Know Your Triggers


We all have things that push our buttons. They are deep-rooted from childhood experiences and although we can’t get rid of them, we can be aware of what sends us down that slippery slope of upset and then choose to react in a calmer way.
Emotional triggers are people, words, or situations that provoke an intense emotional reaction within us. Virtually anything can be a trigger (and are unique to each of us) such as a tone of voice, certain types of people, even a single word.
Have you ever been in a situation when someone makes a comment meant to be a joke, but you take it personally and it ruins your day? Or a time when someone blamed or embarrassed you? Being emotionally triggered always goes back to not having one or more of our deepest needs or desires met whether it’s acceptance, attention, respect, feeling needed or being valued.
Looking out for and becoming aware of people or situations that set you off will help prevent you from ‘acting out’ your emotions later. Identifying your emotional triggers is so important because if you don’t figure out what provokes you, you’ll always be manipulated by your emotions. 
Technique of the week: Write down what you think your triggers may be. For example, my triggers include dishonesty, mistreatment of others, and being dismissed. Then notice when you feel like you are being triggered (you'll probably have a physical reaction like a racing heart or tensed muscles) and CHOOSE how you want to respond.

Linda Fears