A “trigger”, is defined as firing a gun or starting a series of events or emotions. An example of a trigger is shooting a rifle while hunting. An example of a trigger is crying at a movie, causing many other people in the cinema to begin weeping.
Every day we experience a range of emotions; excitement, unease, frustration, joy, and disappointment. These often relate to specific events, such as meeting your friends after work, losing your favorite pair of sunglasses, and staying late to work.
How you respond to these events depends on your mindset and the situation's circumstances. You can respond differently to a similar event because your frame of mind is different or you can respond in a similar way based on the circumstances.
An emotional trigger is anything that fires an emotional reaction regardless of your current mood. It can be a memory, an experience, or an event that activates this part of you to react in an intense way.
⚠️Getting triggered is one thing, but identifying your triggers and working on them is another.
Triggers can be many, and different from person to person. They can be one at a time or you can find yourself in situations where several triggers are pushed.
Here are some situations that have triggered me in the past:
• When I felt helpless over a painful situation.
• When someone was ignoring me.
• Someone being unavailable to me.
• When someone did not keep their promise.
• When I felt judged.
• When my beliefs were challenged.
Some other situations that you may feel triggered:
• Someone giving you a disapproving look.
• Someone blaming or shaming you.
• Feeling left out.
• Someone ignoring you.
• Someone not keeping his promise.
• Someone rejecting you.
• Someone leaving you (or the threat that they will).
Now the fun part starts!
8# tips to overcome your triggers 💪🏻
1 - Be happy!
Identifying your trigger means there is work to be done. And now you know where to start! Welcome the emotions even if they are unpleasant. They are here to show you that a part of yourself needs more love.
2 - Helicopter view
Probably one of my most fav techniques! Imagine yourself jumping on a helicopter and flying above the event happening. Observe you, the situation, the feeling. What do you see? What are you reacting to? What does this situation mean to, or say about, you? What’s the worst thing about thinking that, or about the situation?
3 - Be curious
Same as being happy, being genuinely curious about why you react that way can help you understand and solve the trigger. Be this little kid who wants to find out everything. Why did you react this way? What did you feel? What can you do differently? What if the same happens again?
4 - Listen to your body
We mistakenly think that emotional triggers have an invisible space somewhere inside us. They have a presence and they are sometimes saying hi to you through physical sensations. Sweating? Increased heartbeat? Tight stomach? Shortened breath? Trigger alert
5 - Past knocking on your door? Root cause analysis!
Your current reaction to a situation may be having a direct link to a past traumatic event. First, realize the trigger, then identify what actually went wrong. After, observe what has happened, and what was the stimulus. Try to identify the Associated Causal Factors and draw a conclusion about the trigger and its root!
6 - Communicate
Did your partner misplace the keys again? Instead of screaming “Where the hell did you put my keys again?”. Trying saying “It makes me upset when you are using my keys and misplacing them, can you please leave them on the kitchen table?”.
You can scream back to me and say "I HAVE SAID THAT A MILLION TIMES". I believe you. But it is still you who is getting triggered. Do it for you, for expressing the way you feel, and for not letting your trigger take over you.
You - Trigger 1-0
7 - Mindfulness & journaling
Going through a period of intense emotional triggers related to love, I was meditating on the emotion daily and wrote down about it. This helped me feel what I was feeling, allowing me to feel it. My body. It helped me be more calm and relaxed and have less of that tight feeling in my chest. Writing down things helped me become aware of the situation and see what was really happening.
8 - Talk to a professional
Identifying your triggers is a great starting point for coaching practice. You will be guided to think outside the box and shoot your triggers using the right tools and techniques!
Therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to identify triggering situations and explore potential reasons behind your triggers.
Is your trigger a person?
You may tell me that there is a person that constantly triggers you. Why is that? Ask yourself how this person makes you feel. The truth is that we tend to snap at people who make us feel loved and safe.
Next time before you snap in someone's face or before you blame yourself for something that did not work out tell yourself “Hey trigger, I see you, I hear you, you don't serve me anymore”.
When it comes to managing triggers, much of the work lies within you. Other people are responsible for their actions, especially if you have told them what really influences you. But you are the one who will revert this situation and you will stop triggers from happening.
Keep in mind that emotion regulation is a difficult skill to master for most people, and it’s not always easy to identify triggers on your own. Your instinctive reactions to certain triggers can be so deeply ingrained in your behavior that you may not even realize how your reactions cause harm.
If you would like to get professional guidance on how to recognize and work with your triggers, you can now become a member with 50% OFF! You will have weekly live group calls, personalized advice, education, guidance on self-development topics, and an international network of like-minded people. Join today to get the limited offer!