Recently a new client said the following to me… “Being triggered, Ellie, c’mon, what’s there to love?!”
In psychological terms, being triggered refers to an event occurring that initiates or precipitates a psychological and often physiological process. Could be someone yelling at you that, as a result, triggers your central nervous system and you begin to shake. There is a scale of severity with triggers but for today’s discussion, I want to stick to the level where you know you aren’t reacting relative to the situation.
I know, when you’re in the midst of being triggered, you feel so out of control, you believe what is going on is true and your mind goes crazy with thoughts; thoughts that you’re not safe, or you’ve got to get out of there pronto, or a bunch of blaming thoughts about the other person, to name a few. You feel like you’re being run by something, your thoughts are running, and all you want to do is run. A LOT of running!
As a good Mindset Mentor, you know I’m going to turn this upside down! I bet you’re sitting on the edge of your chair wondering where I’m going to go with this! (Well at least in my dreams you are…)
I’ve been teaching you over the years that your mind does what you tell it to do. So here we go…
LOVE your triggers! Why? Because they are opportunities to let go of your old story (about the person, the situation, or about you!) So, the next time you are triggered, write out the following:
- Take a deep breath: Taking a deep breath signals to the autonomic nervous system, “Hey, everything is ok, we just have to step back for a moment.” Your heart rate will come down, blood will circulate, and your brain will now open up for business.
- What is the opportunity in this problem? For example, you’ve been triggered by your partner who for the 138th time has blown you off. What’s the opportunity here? The opportunity is to step back and really feel your feelings and then identify the beliefs you have that are causing you to feel that way. It’s an opportunity for you to get clear on why you are triggered and then an opportunity to connect and communicate with your partner, “When you do this __________, I feel ___________. I would prefer if you ______________. What else could we do?”
- Release your expectations: Often when you are triggered, your expectations of the person or situation are not in alignment or realistic. Take a step back and ask yourself, “If I released my expectations, how would I feel then?” You might just start to feel your heart rate go down and your fists unclench! You’ll also feel an opening to see things in a new way.
- Find compassion for yourself: First things first, if you are triggered, the best thing to do is get yourself back to feeling centered and grounded. Self-compassion for yourself allows you to have compassion for others. It is often the case when you are triggered that an old wound could be present. Find the love for yourself in that moment and do whatever you have to do to take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s as easy as calling a friend or sharing with a colleague. And sometimes you need to reach out to a professional if the triggers become a pattern.
- Let go of attachment to results: Believe it or not, this will allow you to move past the fear. It didn’t go well, so what? You’re here, alive, present, you can make a new choice. Let go of, “He shouldn’t have yelled at me”, or, “He shouldn’t have blown me off”, and instead get curious about YOU. What’s really going on? When you let go of the attachment to how you think it should have gone, you free yourself up to transform the situation fully. You have an opportunity to decide how you want to respond to the situation in ways that are meaningful and empowered to you!
I encourage you to try this out the next time you get triggered. Practice the steps and you’ll soon feel getting triggered is a thing of the past!
If this resonates with you and you’d like to overcome some of your own barriers to living the life you want, then click here and I’ll make sure we connect. And you know I like to share the love, so if you know someone who could benefit from this article then please share it! Imagine, thought by thought and act by act we are creating a more conscious world.