What Gets You Triggered?


Triggered seems to be the new buzz word, these days; meaning taken from Google dictionary – (of a response) caused by particular action, process, or situation; “a triggered memory of his/her childhood.” I had my Manifesting Me book launch the other day, and nothing triggers people like a memoir.

Everything was going great. I felt more love and support that day like no other. After it was all over, my husband was carrying things to the car, when he noticed the car was not there.  He forgot to move it from the loading zone, therefor it was towed.  At  whopping $455.00 later, he felt like a loser for letting this happen.  Completely owning his responsibility, we went to pick up the car. I wasn’t going to let this get to me, after a wonderful day. What was the real issue? Was it the inconvenience of having to get the car or was it about the money?

Triggers Come From the Past

Situations or topics that trigger us are coming from the past.  Nothing helped shine light on that more than writing my memoir; and having to read it over and over in the editing process, to see patterns.  When I was 5 years old, my mother was assaulted by our neighbor.  My mother had complained to the police that their music was too loud. They cranked up the bass to where our house would shake.  To this day, hearing the bass in someone else’s car irritates me.

I love loud music and never get mad at my son’s hard rock band for rehearsing. You could say they’re pretty loud. The bass coming from other sources, other than mine, triggers anxiety in me stemming from my 5-year-old-self that saw a woman attack my mother. Now that I know where this tenseness comes from, I can address it in my brain.  I can come back to the now and not live in the past.  I can look at the fact people are enjoying music.  It’s not to annoy me.

Road Rage

When I figured out why I had road rage, it was truly freeing.  Learning from therapy, I have had a long history of emotional neglect.  I was always trying to win over my mother. My mother was in her own world, which didn’t include much of me in it.  In my subconscious mind, I felt like I was unimportant and ignored. When someone cuts you off driving or drives ridiculously slowly; the trigger is, you are insignificant. How could they put your life in danger? Or make you late?

The reality of others driving like idiots or crazy, has nothing to do with you.  It’s your old triggers from the past that has you all jumbled up inside.  It’s not up to you to control others. You can’t. What you can control, are your reactions to any situation.  Do you get triggered while driving? Ask yourself, why?  You might be surprised where the anger comes from.

Triggered to Freedom

Understanding where your triggers come from leads to freedom.  No longer are you imprisoned from the past.  It’s not to say some triggers won’t get to you, before you recognize it’s only a trigger.  Stop and live in the now.  Really be honest with yourself about where the feelings are coming from.  Is it what is happening in this very moment? Or is it an accumulation of disappointments, rejections, feelings of not mattering, etc.,  from the past?

Most anxiety, anger, high blood pressure, or some sort of negative feeling, is brought on by some trigger or another. Wouldn’t you rather get to the bottom of where your these comes from?  Negative feelings are like a fever to the body. It lets you know something needs attention.

We all will inevitably get triggered at times, but the negative emotions don’t have to last as long as they did in the past.  Once I realized where my triggers came from, I felt a sense of peace.  I had a wonderful and exhilarating day at my book launch.  I wasn’t mad my car was towed.  No one was purposefully out to get me.  It was an accident.  Life isn’t always perfect, as we all know.  At first, I was a little upset over the money, only because I have an underlying self-talk regarding lack of money.  Why get mad and ruin my blissful day?

There will always be contrast in life.  That’s how we evolve.  It may very well be triggering, but can, and will, you look deeply into your thought patterns to see what exactly you are reacting to?

“We are not a victim of our emotions or thoughts. We can understand our triggers and use them as tools to help us respond more objectively.” –  Elizabeth Thornton

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