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Take it – it’s yours!

People – we, all of us – are trigger-happy, and many of us don’t even know it. Simply by virtue of living, our triggers have accumulated and taken up residence in our lives.

Triggers are specific experiences, events, and feelings around people and relationships or situations in our lives that ignite specific and consistent feelings when they resurface.  I am constantly surprised at how affected I am by my many triggers. 

Some triggers are positive and we appreciate and embrace them – think, for example, of how you respond around the holidays, certain relationships, weddings, and happy events. I’ve learned over time that it’s nice for me to revisit those triggers, whether by reminding myself of them or by being more present at the time they appear and enjoying them.

Other triggers, however, can cause pain, anxiety, negativity – even depression. If a significant other, for example, uses a phrase often used by an abuse parent, it could trigger the reaction of our childhood selves, rather than the mature, logical reaction of the adult we’ve become – resulting in anger and arguments around a totally unrelated time of our lives.

Learning to identify and recognize negative or challenging triggers and their impact on me has been life-changing.  This awareness helps me – and allows me – to choose how I react and respond to the trigger.  Identifying them, and sharing them with my relationships, has helped me both connect to and adapt in my relationships like never before.

So take that trigger. It’s yours.  Identify it, work through it, own it, and before you know it, you will learn to pause before you pull it.

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