1. Inability to Maintain Calm and Peace
When we are healed or free from mental and emotional wounds, we are usually able to maintain our peace and be at ease. We will only focus on the present in the way our lives unfold and presented themselves to us and behave or respond in ways that are required of us at a particular given moment. Worry, anger or any other emotional reaction comes only when the circumstances right before us dictate us to think, feel and behave like such.
However, some, if not most of us, are never quite in our calm and serene state when we observe the way we choose to respond to the people and events surrounding us. At times, we tend to wildly and unreasonably worry, get angry and be more anxious than we should rather than being objective and focusing more on the facts presented before us.
2. Repetitive Emotional and Behavioral Patterns.
Indeed, it is difficult when we are beings programmed to react and behave in the way our past has happened to us. We tend to emulate the emotions we felt from the past because most of us were victims of unprecedented and painful experiences. However, we must understand that our subconscious minds respond in this way to make us gain wisdom or learn lessons from our experiences through our traumas. In turn, it teaches and shows us how to navigate our paths and our lives in the future.
Unfortunately, instead of storing the wisdom and lessons we accumulate in our lives, we ended up repeating the panic, the grief, the lack of attention, the invalidation, the anger and the unhelpful behavioral patterns which initiated us to remember our triggers. Meaning, situations in the present, incite us to respond in the way we choose to react to a forgotten past of which the wisdom or lessons from it, we are still not able to perceive or comprehend.
3. Assuming and Blaming
A few of these examples are; a situation that is not in actuality troubling will cause us to lose all objectivity and convince us into thinking that our fears have materialized and it is the end-all or be-all to our existence. A person’s response or demeanor will immediately elicit feelings of guilt, extreme fury or unreasonable suspicions. The thought of putting our best foot forward and giving our best to achieve success provokes the terror of possible monumental failure.
The triggers are almost immediate that we do not get to sit and reflect on the way we process the circumstances arising from the situations and people we connect with. We totally give up our power of evaluating and introspecting our reactions. We lose all bearings to differentiate the happenings of the past from the present and of our childhood to maturity. We start blaming everything and everyone else as the cause of our mental and emotional triggers and insecurities except ourselves. We are closed off to our rational faculties and we continue caging ourselves up in the dungeons of our traumatized sub-conscious minds.
4. Irrational Reaction and Response
When we are not linking or connecting with reality objectively, we are easily triggered. We tend to approach life of the external world from the spectrum of our subconscious or inner world. Our sub-conscious is indeed the safest place where we store all expectations we have formed and the lessons we learned from our experiences; the wisdom we accumulate through our individual histories; our authentic modality of working, our creative inspirations, our ideals of what a peaceful world is, how other people are like, how they respond to us and how situations unfold in tough and challenging times.
We always forget that our subconscious is not what is always factually happening on the outside world or our consciousness. We have the tendency of generalizing and judging people and situations based on past events which were actually harder, more rare or even more serious than what is actually happening in the present due to our traumas or experiences. It is always good to practice a rule of thumb to alert us to the imbalance in our responses. If we experience fear or anxiety above the scale of five out of ten, it is telling us that highly likely, our reaction or response is not fuelled by the issue or person in the present, but by a past, that we are either not acknowledging, not aware of or have been overlooking. Meaning, most of the time, the issue is with what we felt or what happened in the past and not what is factually happening in the present.
5. Inability or Refusal to Reflect and Evaluate
Allowing and prolonging triggering factors to overpower and consume us can take a heavy toll on our mental health, relationships and social connections. The most effective self-help to free us from being triggered is to train ourselves to disregard or not believing the feeling that is rapidly and repetitively overwhelming us. Always make it a habit to evaluate if what is occupying our mind is caused by a fact or objectivity; or by a feeling, which only stems from a thought based on fear or worry. Adopt the practice of re-examining and evaluating our instinct or impulses. Think about what we can tell ourselves and what positive actions we can take so that we do not let fear or worry overcome our rationality and ability. Are we able to help ourselves by doing this on our own or do we need assistance from professional psychologists or practicing therapists? This is not to deny that circumstances and people of the external world are capable of causing us harm but rather for us to recognize and realize that as an adult, our reaction or responses may be and can usually be disproportionate or a miscalculation of opportunities or our resourcefulness, strength, resilience, skills and wisdom.
Healing and maturity are understanding the source and cause of our triggers and taking the responsible steps of mitigating our self-limiting, self-doubting and self-destructing reactions, responses and behaviors. We are fully thinking, strong and capable adults who can, in reality, thrive and survive. We have enough courage to face our triggers and deal with them through calm reflection, evaluation or rehabilitation. The point is we are powerful within and we can overcome our triggers.