Have you ever been triggered?
You know when that certain someone says that certain thing, with that certain tone, at just the right time and ouch! that undeniable sting!
That sting that within seconds creates a tsunami effect of racing, frustrated thoughts and emotions, consequently leaving a domino effect of calamitous consequences.… once again.
You’re Drama Trigger Has Been Activated… Again
The pain of my triggers led me down a long journey of many lessons, one of which taught me that they are born from repeated events that cement their effects into your mind and body with each repetition. The effects can change you to such a degree that you are unrecognizable in the moment. The intensity of your reaction can be likened to trying to charioteer wild horses. Your reactions feels out of your control and you peace of mind is hijacked and your body is taken hostage by the adrenaline rush that is activated.
Your body and emotions automatically trespass your reasoning and intelligence and you are pulled into chaos emotionally, mentally and biologically…every time.
You swear that aside from those situations with THOSE people, you’re actually a nice person, you’re actually not that crazy.
They Don’t Call Them Triggers for Nothin’
Everyone has triggers that send them in a downward spiral. A family member makes a judgmental comment regarding your parenting, weight or line of work that launches you in a tailspin of defense. One of the coworkers in your department never meets their deadlines sending everyone that depends on them, including you, into a hurried frenzy. It can be anything.
The Lethal Replay
What makes these triggers most destructive is the common after effect of mentally rehearsing the incident way after it ended. Every time you replay it, the same emotions run through you, your heart races at the same speed, palms sweat, your stomach knots, chest burns, as if it’s really happening. You may even replay the incident the way you would’ve wanted it to really happen.
Favored Outcome Fantasies
Perhaps you would of told that family member what you really think! Perhaps your glass of water would of drenched someone’s face. Whatever the case, in the privacy of your mind you are reliving that incident, nursing those same emotions, intensifying them and worse of all, unknowingly priming yourself for another automatic response the next time.
Unfortunately, like everything in life, practice makes perfect and whatever you rehearse you master.
Tightening the Noose Around Ourselves
When the trigger happens again, like a human hamster wheel you go through the same automatic responses, spinning your wheels on every level. You’re last thought would be that you had been setting yourself up since the last occurrence with all that mental rehearsal. Why would you do that right?
As intensely as you are devastated by it and may want to avoid the situation, your every repetition of this awful dance strengthens your entanglement with it.
Flip The Switch!
We all know of these drama ridden hamster wheels that leave us feeling victimized, but did you know we also have positive triggers? Ever been on your way to a much anticipated and pre-planned vacation? Your whole personality is different.
The Vacation Loop
Even a regularly upsetting event can happen while on vacation, but because you have decided you’re on vacation you say something akin to “Dammit I’m going to have a good time anyway, I’m on vacation!”. The vacation mode you decided to press in you, short circuited the frustration and you move on, determined to have pleasurable experiences.
Did you know we can just as easily create this effect for ourselves every day?
The power that lies in these triggers is that they override our thinking. They skip our usual processes of reasoning and go straight to affecting our behavior.
Precious, Fragile and Oh So Powerful
There is a fragile and very malleable window of opportunity that is available to us every morning just before our usual train of thoughts get revved up. This window of time is right after we wake up. In that time our minds are still somewhat switched off and we are in a residual dreamy state.
ACT Before You Think!
Taking immediate action on activities that stretch your time in this state is the most solidly effective tool for changing these triggers I have found to date! It is the sole purpose of this blog and the reason why even after almost a year, I still can’t blog enough about its power.
Practicing stillness, contemplation, exercise or reading life affirming literature first thing in the morning allows new thoughts and feelings to come into your world and set the tone of your day, before those old habits have a chance to spin their wheels within you .
These activities become your new, consciously created triggers and in time pivot the usual direction of your thoughts into a more diligently progressive space.
Tricking/Triggering Yourself For Good
Your mind cannot help but focus on the present while engaged in these activities, what’s more it succumbs to the feel good hormones created by them and it’s very nature changes. In the beginning feelings of spaciousness, focus, levity and abundance get their momentum going and override those worried, anxious, pain inducing thoughts for just the time you’re engaged in those activities.
In time though, those feelings dominate your day to day mental environment and OVERRIDE the attempts of those old, drama ridden, repetitive thoughts from taking over. The old drama hamster wheel looses it’s grip on you and that freedom is so profoundly sweet!
Take Back The Power
You keep taking control back from your environment one morning at a time, until one day when those familiar triggers occur, there is not an iota of reactive emotion that arises in you. Like a line drawn in water instead of chiseled into stone, it has no hold on you. You are free of the hair trigger power battles and simultaneously free the other person as well.
When you’re busy making intentional triggers for overall health and wellness and not feeding those old loops with the all too familiar and life sucking repetitive thoughts, those new ways of thinking and feeling begin to replace that drama and pain.
Of course this is a process that doesn’t happen over night. Your only friend in this undertaking is time and the more intense the triggers, not only the more time you need, but I’d say the more intensely enjoyable and positive those morning activities need to be.
Have you been postponing taking steps to nurture yourself? Now you have just one more reason to get on the self care train!
What triggers you? Have you been able to override a trigger in a different way? I’d love to know
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Thank you for making me a part of your day!