Friday, October 19, 2012

Managing Our Triggers (Part 4 of 8)

(This post comes from Gary Roe.)

"Once I know my triggers, how do I deal with them?"

When we're triggered, our reactions are automatic. We can’t stop reflex reactions, but we can learn to manage what happens next.

For example, I walk into a room filled with people I haven't met. I become self-conscious, because I feel as if everyone is staring at me.

What am I feeling and what just happened? I’m feeling nervous. I walked into a room where I didn’t know anyone. When have I felt this way before? When I entered a new environment. When was the first time I felt that way? I was about four years old at a department store with a female perpetrator. What happened the first time I felt that way? She knelt down beside me and said, "The world isn't a safe place. Stay close to me. I’ll protect you."

What was the trigger? Entering a place where I don’t know anyone. When I am triggered that way, I still hear my perpetrator’s message again. If I realize that, I can learn to see things from a different perspective. Being able to identify the trigger can derail the emotion train.

I don’t have to let my triggers rule and force me to relive my abuse. 
I can learn to unplug the "trigger train."

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