Have you ever been going about your day (maybe even enjoying it), when quite abruptly something happens that throws you off center? It could be something someone said, something you witness, or a certain environment or situation that causes a strong and uncomfortable reaction. If so, you my friend, have been triggered.
Though uncomfortable, disconcerting, and downright unpleasant, triggers are good things. They tell us that there is something we need to look at, explore, and unravel. They are there because of something in the past that hasn’t been dealt with in a healthy way. On the contrary, it’s been avoided or hidden; thus resulting in a small landmine that we can step on at any time.
So once triggered, what can you do to begin to understand and work to resolve whatever is hiding beneath the trigger?
I have found the following steps very helpful:
1) Be aware, and accept what’s happening.
2) Notice your breathing (and make sure you are)! Take big inhales as your belly protrudes, and slowly exhale.
3) Find a safe place to get away and ask yourself:
– what just happened?
– what am I feeling?
– what am I thinking about myself because of it?
– do I notice any sensations or feelings in my body?
4) If you are seeing a therapist, make sure to discuss the trigger. Identify if there may be any past trauma keeping these triggers loaded. Identify what lies you are believing about yourself that need to be unearthed, and replaced with truth. If your therapist is trained in EMDR, put on your happy shoes! EMDR is a very effective way to get underneath whatever is fueling the trigger, and defuse it.
While it might seem more comfortable to avoid or ‘push down’ our triggers, real and lasting change is only possible when we acknowledge and deal with them. Your therapist will come alongside you as you do just that.
We are here for you – call today to get on the schedule!