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Wayne M. Aston

entrepreneur | Philathropist
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What is Emotional Reactivity?

By Aston Incorporated

Emotional reactivity is a term that refers to the intensity and duration of emotional responses to stimuli. It is a crucial concept to understand, especially in the context of personal and professional growth. In the Aston Inc Podcast episode “Collision for Expansion: Transforming Conflict into Unity and Personal Growth”, Wayne Aston discusses the importance of managing emotional reactivity to handle conflicts effectively and foster personal development.

Understanding Emotional Reactivity

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, emotional reactivity encompasses the sensitivity, intensity, and duration of emotional responses (NIH study). It involves how quickly and strongly we react to emotional stimuli and how long these reactions last. High emotional reactivity can lead to intense and prolonged emotional responses, which might be disproportionate to the situation.

The Impact of Emotional Reactivity

High emotional reactivity can have significant impacts on personal and professional relationships. In the podcast, Wayne highlights that emotional reactivity can lead to knee-jerk reactions that may escalate conflicts and create misunderstandings. This reactivity can hinder effective communication and problem-solving, leading to strained relationships and unresolved issues.

For instance, in high-stress environments like the workplace, emotional reactivity can result in impulsive decisions and negative interactions with colleagues. Understanding and managing emotional reactivity is essential for maintaining composure and fostering positive relationships.

Managing Emotional Reactivity

Managing emotional reactivity involves developing emotional stability and resilience. Here are some strategies discussed by Wayne Aston and supported by mental health professionals:

  1. Self-Awareness: Recognizing your emotional triggers and understanding how you typically respond to them is the first step in managing emotional reactivity. Keeping a journal or reflecting on past reactions can help identify patterns.
  2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help increase emotional awareness and reduce reactivity. These practices encourage a calm and focused mind, allowing you to respond thoughtfully rather than react impulsively.
  3. Pause and Reflect: When you feel a strong emotional response building up, take a moment to pause and reflect before reacting. This can help you gain perspective and choose a more measured response.
  4. Seek Support: Talking to a therapist or counselor can provide valuable insights and strategies for managing emotional reactivity. Professional support can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  5. Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and a balanced diet, can improve overall emotional stability. Physical well-being is closely linked to emotional health.

Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Reactivity

According to an article by Manhattan Mental Health Counseling, breaking the cycle of emotional reactivity involves creating new, healthier habits and responses to emotional stimuli (Manhattan Mental Health Counseling). This includes practicing patience, empathy, and effective communication.

Wayne emphasizes the importance of replacing emotional reactivity with strategic focus during conflicts. By doing so, you can handle collisions more effectively, leading to constructive outcomes and stronger relationships. He suggests that rather than reacting impulsively, taking a step back to evaluate the situation and consider the best course of action can transform conflicts into opportunities for growth.


Emotional reactivity is a natural human response, but high levels of reactivity can hinder effective communication and problem-solving. By understanding and managing emotional reactivity, you can improve your emotional stability and handle conflicts more constructively. Developing self-awareness, practicing mindfulness, and seeking support are key strategies in this process.

For more insights on managing emotional reactivity and transforming conflicts into opportunities for growth, listen to Wayne and Dallin’s full discussion on the Aston Inc Podcast episode “Collision for Expansion: Transforming Conflict into Unity and Personal Growth”.


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