The emotional triggers they make us human. They happen to us at work, in relationships, and in interactions with complete strangers.
An emotional trigger is an unhealed emotional wound. The level of emotions you experience gives you an idea of how long that trigger has been suppressed.
Not that these emotional triggers they are bad, they actually give us the opportunity to observe and reflect, which allows us to heal. If this sounds simple, that’s because it is. At the same time, it is very difficult to practice because we are having a subconscious reaction during a emotional trigger.
Our reaction is literally below our awareness, so if someone else is involved, it can leave them completely confused.
How to identify emotional triggers
In healing triggers, we change the way we perceive the world around us and our interactions with the people who inhabit it. If we can identify the triggers and separate from the emotional reaction, we get information.
Set the intention to see them
In the morning in bed or (even better) during a meditation set the intention to see and learn from your triggers. Say to yourself: “I want to be able see my emotional triggers today so I can become a better version of myself.” Setting an intention begins to “wire” the pathways of the brain to objectively see what you have previously just reacted to.
Get a journal or notebook
Writing is incredibly powerful because our busy minds can’t always see and register patterns. Using a journal to write down the times you reacted, how you felt, and how you reacted will give you valuable data.
As you write and read past reactions, you’ll learn a lot about things you couldn’t see before. Let’s say someone makes a comment to you at work. You feel your blood boil and drain your energy for hours afterwards. Taking 3-5 minutes to write down what happened, as well as the thoughts and feelings you have each time something like this happens, will help you take the next step.
Find the “why”
We think other people are triggering us, but they are just holding up mirrors to our triggers. For each emotional reaction, there is an underlying root cause. Usually this stems from childhood or an emotionally powerful past moment. The more you observe instead of reacting, the more information you will receive. When you can understand why you react emotionally in different situations, you open yourself up to choosing how to react.
How to use emotional triggers to mature
Now that you’ve set the intention to identify and learn from your triggers, you’ll need to know how to overcome them when they arise.
Emotions change the chemistry of both the brain and the body, so understand that this is a labor-intensive process. At the beginning of this practice you will feel completely overwhelmed, but each time you do it you will have an emotional breakthrough.
Feel the emotion as energy
Relabel what you feel as energy. Let the energy flow through you. Try not to label it or react to it. Just acknowledge and breathe.
We have had a subconscious habit of reacting to our triggers. At first, watching the trigger will seem almost impossible. Use your journal to write what you feel, even if it doesn’t make sense. Every time you watch your reaction acknowledge how difficult it was and assign a positive emotion to the experience. As you practice, the pathways in your brain will change and you will be less inclined to go into habitual reaction.
Secure your progress
Use this affirmation as many times as necessary. Breathe and say this as you connect with the emotion of gratitude “I am grateful for this emotion and what it can teach me”. Linking any thought with emotion helps to change you. That’s what the protest is about. Thoughts and feelings together are very powerful.
Be aware of your new relationship with emotions
With a little presence and practice, you will begin to see how your ideas about emotions are changing. You become lighter and more willing to have a different emotional experience. Every time you practice this you become more aware of your own behaviors, habits and thoughts. Self-awareness will be your reward.
Allow yourself to process and move on. Do not force yourself to observe and learn if you have a natural resistance to it. Be patient and use your intuition to know when to let go.