Neutralizing Your Triggers

Have you ever found yourself in a situation or conversation, which at the surface seems pretty ordinary, yet find yourself reacting in a strongly emotional in some way?  It may not be something that happens very often, but when it does, it can be amazing how something so “simple” can have such a powerful impact. If we dig deep, we usually find that these situations are tied to unresolved issues of the past.

It’s amazing how situations from as far back as childhood, can have an effect the relationships we have as adults.  Until those concerns are resolved, they will continue to appear in our lives, no matter how hard we try to ignore them.  So what do we do?  Clearly avoidance isn’t working, and half the time we don’t see it coming, until it’s too late anyway.

In order to reduce the power of these triggers, we have to find a productive, positive way to deal with these outstanding issues.  Usually forgiveness is at the root of the resolution.  The cause of these triggers is things that happened in the past.   Why are we giving them so much power in our present and future?  While the incident had a definite impact on us at the time, we need to find a way to acknowledge what happened and move on.

Moving on, of course, is the challenge for many of us.  How do we release the pain of what was said and done?  Some issues, such as child abuse, sexual or otherwise may need the help of a trained therapist, others, we can handle by doing the work on our own.  We need to stop believing the negative messages that we have carried with us from those past experiences.  Whether it is the negative voice telling you that you aren’t good enough, smart enough or worthy enough, you have to shut those voices out.  Replace them with positive affirmations that remind you that you are worthy, smart and good enough to have anything you desire.  We have to find a way to leave the negativity that recalling the experience brings and take away its power from affecting us in the present.

A good way of moving on is to actually physically move or go away for a period, maybe a vacation or visit a friend or both is ideal. In my personal experience I did this and went to Hawaii, Honolulu to be precise and stayed with a great friend and confidante. And I wholeheartedly endorse having fun as well, which takes your mind to a happy place. My friend is great and when he had time away from his demanding job in the carpet cleaning business, we had fun together. (just left a link to his business, hope it helps?)

Once we become aware of our triggers, we can have a discussion with those around us so they understand where our reaction(s) are coming from.  If they honour our feelings, they will do their best not to push those buttons.  There may be times that they forget or unconsciously set off those emotional landmines, but because of your increasing awareness and self-empowerment you will be in a better position to deactivate the bomb before it goes off!

Don’t beat yourself up for allowing your triggers to go off.  Remember that it’s a constant work in progress.  As Louise Hay says, “we do better when we know better.”  Recognizing our triggers and how they were created are the first steps.  Neutralizing those sensitive issues and learning how to live in the present are the crucial steps in moving forward in a positive way.

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Making time for yourself

We hear so much about the importance of self-care these days. We have to take care of ourselves. Minimize our stress, eat healthier, exercise and practice mindfulness. We all know what we should be doing, but how many of us are actually doing it?

Yes, we know that it’s important to take care of ourselves. The problem for many of us is finding the time to do it! Whether we are entrepreneurs, managers, employees, spouses or parents; there are always demands of our time. We can feel pulled in so many directions by the obligations we have to others that finding time for ourselves seems virtually impossible!

What we’ll learn if we’re not careful is that we cannot afford not to take care of ourselves. We risk burnout, illness or simple overwhelm and frustration if we don’t make time for rest and relaxation. Isn’t it better to take a day a week for yourself instead of being forced to stay in bed for a week or more because you didn’t listen to your body?

Have you ever been running yourself ragged and then get hit with the flu? That’s the body’s way of forcing you to take a well needed rest. I’m sure we all know people who will try to work through the sickness, refusing to take a break. If we know people like this, or maybe you’re one of those workaholics, then you know that if you don’t listen to your body, things can and often will get worse.

Often it’s the very things that we think we don’t have time for that we need the most. If we don’t take the time to rest our brains and our bodies, how can we expect to function at our optimal level for maximum performance? Our cars don’t run well on an empty tank or if we neglect to give it the proper maintenance, why do we think we can?

There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about a goal. It’s okay to get lost in a project. We can’t always plan for when the inspiration to hit or when the perfect opportunity will present itself for you to get closer to achieving your goals. We need to ensure that we nourish our mind, bodies and souls so that we are ready for whatever we encounter.

Self-care may seem like an indulgence for those with an abundance of time and money, but that isn’t really the case. While a day at the spa or a week retreat would be great, we can find things to do at home that can give us the down time we need. Whether it’s soaking in a bubble bath or taking an art class, find something that will take your mind off the routine day-to-day and provide you with the opportunity to recharge your batteries.

Making time for rest and relaxation is important to our success, no matter what it is we’re working towards. Don’t allow feelings of guilt to prevent you from taking time for yourself. If you want to be at 100% to achieve whatever it is you’re working towards, then you have to be willing to commit to giving yourself the time you need when you feel like your fuel is running low. You’ll be glad you did!

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