Identifying and Overcoming Triggers

One minute you are up; the next, a trigger has sent you into an emotional decline. When the rollercoaster ride is over, you feel you can go no further. Or is that my experience? Let's be honest with ourselves; we cannot live like that in a world of constant reminders of people, places, and things that may not hold pleasant memories in our minds. Do you expect emotional catastrophes every time, or will you put in the work to heal? These episodes do a lot of internal damage you may not realize, so let us do some inner work before things get worse.

Have you heard of inner work? Maybe shadow work is a term that is familiar to you. They are the same and will require healing the part of you that did not get the care and attention you needed. It is your inner self that learns to survive after experiencing trauma. Please be gentle with yourself and show compassion. If you beat yourself up about things, more than likely, you treat others the same. I posted on my Facebook page a few weeks ago that we needed to work on the relationship with ourselves, and this is where it begins. There is darkness upon the face of your depths, and it is time to bring them to the light.

What are triggers?

According to Psych Central, triggers are the stimulus that brings a painful memory to the surface, reminding you of a traumatic event. If you read my story about the teacher bullying me in my book Alone in The Dark, one of my triggers was perfume lotion. The thought of them erected that childhood memory, putting me in a state of fear that people would humiliate me if I wore them. Triggers awaken or worsen symptoms of the traumatic event, so every time something triggered me, it took a toll on me, making it harder and harder to recover from each time. Triggers generate strong emotional responses that can become addictive if we do not work towards overcoming them.

Once upon a time, I would go shopping for things I already had. Although the items were on sale, and I gave them to others (to justify the coping mechanism), I did not realize until much later that the saying "retail therapy" had taken root. That is not a good thing, although we have made it the norm. After applying the techniques I will share with you, I learned I shopped when something happened in relationships that reminded me of past relationships. I started the bad habit because friends thought going shopping or partying would cheer me up. Our brains store the sensory stimuli in memory. The triggers reactivate the feelings associated with the trauma. What do you bring back into action in times of trouble?

Steps to Overcoming Triggers:

Make sure you have a safe space to feel and heal.

  1. Begin this process when you are NOT amid an adverse experience.
  2. Declutter the physical space you will heal.
  3. Write a list of your triggers. Are they songs, odors, colors, people, etc.? Think about what triggers you into a low vibrational state, such as depression.
  4. Process the emotions that erect, do not run away from them.
  5. Write how you feel.
  6. Trace the root of the triggers; where did they originate? The origin needs to be healed.
  7. Seek the help of a Life Coach or a counselor.

Journal Prompts:

What do you want in life?

  1. What is the detrimental habit you have? What happens before you engage in this habit?
  2. What are your thoughts concerning coaching and/or therapy?
  3. What are your triggers?
  4. For each trigger, where did it come from? Tell the story unaltered.
  5. Which one do you want to heal first?
  6. Have you booked your coaching or counseling session? If not, why not?

Thanks for reading. I hope the information shared helps you discover what's limiting you and the steps to take to overcome it. 

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