What Do You Do When You’re Triggered?

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Have you ever read something on Facebook or Twitter that just annoyed the shit out of you? Made you say things like – who does that? What is wrong with that person? How can they think/behave that way? Don’t they know how ridiculous they are?

If the answer is yes, and I’m pretty sure it is – You’re not alone!

It happens to everyone. If not online, then at work, family functions, out in the general public – somewhere, at some point, you’ve been pissed off – or, as I like to say – triggered.

So have I.

So has everyone.

The question is, how do you deal with it? Do you lash out at the people who pissed you off? Do you use their behavior as a way to make judgements? Do you blame them, shame them, or expect them to change their behavior for you?

Or do you take the emotional charge that just happened, turn it around, and use it your best advantage?

Because here’s the deal. The Universe triggers us on purpose.

Why? Because it knows we have some shit to work out.

And we do. Learning, growing and working shit out is kinda the whole point.

So, how do you learn to take a step back when you’re triggered and use your emotional turmoil to actually help make things better in your life?

The first step is understanding that each and every trigger gives you the opportunity to be victimized or empowered. 

If you react to a trigger by blaming, shaming, shaking your head, and/or being angry at the person (or situation) that brought a cloud of dark, pissy, uncomfortable feelings to the surface, you’re being a victim.

Blaming someone else for the way you feel immediately takes every active choice you have away from you.

Stop It.

The Universe doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable to victimize you. Honestly. It really doesn’t.

And it’s up to you to stop victimizing yourself!

How?

By remembering that all triggers are there to help you. Using them to your fullest advantage depends on how you react to them.

When you’re being triggered, you’re making everything that’s happening all about you. And you should – Because it is. The kicker, however, is this – when everything is all about you – it has nothing to do with anyone else – so stop using others as an excuse.

Instead, use your emotional responses to the world as opportunities for empowerment!

The next time someone irritates the crap out of you – you now have a choice. You can focus on them or you can focus on yourself.

I say – focus on you!

Here’s how…

Learn To Identify Triggers For What They Actually Are

Triggers are messages from the Universe. They show you where you can learn more, grow more, be happier, balanced, and more in control of – well – everything in your life! They come to you – like signs on the road – to help guide you toward your best self.

The key is to remember that a trigger is an uncomfortable emotional response to something in your environment. Meaning – you’re not being personally attacked by someone or something, you’re simply seeing a behavior or action ‘out there’ that makes your insides go…

Ew. Why? or WTF. I can’t believe I’m witnessing the total opposite of what I would do, think, or say in this particular situation. Why aren’t ‘they’ behaving like ‘I’ would or want them to?

Once your WTF switch has been activated, you have to make a choice:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Victimization

We’ve already talked about how we allow ourselves to be victims of our emotions by playing the blame, shame, you make the change game.

How do we flip that?

How do we transform our pissed-off-ness from the typical reaction of ‘f-you, buddy’ into a resource for personal growth and empowerment?

Stop pointing fingers and start being emotionally responsible. 

You – yes, YOU are the only one responsible for your emotional health. Every single time you point a finger and say, ‘I can’t believe you made me feel like that!” – You’re giving your power away.

Because yes, there are people out there you’re going to feel shitty around. And yes, you do have a choice regarding how the shittiness affects you.

As long as you finger point, you’re giving away all your choices. If you feel less than stellar around someone or something, it’s time to create healthy boundaries and work with the emotions your body wants and needs you to deal with.

It’s up to you to find safe, healthy ways to express yourself and live your life. Emotions are there to help and encourage you to do just that.

If you’re angry – figure out where you’re not meeting your own needs.

If you’re jealous – look at where you might be cheating yourself or dimming your own light.

If you’re sad or grieving – what is it you need to let go of to find your happiness?

Giving yourself the ability to make choices is where your empowerment lives!

The more choices you can make for yourself, the more liberated you become. Uncomfortable emotions are the Universe’s way of saying:

Hey! Something in your life isn’t right for you. Take some time to think about how you feel and concentrate on where you can make changes in your life to stop feeling that way. 

Because that’s the secret behind triggers – or things that piss you off. They’re there to show you choices and how to make them.

Perfecting your ability to choose and change eliminates your need to be pissed. 

You can’t be triggered into the piss pool of life if you understand how to choose your way around it. There are great tools and resources all around you. The Universe never gives you a trigger without also presenting you with a multitude of solutions. You simply have to decide what you want to focus on – problems or solutions!

Find the connective, creative places in your environment that allow you to explore choice, change, and freedom from emotional turmoil.

If you like to read, start with these two books:

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  2. Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg

If you need movement:

  1. Join a gym
  2. Dance
  3. Take yoga classes
  4. Go for walks

If you need a creative outlet:

  1. Start a journal
  2. Pick up a craft or a hobby
  3. Play an instrument
  4. Do some artwork

If you need community and advice:

  1. Find a good counselor or therapist.
  2. Join a church, mosque, synagog or other Spiritual community.
  3. Find a support group.
  4. Hang out more with your friends and family.

Whatever you decide – don’t give away your power to choose!

It’s your life. You get to decide if you want to spend it being an angry victim or a liberated well-spring of personal empowerment.

So, what’s it going to be…?

 

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