Right now, I’m writing this article as a construction crew is doing a demo on the apartment below. There’s cutting, sawing, pounding, crashing, and all other sounds that end in “ing.”
Ironically, my title is “Triggers and Responses,” and I could think of no better setting for this post. Because as I was making my peanut butter sandwich (the most delicious classic for lunch), I was feeling really triggered.
My mind started to swirl with “This is too loud to write,” and, “You’re not going to finish it on time,” plus the old favorite, “You’re not going to be able to find creativity to write a good article.”
Now you know that I clearly wrote this article regardless of the noise because you’re reading it.
But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without first recognizing what the noise was trying to do to me. Simply put, being triggered means that something is happening in your life that brings up your inner critic, aka that voice in your head that enjoys pushing negativity and telling you all the reasons for “why it won’t work for you.”
If you live each day unaware of your triggers and responses, life is going to be super stressful.
Because you’ll go about your life each day, going from one negative reaction to another, and then end up confused as to why you’re so stuck and unhappy.
So how do you change it?
You start by widening your awareness of when you’re getting upset.
What is happening when you find yourself reacting? Is it a mean comment about your appearance? Is it someone’s success that you wish was yours? Is it opening up your monthly statement and seeing the balance?
Once you know what’s triggering you, then you can move into why. Simply ask yourself, “Why?” Why do you feel that way? What’s the original story behind it?
Your origin story is one that’s been created at some point in your past, based on your experiences, that dictates how you feel about something, positive or negative.
Think about your favorite holiday, that song that always gets played or the traditional dessert that gets made. I immediately had Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and my Grandma’s Jello salad dancing around in my head as I write this, and my stomach felt warm and calm. Those things trigger an origin story for me.
However, the same is true for negative memories.
Negative experiences can get triggered by similar items, a phrase, or something as simple as seeing it in a movie. Your body will react when it sees it. Your throat may tighten, your stomach may flip, your heart might squeeze, it’s different for everyone.
What’s important to remember is to simply start to notice what’s happening when you’re triggered and what the story around it is. Because then you have the power to choose to release and change that story, and it stops blocking you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the read! I know I loved writing it and yes, my peanut butter sandwich was delicious!
What helps keep you aware of your triggers and responses? Please share your tips with us in the comments section below!