Monday Truclusions – Exploring The Effects Of Reacting And Responding On Our Health

Monday Truclusions - Ashwin Karthik Caricature

Compare a soda can with a water bottle, shake both of them and open both of them. What would you see? The soda can will fizz out and lose its importance within minutes. But the water bottle doesn’t lose its significance till it has exhausted the last sip of water in it. The soda in the can is reactive to the shaking and so it fizzes out. The water responds in a calm manner. In today’s dose of Monday Truclusions, we shall try and understand the difference between reacting and responding, and how it affects our health!

But before that let me tell you a small story!

Story Time: Lady, Baby And The Pet Mongoose

Once upon a time in a village there lived a mother with her new born and her pet mongoose. The lady loved the mongoose like her child and took care of both, her child and her pet animal, with great love and care. One day it so happened that that the mother had to step out of the house leaving her baby sleeping in the house. She promised to herself and the baby that she would be back very soon.

In her absence it so happened that a black cobra slithered inside the house silently. Noticing the venomous snake enter the house, the mongoose sprang into action and attacked the snake. Then came into life a fight of a lifetime; there was intense struggle. Finally the mongoose killed the snake!

When the lady of the house returned home, she saw blood stains all over the floor. Her first reaction was of panic, and she thought the mongoose had attacked her kid. The next thing she saw was the mongoose at one corner of the house licking its blood stained mouth. She assumed the mongoose had done something grave to her baby. With no further thought she threw the knife that was lying close by at the mongoose and it died instantly. A few minutes later she heard a cry from the baby in the cradle.

The mother rushed to the cradle as she saw a ray of hope and thought there must still be some life left in her child to revive!

But to her astonishment the baby was completely fine and smiled at her sight. Then the woman wondered whose blood had stained the mongoose’s mouth! It only dawned on her that she had committed a great mistake in her rage and haste, when she saw the dead cobra behind the cradle. She realised her hasty reaction had cost an innocent life!

React: How Emotions Can Shake Up Your Core

Most decisions that we make is influenced by our emotions and emotions trigger specific hormones in our body. Every cell in our body is intelligent to think and act. We have 60 trillion cells in our body and our health depends a lot on the harmonic balance and cohesion of the cells with respect to each other.

In the movie- ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Julia Roberts visits a wise man in Bali, and he advises her not to try too hard to meditate. In fact he suggests that meditation is nothing but smiling, and the advice he gives her that is a kicker is- “Smile even with your liver (while meditating)!”

If you believe that this is just a metaphor, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum to prove just how crucial this is. Let us say you hold a negative emotion towards somebody, something or some event in your life. Each time you think of that your whole body relives the emotional upheaval of that association, which is exactly what happens when we react negatively to a situation.

Respond: Sending Love And Positivity To Your Cells

Your mind doesn’t have a mind of its own, and doesn’t know if the event is happening in real time or it is being replayed. So it produces the same stress hormones named Cortisol. Each and every cell of your body starts feeling the same emotion of let us say “hatred” towards that event, person or experience all over again.

When the body isn’t at ease, this is a state where the condition of dis-ease sets in. If you continue to live in that state, your cells are now getting conditioned to live in the same diseased state. The Upanishads talk about “Yatha Pinde tatha Brahmande”, as is the atom so is the universe.

Health of a person, depends on how well all the systems of the body and the 60 trillion cells play the melody of harmony together. When the cells are living in a state of hatred, they soon start exhibiting that with each other, killing healthy cells in the body. This leads to many forms of auto-immune diseases. Like Rumi said, we are a drop in the ocean, and not an ocean in every drop.

Be careful of your thoughts, your feelings and your emotions. Respond after giving the situation a heartful thought. Don’t react. Forgive people, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because you need it!


Liked reading this? Then you might also like to read Monday Truclusions – How To Conduct Your Character Such That Success Comes To You?


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Ashwin Karthik is the first quadriplegic cerebral palsy student to bag an engineering degree in India. In spite of having his share of misfortune that affected all his limbs since birth, Ashwin is blessed with a positive attitude and an undying spirit in life. He is a very talented poet and loves tackling impossible challenges. Ashwin has 3 role models in life- his mother, Sachin Tendulkar, and Stephen Hawkings. Currently, he works in ANZ as a Business Analyst, strives to bring awareness for an inclusive society, and wants to achieve at least a fraction of what Sachin has done for the spirit of his countrymen!