Have you wondered what happens when you feel specific things push your buttons? Suddenly, you’re overwhelmed by emotions like sadness, panic, anxiety, and anger, and you can’t seem to put your finger on how you got there. It’s easy to feel powerless when you’re right in the middle of a wave of emotions. There’s good news, there is power in increasing your awareness and developing strategies that EMPOWER you to take control of your emotional triggers and develop new ways to respond.
But first…Let’s get an understanding of your emotional triggers.
- It’s important to learn and understand the definition of triggers. A quick goggle will solve this. But just in case, a trigger is a reminder of the past. It’s an experience that draws us back into the past and causes old feelings and behaviors to arise. Short, simple, and to the point. Recently, while chatting with fellow female veterans, a conversation about our military experiences drew your girl into the past..it drew me back to a past traumatic experience. Out of nowhere, I started experiencing sadness, anger, and flashbacks of negative memories. I thought, wow, I didn’t realize that was still there. I need to work through this.
- Spot the external prompts. Some triggers are situational and social. In my case, the external prompts were both. External prompts can be anything—a response from your spouse, a conversation, a scene from a TV show, or an event.
- Explore and identify internal causes. It’s important to accept that, over time, anything can be internalized. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. Even when you’re surrounded by loved ones, doing your own thing, you still may be carrying around old conflicts that interfere with your ability to live in the present moment. Pinpoint what’s at the root.
- Realize we all have triggers. Much of the literature about triggers focuses on addictions, but triggers can be anything, and we’ve all got them. It’s important to remember that memory plays a powerful role in all our lives. So triggers can be a song, a perfume, a color, a tv show, or anything.
What can you do to manage your emotional triggers?
- Write them down. Tracking your triggers is the first step in mastering them. Keep a log of occasions when you experience intense emotions. What did you feel? What thoughts come to mind? What behaviors followed that you would want to change?
- Come up with alternatives. The best way is to avoid it but that’s easier said then done. This might require you to change up some stuff, like your lifestyle, certain relationships, and daily routine. Brainstorm new strategies you can use when you are under pressure. Don’t wait until the heat is on to test your strategies. Practice makes progress.
- Make time to relax. Reducing daily stress will make it easier to handle intense emotions. Start your day with meditation and prayer, or start out the day by listening to inspirational music or affirmations during your drive to the office.
- Live healthy. One simple way to make yourself more resilient is to take good care of your body, mind, and soul. Eat right, sleep well and exercise regularly. You’ll be better prepared to bounce back from any obstacles that may arise.
- Develop a strong support network. Close family and friends are vital to feeling validated and nurtured. Who’s that one person that can hold a safe space for you? When you’re dealing with stubborn issues, it’s good to know you have a person or people who care about you and want to help.
- Consider therapy. If you’re having trouble making progress on your own, professional help could make a big difference. I love equipping others with tools to protect their confidence and improve their well-being. Schedule a consultation.
The more you know about your own triggers, the more you can grow. We all have our own unique emotional triggers. Learning to handle them constructively enables us to resolve challenges that get in our way and move ahead in life.