We all know that feeling, someone says something to us that we percieve as hurtful and we feel our heart race or our throat constrict as we struggle to regain composure. Our triggers needn’t rule our life though. What we need to do is explore them and engage different aspects of thinking around them to help widen our window of tollerance to the distress caused.
1 .Find somewhere quiet to sit. Close your eyes and bring up the trigger. Play it through your mind like you’re watching yourself on a video. Note where you feel the biggest spike of emotion. Breathe deeply, hold your breathe for 4 seconds and slowly exhale to calm your mind.
2. Now note where you feel that in your body. Immediately turn all your attention to that feeling. Really focus in on it. Give the feeling a shape, texture and colour. Sit with it a while.Note the emotions which come up with the trigger. Anger, fear, jealousy?
3. Now think back to when you’ve felt that before. Go back along a timeline to see if you can find the origin. How young were you when this particular trigger formed? Find the limiting belief. The fact the trigger has this impact on you now. How does it make you feel about yourself? This is the negative cognition “I am trapped” “I am stupid”
4. Now think about how you would rather feel. Create a positive cognition – “I am worthy” or “I am free etc.” Create an avatar or alter-ego of yourself in your mind and imagine feeling completely in your positive cognition. Really allow that feeling to flood your whole body. Say to yourself ” I am enough” or what ever your positive cognition is. Notice how good that makes you feel about yourself. Now open your eyes and blink rapidly for 30 seconds while holding on to that positive feeling and belief.
You can also follow my video mini series Working with Triggers and 5 day challenge of Instagram!