Everybody has ‘triggers’ to some degree. A trigger is often referred to as an event that ‘triggers’ an immediate emotional reaction. These reactions are excessive and last longer than we can really make sense of.
It’s normal to react in extreme ways when going through something devastating, such as the loss of a loved one. You shouldn’t avoid this or try to control it. However, triggers tend to be emotional reactions stemming from seemingly insignificant events. Eventually, these triggers can prompt us to look a little deeper. We can find things lurking below the surface that we didn’t realize were there. Once we understand them better, we can work to move past them.
Addressing your triggers will be uncomfortable, but they can lead us to healing and happier lives in the long run. Triggers nudge us toward self reflection, and that can only be a good thing. Here’s how to get started.
Identify Your Triggers
People, places, words, subjects, and behaviors can all trigger us for different reasons. When you identify your own triggers and where they tend to stem from, you will give yourself the ability to respond consciously in the moment. You can also plan and prepare, aiming to stay mindful as you navigate the situation. If a family member often triggers you, for example, you will be able to prepare better when you are around them.
Find Out Where The Feeling Started
Identifying the source event that created the trauma in the first place is a must if we are going to free ourselves from ongoing instances where we are knocked back by the trigger. Think back to when you were younger and see what comes up for you. You may be able to identify it straight away, or you may need to do some journaling and ongoing self reflection.
Trigger reactions often involve projection. This is because we tend to predict outcomes based on experience, whether we realize that or not. So if you were cheated on in the past, this can lead you to be suspicious of partners in the future even without evidence. We project those fears and insecurities onto others, even when this is unwarranted.
When we make our reaction about other people and their behavior, we disempower ourselves. We can’t change their behavior, but we can change our own. Taking ownership of how you respond to these triggers can go a long way to helping you let go of the original injury. Working with a pro such as Marc Effron of Legacy Healing could help you to look even deeper into what is going on so you can further let go of troublesome patterns and behaviors that have been holding you back.
Put Words To The Feelings
Practice knowing and showing emotions so that you have a deeper understanding of what you’re going through. Using the emotion wheel can help if you need clarity on what is going on – many people were not raised with the language required for this.
Try to appreciate your triggers for pointing you towards healing. Accept that they are a part of life. You can heal your triggers with time, but acceptance can make you more confident and happier in this moment.