How can I deal better with difficult situations?

A:  Create a breathing space.  Respond rather than react.

There is a difference between a reaction and a response.  A reaction is automatic, a response is not.  When something happens, body and mind are pre-programmed to react in certain ways.  If that something is pleasant then we can expect pleasant reactions, if that something is not then look out!

If we constantly act on our initial reactions then that can lead to all sorts of problems.  We don’t like something and we lash out, that’s a problem, we like something and we can’t resist it, that can be a problem too.

ACT and Mindfulness encourage us to create a breathing space where we can decide on a more helpful response.  The more we can do that the more manageable and meaningful our lives will become.  Sometimes it is a good idea to revisit some of our responses too.  Just because they have worked well in the past doesn’t mean they are always the best responses now.  As we grow so can our responses.  This is a cause for celebration.

I wrote “NEW RESPONSES” to remind me of that.


  • Are you able to differentiate between reactions and responses?
  • Are you ready to revisit some of your habitual responses?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.






We can’t help our reaction, that’s an automatic thing,

But when it comes to our responding, we’re not puppets on a string,

For we have choices to consider, and decisions we can make,

We needn’t act on our reactions we can choose the route we’ll take.

It’s a gift we have been given, this reflecting breathing space

Where we can look at what is happening in our inner private place

Before deciding what is helpful and what’s better left behind,

We can do this when we’re observers of our body and our mind.

And it may be old responses are now due an overhaul,

We can keep the ones still working but we needn’t keep them all,

For it maybe we’ve outgrown them, they no longer seem to fit,

Well that’s a cause for celebration, so let’s just get on with it

And work out some new responses, ones more elegant perhaps,

Those just waiting in the wings until the other ones collapse

Before they move in all their glory to the centre of the stage,

Because if we’re due new responses, it’s because we’ve turned a page.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “NEW RESPONSES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

The benefits of meditation have been well known throughout the ages but it is only relatively recently that it has been made more popularly accessible through practices such as Mindfulness.

Nowadays meditation is no-longer the sole province of Tibetan Monks or practitioners who have spent years in mental and spiritual practice.  Meditation is available to anyone who has the willingness to spend a few moments learning a few basic but very powerful skills.

A good start point can be found at a great website entitled Mindfulness:  Finding Peace in a Frantic World.  Danny Penman, one of the co-authors with Mark Williams, of the book of the same name, describes:

The 3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

It is free to download and well worth a listen.

If that whets your appetite then try the book.  It was my first introduction to Mindfulness and I return to it often.  It has been a good friend to me.

Product Details


ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….


How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

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