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What are emotional triggers?

Updated: May 11, 2022

When something triggers an uncomfortable emotional response in ourselves, we speak of an emotional trigger. Some examples:

  • The fear you feel when you think about an uncertain future

  • The alienation you feel when you're not heard or seen

  • The pain you feel when you are rejected

  • The shame you feel when you fail at something

  • The frustration you feel when you are misunderstood

  • The guilt you have when you set a boundary

Emotional triggers arise as a result of negative experiences you've had earlier in life. When we get into a position similar to that negative experience, strong emotions are triggered, and our knee-jerk reaction can lead to emotional outbursts, panic, or "freezing".

If you don't do anything about it, they will continue to haunt and control you. The good news is that there are ways you can address those triggers and reduce your negative reactions to them. Try to identify your triggers by noticing what is changing in your body (your breathing, heart rate, temperature, trembling) The trigger is usually the result of some kind of threat you feel. When you are aware of the trigger, you can start to react to it differently.

People don't trigger you. They trigger your trigger. You are not your trigger. You are moved by your triggered reaction. Your trigger usually points to something what you need to heal. You are responsible for your triggers and healing.

Would you like to know more about your triggers and look for where they come from so that you can react to and deal with them differently?

Read more about how I can support you in this here:

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