I show you what YOU NEED TO DO when you feel TRIGGERED
Updated: Jul 2, 2022
Here is one of the ways I do this and in this article I'll tell you how you can try it for yourself.
The biggest challenge in making any change is knowing what the alternatives are.
Just knowing that you want to STOP doing something isn't enough.
In moments of stress, anxiety, rage and overwhelm your mind IMMEDIATELY starts to calculate the quickest way out of that situation...
Truth is that MOST of the time it's NOT THE SITUATION that you need to escape...it's the FEELING.
That god damn awful feeling that is quite honestly all-consuming.
So, when you are triggered and you aren't currently able to emotionally regulate and you let your EMOTIONS CONTROL you....then chances are you may fly off the handle causing chaos for others OR you may become quietly self-destructive.
What YOU need and take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for...is a GAME PLAN
You know by now that this is an issue for you right?
So now you need to get PROACTIVE about it.
You need to introduce ALTERNATIVE response options into your mind...so they are there ready and waiting.
So, next time you are TRIGGERED and your mind does an URGENT DATA SCAN as in "how the fuck do I get out of this as fast as possible" ...it will have somewhere CONSTRUCTIVE to go.
If you want help doing this then book a call with me.
This is just one of the aspects to my BREAKTHROUGH coaching programme.
You really do need to give your mind a desirable destination to go to....and not just expect it to focus on "How do I get away from this"
One of the exercises I do with my clients that really helps is the Triggered Diary:
I get my clients to, for at least one week, make a note of all the moments they felt triggered throughout each day.
Very often just doing this over the course of one day is enough as we tend to be creatures of habit, have set routines and get triggered by the same things on a daily basis. This is actually quite a good thing as it allows my clients an opportunity to really practice their Preferred Response. So, once all these are written down we go through each one and my client then gets to both reflect on how they reacted / responded to the triggers and choses a Preferred Response.
If you want to try this for yourself I suggest you start with just one day at a time. Keep a diary for just one day starting from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. If you recognise moments that cause you stress, that you know happens EVERY day such as driving to work in heavy traffic, trying to squeeze into a packed tram, coming how from work to a possibly challenging or chaotic environment, interacting with your partner or a particular colleague, certain meetings at work etc then do this:
write down the triggering moment
describe how it made you feel including physical sensations
write down how you responded / reacted to it
write down how you would prefer to feel / respond
While you are going to sleep calmly picture each one of the situations ( or just start with one if that's easier for you ) and see yourself responding n the way that you prefer. It's important that you put yourself in the feeling state. Eg, squeezing onto a packed tram or train or being stuck in traffic may still LOOK the same, but you will FEEL differently about it...which means that when you get to work you will be FEELING less stressed and would then behave differently.....get the idea?
I go a lot deeper into this process with my clients and some triggering events are really challenging but even just doing the above will make you more aware and that's they key. Because when you are aware of what triggers you and how you usually respond then you also get to see and reflect on how it impacts you and those around you. This is when you could possibly get feelings of guilt for how you have possibly reacted in the past OR other challenging emotions if you notice that you have just lost out on so much time feeling stressed and overwhelmed throughout the day.
TOP TIP - As soon as you notice yourself feeling triggered, stressed or overwhelmed in any way no matter WHERE you are or WHO you are with....please just BREATHE!
I know it's become a huge cliché but it literally changes your hormonal balance, your heart rate, your brain activity. Most importantly, it reduces that CORTISOL spike that happens when you are stressed which is really damaging to your health. And in terms of your brain, taking a few controlled deep breathes moves your brain activity back over to the clearer, more rational and more intelligent aspect of your thinking so you are 100 times more likely to make a better decision in that moment after just calming yourself down a little.
Taking a few moments to to do this will save you a lot of time in long run. We all know how quickly damaging words can be said or harmful actions can be taken ( whether that is towards yourself or others ). But it can take some much longer to rectify the situation, rebuild the relationships or gain back the respect that may have been impacted negatively in a moment of acting out of that "Triggered" state.
If you need help with this please let me know.
YOUR ACTIONS are YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
If you need help with this please let me know.
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