Reactive is a ready response to a stimulus. There are some things we want to be reactive to and others we do not.

Sneezing is a reaction — your body is being reactive to the stimulus of an allergen or other foreign particle. You want this to happen because your lungs and nose are expelling these foreign particles with a giant burst of air.

I cannot sneeze gracefully. It’s an all out, loud achoo that has me grabbing for the nearest Kleenex, paper towel, dinner napkin, or my sleeve (usually my own). I’ve tried to hold them in especially during a concert or at a lecture, but doctors and Medline say it’s not a good idea.

Another sense of the word reactive is something occurring as a result of stress or emotional upset. This may be a reaction you want to control. I usually keep it together in the moment but fall apart at the end. I try to hold off on panicking in the moment unless I’m given reason to panic. I don’t always succeed and sometimes I come off like a total ninny.

We’re reactive again and again whether we like it or not. ❤