Healing Emotional Triggers
You may be asking, what are emotional triggers? An emotional trigger is identified as something that creates a flashback to an event or memory of original trauma. Triggers are personal between individuals while different things are triggers for different people.
An example would be when you watch certain videos on social media, and the opening credit warns viewers of possible triggers. The content may entail violence or an array of other uncomfortable topics. This warning is set in place to give the viewers the opportunity to keep watching or move on to something else.
Often times, individuals who have deeply rooted and traumatic experiences cannot watch or hear certain content because it may cause them to withdraw emotionally, leaving them to feel hurt, angry, or it may trigger their anxiety. They may find themselves reliving their past trauma, causing an intense reaction. In response to this reaction, they then find themselves having to defend against the resurfacing of that painful feeling.
Emotional triggers simply are wounds that still need to heal. Implementing positive coping strategies is the best way to deal with the sometimes unpredictable nature of your triggers. It would be exhausting and painful, especially for someone who is highly sensitive to cope with being triggered constantly. That’s why implanting these strategies into your daily practices and routine will help you overcome those anxious feelings.
In order for you to start the healing of emotional triggers, you need to examine and change the negative beliefs that you’ve carried whether from your family or society. When you begin to heal the initial trauma, you begin to free your emotional self. This in return creates a you that isn’t as easily triggered or drained.
During my research, this were 5 of the top strategies to start healing those emotional triggers:
- Identify Your Triggers
If you’ve gotten professional help, you may have already identified your personal triggers. If you haven’t, those sources of anxiety are still unknown. It’s important to first identify what your triggers are so you can do your best to avoid them.
One of the best ways to identify a potential trigger is to pay attention to how you feel after watching, talking or spending time with someone. Do you feel anxious? Overwhelmed? Maybe even depressed? If so, you’ve just identified a trigger. Be more aware.
If you journal, list the top 3 emotional triggers that create an imbalance. Perhaps it’s a critique of your weight or appearance. Maybe you feel undeserving of a healthy relationship. Write this down in your journal, which will help create some clarity of the aspects you need to heal.
Once you have the top emotional triggers, trace their origin in your journal. For example, did your parents say that you were “too fat” or unattractive? Did a teacher tell you that you didn’t have what it takes to succeed in school? Or were you neglected by your family, so you grew up feeling un-loveable. Knowing where your triggers come from allows you to know yourself better.
- Create a Solid Support System
You need a solid team on your side to help you navigate this complicated world of emotions. Perhaps an understanding friend who is always willing to listen to your distresses. Or, a licensed professional, perhaps a therapist or coach who is equipped to help you deal with past trauma. You may find it more useful or comforting to seek guidance to help you discover the root of the trigger and process the feelings involved.
No matter the case, you need people around you who have your best interests at heart. Find your tribe and keep them close.
- Find a Peaceful Distraction
If you’ve experienced an emotional trigger, it’s best to spend the following minutes engaging in activities that bring you comfort. Whether that’s watching a movie, talking to a friend, or even taking a nap, you need to find your “feel good” activity.
This helps you re-shift your attention to something positive. You are no longer focusing on those uncomfortable feelings or past instances of trauma. Instead, your mind is in a positive place.
One popular way to distract yourself is to practice mindfulness. Do this by finding something you can see, hear, and smell. Focus on those elements while taking deep breaths. This, in conjunction with routine meditation, is a life saver during those moments of anxiety.
- Join a Support Group
If you’ve adequately identified the source of your triggers, likely there are others who’ve dealt with similar situations. Often times, there are free support groups in every city dedicating to spreading the message of awareness.
If you choose to attend these meetings, you can meet likeminded individuals who can provide comfort and support. Sometimes, they may have coping strategies that may help with your specific trigger.
- Avoid Triggering Situations
If you know you’re going to be triggered by certain topics, entertainment, or people, do your best to avoid those situations; even it means cancelling plans. Your mental health is far more important than spending time with friends or sitting through a toxic movie.
Learn how to find your inner voice and speak up for your needs. This will help you not only identify your triggers, but also provide you with the tools needed to overcome them.
When you begin healing your emotional triggers you will begin to feel liberated. You may still find some people or situations annoying, but they will no longer have the power to drain you. The more healing your experience, the more emotionally free you will find yourself. It All Starts With You!
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