Weekly exercise: "Identify my triggers"
This week, every evening, we will sit quietly and go through in memory of the day we had. We identified two situations from last day, in which a very strong emotional reaction aroused in us. We will describe in the diary exactly what happened, and what was our emotional reaction, including the thoughts that came up in us.
We will look for cases in which we dragged the emotional feeling long after the event is over. Cases that really caused an emotional reaction that lowered our mood.
For example: today I felt really good until they bypassed me in line at the supermarket, and since then I'm more nervous, and can't stop thinking about it.
A few more details for those interested.
Definition: A trigger is anything that may trigger a difficult emotion.
Do you ever think about the things that drive you crazy? These are your triggers. An event that happens outside of us that immediately awakens such a strong response, without having a choice at all.
Examples of what I noticed about myself.
- Car honking - in panic and straight afterwards nervous
- Loud screams - a feeling of fear.
- Someone who bypasses me in line - anger and hatred.
- Someone gives me advice without asking - Anger
- Someone who tries to control my actions through guilt-anger
- When I think someone stops listening to me - Anger
- The sound of an ambulance - panic
- Seeing on the clock in the morning that I woke up late - Guilt.
Why is it important to know our triggers?
1. First of all because we take risks when we act without choice. If I yell at everyone who honks "at me" there's a good chance that one day, I'll get it.
2. We may do something we will regret, for example, saying harsh words that hurt people we love.
3. We lose a lot of energy when we get lost in emotional intensity, and can stay there for hours, days and even years without noticing.
4. So that we can move to the stage that comes after identifying the trigger, in a quick stop of our reaction, that we won't get carried away.
5. Because we want to give back to ourselves the choice over our actions. May we not be like marionettes operated by any external stimulation. We can trust ourselves and increase our self-confidence. We should know that even when things outside of us are not working out, we stay focused.
6. To be happier and more free, live a life with more welfare and satisfaction.
7. So that we can know ahead of time, when we might be emotionally triggered, so that we can prepare for it (when we can). In some cases we can totally avoid. For example, when someone calls us and we know that it could be a very difficult conversation, we can not answer, and call only after we calm down.
Trigger is the first stage in a chain of uncontrollable events that completely throw us off balance. In this exercise, the focus is on identifying the trigger. In a question: How did all this mess start? Over time we will want to bring awareness to the moment that comes right after the trigger, and that's how we can choose to let go of our powerful emotional response.