Tired of feeling embarrassed for overreacting?
Get a handle on those Intense Emotional Triggers.
We have all found ourselves in situations where we have completely overreacted. Where we reacted with much bigger emotions than the situation called for.
This is part of being human, and instead of shaming and criticising ourselves, understand that this reaction is highly likely coming from deep inside of you. The situation has triggered an old hurt or wound that is causing you to react, instead of responding to the situation at hand.
A few signals which occurs when you are being triggered:
- You will feel it in your body first. Your body is either getting ready to fight or flight. This happens as the body is feeling threatened.
- You may feel a flipping feeling in your belly,
- You might feel a tingling in your armpit,
- A tightness in your chest,
- A lump in your throat,
- A hotness in your head,
- A ringing in your ears, or,
- You might feel a heavy weight sitting heavy on your chest area.
Take a minute and think about the last time you were emotionally triggered, what did it feel like in your body? If this is something you deal with quite often, start paying attention to what happens in your body when you are triggered.
Keep in mind, that even though it’s past wounds, it will still feel very real in the moment. In any particular situation, it may feel like you are being controlled, rejected, abandoned or belittled, as examples.
How should you deal with it so; you can feel more in charge of your emotions?
- For one, stop and take deep breaths in and out from your stomach. This will calm your body down, and break the fight or flight response. Your rational part of your brain will be engaged again, and you will start to move out of your emotions. Deep long slow breaths out your mouth.
- Next, you should pay attention to what you are feeling in that moment. Ask yourself why did I just get triggered? What am I feeling? You may think; I’m feeling belittled, I’m feeling controlled, rejected, abandoned, or any other specific feeling.
- Next, you check and ask yourself what does this mean to me? How does it make me feel? Perhaps you are feeling, “I am not loved, I am not good enough, I am not appreciated, I’m a failing, I can’t do anything right.” What is it that I am identifying with here, and what do I believe about myself in this moment that isn’t true?
- Now, you can take a step back, and you consider other thoughts which you will deliberately choose to think. Start to reframe those negative thoughts. For example, you may change your thoughts to “If this person isn’t texting me back right away, doesn’t mean that they don’t value me, that I’m not important to them, that they don’t like me, or they decided that I’m not good enough for them. It could just mean they got distracted with something else, and cannot respond in this very moment.”
- The last thing you need to do, is to move into Self-Compassion. Often what happens in these moments are, we tend to criticize, shame and judge ourselves. Saying or thinking things like: What’s wrong with me? Why do I always freak out? Why do I take things so personally? Why do I let things offend me so easily?
Don't allow Self-Condemnation. Understand that these moments are hitting deeper wounds, and it will take some work on your part, to heal and move through these things, and handle your emotions. And it can certainly be done through little self-awareness and introspection.
It’s important to remember to show yourself compassion during this process. There is nothing wrong with you, you are not bad or broken for having a big reaction to something that may not deserve such a big reaction. However, this is just part of being human, and with a little time and effort you can absolutely learn to have more control over your emotions.
` And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of GOD`. Romans 12:2
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