Ever have a strong reaction to something but not know why?
Welcome to Modern Life-Keeping. I am your host, Lori Cristine. Today we will look at what triggers us and how we can use our triggers to heal thoughts that do not align with our potential.
Getting to know your triggers
Triggers are an automatic response we have to something in our environment. People, places or things can be triggers, as well as colors, smells and sounds. We can also have an automatic response to the behavior or emotions of others, uncomfortable topics, and unwanted memories. Our own behavior can even trigger us. When an emotion is automatic it is usually because it was triggered.
We may be triggered when we experience any of the following:
Anger or hostility
Arrogance or conceit
Criticism or disapproval
Frustration or irritation
Helplessness or loss of control
Passive aggressive behavior
These are just common examples. Our triggers are unique to us and are based on things such as our own thinking, perspective, personality and attitude.
Because of their unique nature, we are each responsible for learning what triggers us. Knowing what triggers us helps us to understand our own behavior and emotions, but also allows us to have a response that serves our highest good instead of sabotages us.
Triggers can put us off center. When you are unaware of what has put you off center, it can cause anxiety, fear or other negative emotions. Triggers are our egos way of protecting us, but sometimes in doing so more negative emotions are generated. Our ego is what you identify with – your name, your personality, the story you tell about yourself and any other way you identify yourself.
There is so much more to you than your ego. When you are triggered, the triggers are showing you areas of your life that are not in alignment with your highest self. If you feel triggered when you are rejected for example, you can reflect on why that is triggering you. Behind every trigger is a limiting belief that is keeping us stuck in patterns of thinking that no longer serve us. We can teach ourselves to use the trigger to identify and transmute the limiting belief into an expansive one.
Many of us, myself included, can choose to be triggered by slow drivers. How many of you have been frustrated when you get behind a slow driver? You can identify that you have a limiting belief that everyone should drive the speed limit, or 5 miles above for that matter! Perhaps you realize that you are actually frustrated with yourself because you are running behind schedule. From there you might see that you are putting too much pressure on yourself, saying yes when you should say no or ignoring other warning signs you have been receiving.
You can learn to think a different thought so that the trigger goes away. Afterall, it will have served its purpose: to keep you in alignment with your highest self. I guess that means triggers are our teachers!
When memories or past experiences influence our thoughts in a negative way, we have an opportunity there also. We can identify and transmute our negative emotions by learning to think better feeling thoughts.
You are being invited to be aware of your emotional triggers and to identify what they are trying to communicate to you. When you do, you can choose a behavior or thought that does not evoke negative emotion. I believe thoughts of love always have the power to transmute negative emotions. Embracing this belief may allow you to expand your thinking so that you experience less negative emotions and have a coping strategy when you do. Either way, create your own personal beliefs that support, not limit you. Creating your own beliefs based on how they feel is how you develop a strong sense of self. A strong sense of self helps us to align with our potential because we know ourselves well enough to know what doesn’t.
Reflecting on memories also helps to transmute them. As we learn and grow our perception changes. You might be able to connect an emotional response to a coping mechanism or learned behavior from childhood. Once you identify the root of the response you can do the work to heal the experience and transmute the negative emotion. Imagine who you would be if you transmuted your negative experiences, memories and thoughts to ones that expanded you?
Anger, anxiety, depression, fear, guilt/shame, helplessness, overwhelm show up when your thinking is not aligned with your potential.
We can all be a little more mindful. Practice awareness as much as you can throughout the day. Be centered and grounded in your physical body, manage your thoughts and recognize your emotions as they are showing up. We can use this awareness to examine our behaviors and emotions and ultimately our thinking.
When we recognize triggers in the moment, we are much better equipped to respond in a way that serves instead of sabotages us.
Be aware of your needs. Are you hungry, stressed or tired? Any of these can take away from our ability to be mindful or to manage our triggers. Tune into yourself throughout the day, bringing awareness to how you feel. Be aware of how much self care you give yourself and know if it is the right amount for you to feel balanced and able to regulate your emotions.
Learn to identify people, places or things that do not serve your highest good. People with toxic traits are all around us. Know when you are giving your energy and power away. Staying centered and grounded helps us to keep firm boundaries.
Pay attention to your moods. Feelings are fleeting. Moods stay around anywhere from minutes to years. Track your moods. Take note of how you feel during each mood on a scale of 1-10. Notice where you are and where you would like to be in relation to your moods.
Understanding our triggers is our responsibility. No one can do the work for you because your triggers and their impact are unique to you. The more you learn about yourself, the stronger you will become and with that strength comes the wisdom to respond instead of react.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Modern Life-Keeping with Lori Cristine, brought to you by Keara Kisses.
Understanding our triggers helps us to regulate our emotions. You can empower yourself with the information your triggers are communicating to you so you can live in harmony, joy, love and peace.
Please feel free to comment or email me with comments. For my contact information and more information on my individual and parenting soul strategy sessions, support groups, retreats and services visit kearakisses.com.
Until we meet again, keep wondering.
These blogs are written from my personal perspective. I have over thirty years of experience investigating, counseling, assessing and understanding the nature of humans. I look forward to creating a connection with you and sharing reciprocal positive experiences, comments and feedback about your life experiences and opportunities for growth. Please feel free to comment below. Positive comments only please.