Understanding your triggers can be one of the most challenging things to do. It is hard to understand just what and when you might have a negative or impulsive emotional response to certain situations. There are many different ways we distract ourselves from negative feelings: television, the internet, news, social media platforms, and conversations with friends and family. However, such distractions can enact a triggering response. These negative feelings and thoughts can create shame and guilt - you might feel like you are not living up to your expectations.
Whatever fosters your negative responses and triggers, understand that it is essential to set your shame aside. When you put your shame and guilt aside, you can begin to focus on what, when, and why certain people or situations are causing you to feel and interpret things negatively. Once you can identify your triggers, you can overcome them, including the emotions attached.
What is a Trigger?
Sometimes the best place to start identifying your triggers is understanding how triggering situations can look. A trigger is any topic or situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. A trigger might also cause you to think about your life's aspects that you are not satisfying. While it can vary among each person, a trigger can also inhibit feelings of impulse and the desire to revert to negative behaviors, including drinking or using drugs. While certain situations are unavoidable, taking action to help strengthen your mental health can help you combat triggering situations.
The idea is to learn what your triggers are and therefore choose not to expose yourself to triggering situations. However, when you encounter a triggering situation, you do not want to avoid or run away from them. Not addressing your triggers can build a bubble around you and isolate you from the rest of the world. Understanding what causes you to react negatively to a situation helps you know your limitations; however, you should keep working to discover why you feel this way.
How to Spot a Trigger
Since most triggering situations result from not exceeding your expectations, you will want to identify as thoroughly as possible what causes a strong emotional response. For example, you might ask yourself, “Do I feel inadequate after a close friend or family member shares some good news with me?” Sometimes when we hear good news, we feel worse about ourselves. However, we often forget to remember that we are on our journey and moving at our own pace. It might also be the subject of what a friend shares. If they share that they are getting married, you might feel genuinely happy for them; however, you might feel lousy if they share getting a job promotion. Understanding the subject matter is essential to pinpoint the trigger.
You might look to social media for some clues. Is there somebody on social media that you compare yourself with? Do their posts evoke negative feelings? Again, look at the context, are the majority of their posts about the news, or what they have? Or are their posts about all the things they are doing with other friends? Taking time to answer these questions will lend you more insight into why you might hold yourself up to or resent this person. When you discover which posts trigger you, you can then choose not to follow this person, or perhaps it will be enough for you to figure out a way to handle your response when they post certain things.
You can also look to yourself to determine what habits you might have that contribute to your triggering situations. For example, do you watch the news at a particular time, then find yourself unable to get to sleep or finish your work? Do you read social media posts in the morning? When you take time to think about what is attached to your actions, then you can work to correct the behavior. For instance, maybe you stop watching the news before work or bed – the same can apply to reading social media posts. You might discover that altering the times you do certain things helps you become better prepared to handle them.
What to Do?
The most crucial part about spotting a trigger is that it should send a response and alert to you about your mental health. When you become more aware of how situations affect you mentally, you can begin to manage your emotions. You might limit your amount of contact with a person or activity, or you might seek professional counseling or therapy. You can also start to work on how you react to others and specific situations. Try to take the time to understand another person's intention for sharing news with you. For example, they share they got a promotion; if it is a person who cares for you, their intentions are probably not coming from a place of trying to cause harm. Sometimes it takes patience and understanding to realize that they are excited to share the news with you because you are someone important to them.
Whatever you are feeling, it is crucial to understand that your pain is coming from reality in your own life. Healing takes learning to own your pain and emotions. At START UP Recovery, we will help individuals achieve the inner-confidence needed to overcome outside and triggering situations. We deliver leading-edge entrepreneurial resources in a safe and structured luxury recovery environment designed to transform lives, starting with rebuilding one's relationship with self. START UP Recovery aims to help prepare you to overcome the unforeseen challenges presented by daily life. We believe that the key to lasting recovery and success begins with addressing your feelings; although challenging, it is essential to moving forward. START UP Recovery will offer you a comfortable setting and connect you with professionals that will aid you in your journey to recovery and success. Remember, your health and balance come first. Never wait to reach out for help. To learn more, call us at START UP Recovery today at (310) 773-3809.