- Triggers are ideas, behaviours, situations, etc., which trigger a strong emotional response, may be signs of psychological infection and sepsis. Triggers can be anything from movies, songs, individuals, situations, thoughts and idea that floats by in your mind. Knowing your triggers and the situations that cause them can help you and your therapist identify toxicities and traumas in your current life situation, or in your past socialization, that undermine mental and emotional health, and block connection.
- Use the following exercise to identify your triggers. Before doing this exercise, be aware this may cause anxiety and stress. If you have a therapist, consult with them first. If you don’t, if you feel too much anxiety, stop the exercise and return when you are calm. Mindfulness exercises and deep breathing exercises can help you calm down and control your emotions.
- Find a quiet, private place. Take out your Healing and Connection Journal and write four columns on a page: “Trigger,” “Emotion,” “Response,” “Needs.”
- Try to remember the last time you had an intense negative emotional response. This could have been anger, anxiety, fear, sadness, shame, loneliness, emptiness.
- Under the “Trigger” column, write whatever event was happening at the time.
- In the “Emotion” column, write you emotional responses.
- In the “Response” column, write the response you had to the emotions you identified in the second column. For example, perhaps you felt intense anger, after which you became depressed and sullen. Or, maybe you felt great anxiety, but used mindfulness techniques and deep breathing to manage your anger effectively. Record what happened.
- Under the “Needs” column, try and identify a particular need that was threatened by the triggering event. Did you feel unsafe? Was your self-esteem threatened? Where you feeling excluded? Where you feeling controlled? Where you feeling undervalued and insulted? Refer to the Seven Essential Needs for a list of needs to consider.
- Do this for as many events as you can recall, and keep a running tab. After an event, when you have calmed down, write your trigger, your emotion, your response, and where you feel your well-being and needs have been threatened. Eventually, you may notice patterns emerging. Keep coming back and adding to your trigger list after events. When you are ready, share and discuss with your therapist or healer. They can help you come up with ways to better.