Every day I get triggered and I see other people triggered. It made me curious, what’s your trigger? The real question, though, is how do you react when you are triggered? Do you overreact, which means the trigger has control of you? Or do you calmly recognise it and catch yourself before your behaviour is prompted to respond?
What is your trigger? According to the dictionary a trigger is ‘anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions’. We all have various events in our past that can trigger a reaction to a certain stimulus in the present. The key is to recognise the trigger and control the activation to minimise the damage.
Different types of triggers. The event in your past doesn’t have to be hugely traumatic for you to have a trigger around it. It could simply be a smell, sight, sound or a feeling that caused you to feel uncomfortable or it could be something physical that happened to you. Whatever was the cause, your fear decided that it had to protect you from experiencing that again. Consequently, it will ensure you avoid any possibility of a re-occurrance.
What do triggers cost you? Often when the present environment activates a trigger the person it’s happening to doesn’t realise what has occurred and will act out through their behaviour either as a reaction or to avoid the perceived event happening again. To them their behaviour will feel warranted because their fear is controlling the situation however usually to everyone else, it is an overreaction to the situation. This can cause distance in relationships, can cost your career, respect and even financially.
What to do when you are triggered. The first step is to recognise that you have been triggered and with practice this can happen even before the behaviour is stimulated. The next step is to work through a list of calming techniques that will bring you back to the reality of the present moment so that you can think logically. These can be things like, take ten deep breaths, smile, go for a walk, do something kind for someone. Different things work for different people and it’s a matter of having a list that can work for you in various situations.
When other people are triggered. This can be a little scary at times if the other person’s reaction is anger. Always ensure your own safety first. But if it’s obvious they are just upset and it seems like an overreaction to the situation then they have been triggered. Kindness and understanding is the solution to support them to come back to their true selves and the truth of the present moment.
I hope this has been helpful. Connect with me on Facebook and let me know what your triggers are and how they have effected your life.