What to do When Emotionally Triggered?
Does this happen to you too?
You’re there, going about your day as per usual when suddenly someone says – or does! – something that isn’t as tragic. And yet, before you know it… ARGH!
There you are, having a rather strong emotional reaction to something completely random. *which may or may not include some yelling and crying and just completely losing it. Oops!*
After all is done and dusted, you’re left there wondering. You’re shocked. What on Earth did just happen – did you lose your mind?
Nope, you didn’t. You just had one of your emotional triggers pulled! But don’t worry, everyone has emotional triggers. You can learn how to control them – instead of letting them control you and your behavior.
Follow with me as we first take a look into what are emotional triggers and what to do when emotionally triggered!
What are emotional triggers?
Emotional triggers can be anything – words, certain behavior, and even some people! – that manages to cause a negative emotional reaction in you.
Or better said, an emotional overreaction, huh?
Emotional triggers are strong and often, quite unpredictable. Anything can be a trigger – sometimes, even the way someone looks at you in the morning is enough to have you shaking with anger.
And then what happens?
You end up overreacting so bad, it leaves you feeling completely useless, confused, and utterly embarrassed!
But you know what? You’re not the only one!
Been there, done that myself. Yup – not easy admitting it, but it’s how you heal. (you’ll see why later on!)
Still not sure what to do when emotionally triggered?
1) Know your weak spots
Being aware of what triggers you may help you control the emotional response whenever you feel like you’re getting triggered.
Make a list of every potential trigger you may have. Don’t question yourself why you have them. Just be aware of them.
For example, are there certain beliefs or opinions you’re really passionate about? Is there anything major that happened in your life that shaped who you are as a person?
That’s okay – it’s still part of you that I don’t want you to shun. However, there’s no need to get involved in an argument every single time someone in the office mentions anything about it.
Save your precious energy for things more important.
2) Fill out the void
Often, there’s a whole range of emotional needs & wants hidden behind our biggest emotional triggers.
Ask yourself this – what needs do you have that are not being met? What are you really lacking that’s causing you to have such an emotional reaction? Are you craving love, attention, and confidence?
You can give all of that to yourself. Let your triggers guide you to what parts of you need the most comfort – I promise that’s how you heal entirely!
3) Accept responsibility for your behavior
If you were emotionally triggered, you’ve may have said or done something you’re not exactly proud of.
But you know what? Every single person on this planet has done that. Everyone’s walked in your shoes. Even I’ve let my emotions get the best of me at times!
Accept full responsibility for your actions. Acknowledge what happened. Apologize to everyone involved – and stop blaming yourself.
You’re already doing the best you can – and I know you’ll do much better next time!
4) Count to ten
When you’re triggered by something, it’s extremely hard to keep your calm.
But next time you feel like that wave of rage is threatening to wash over you, count to ten. Take a deep breath. Splash some cold water on your face.
I’m not suggesting here you suppress your emotions – you know that’s not healthy. All I’m saying is that sometimes, a few seconds is all it takes for that initial reaction to go away. You can still find other ways to release that anger later on.
5) Your emotional triggers do NOT define you
I talk openly about my abandonment issues. My abandonment issues are my biggest emotional trigger – I’ve said and done things I’m not really proud of.
However, having those abandonment issues isn’t the only thing that matters about me. I’m so much more than that – and so are you.
Your emotional triggers do not define you nor your worth. Sometimes, they’re stronger than you and the voice of reason. Forgive yourself when that happens.
Be compassionate towards yourself – shower yourself with love. I’ve found that to be the best reason to calm down any of my triggers.
You’re not a bad person for having your emotions pulled. You’re only human!
How do you deal with emotional triggers?
Share your story with me in the comments and you may even help someone else on their healing journey!
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