Ever had those moments where you read something on social media and find yourself reacting quite strongly to it?
Or had someone you know do or say something that makes you want to scream?
Or does the morning commute make you want to yell at every driver you pass?
In a world that is so busy, with technology bombarding us from every angle, it’s easy to get triggered by even the smallest things. Only they don’t feel so small to you. It could be anger, sadness, unworthiness, self-loathing, loneliness, depression or any other negative emotion.
And then for days you stew on what you saw or heard, and you can’t seem to shake it. You get on social media to vent or you share posts that you feel will somehow make things better and also let the other person “know” how you feel (while they probably have absolutely no clue!). You loose sleep, you wake up angry or sad, you take it out on those around you but don’t feel like you can share why you feel this way. You feel totally trapped in this reaction and can’t seem to let it go.
It’s important to remember that:
- Judging another person is not healing.
- Directing anger at another person is not healing.
- Wishing another person harm is not healing.
- Taking it out on others is not healing.
- Berating yourself with an onslaught of negative thoughts is not healing.
These events that “trigger” strong emotional reactions can either rule your life or be an opportunity to grow.
When we get “triggered” by something someone does or when something happens, it doesn’t help anyone to get angry at that person or event nor does it do you any good to berate yourself with an onslaught of negative statements. For years, this is how I lived. I would either get angry at something someone had said or done, or I would tell myself what I was an unlovable, loser of a person. It was a perpetual cycle of reactive, negative emotions that kept me living in darkness and negativity.
When I finally chose to deal with my depression, I learned quite quickly that if I was going to grow from my this, I had to start taking responsibility for my emotions. I couldn’t blame anyone else, nor could I change them. All I could do was change myself and the way I responded. Now please know, this is not be any means easy and 6 ½ years on from my rock bottom I still find myself being triggered by things I see or hear except now I have more awareness and have learned to take responsibility for my reactions.
And if the reaction is strong and something I can’t easily let go of; I know that there is some inner work that needs to be done.
I now see these triggers as an opportunity to grow and become stronger within who I am. True growth comes from taking responsibility and then working through the issues. In this instance, when dealing with triggers, the first thing you need to do, is become aware that you have been triggered. You then need to ask yourself why this event triggered you. What part of you is triggered? Are you angry at the other person? Are you sad and is your self-worth affected? Explore the event and how it affected you in as much detail as you comfortably can.
Once you can answer these questions and gain some clarity, you can begin to heal the underlying cause of the trigger. You can try writing about it or doing some inner child work. I have a great meditation that I use for this. Or you can see a kinesiologist or other practitioner to help you through it.
When we begin this journey of self-awareness, healing our triggers can be quite difficult and having someone to help guide you through the process is imperative. Over time, by learning what works for you, you can begin to help yourself heal from your triggers. But make no mistake when we feel like we have healed a trigger, quite often the universe will test us with another incident to test our resolve… that’s ok! There may be another level that needs to be healed or you may find yourself no longer triggered.
So, what will you do next time you are triggered by something? The choice is yours. Will you allow yourself to be continually impacted or will you see them as an opportunity for growth and empowerment?
Remember, Happiness Starts with a Smile and Empowered Starts with a Choice!