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Reframing Emotional Triggers While Seeing Them as Opportunities

Updated: Feb 16


Hi Everyone, My BLOG has been on a bit hiatus due to my business, and organizing my new office move to Chicago's Merchandise Mart! I can't tell you how excited I am. I have missed writing and having this BLOG be of service. More BLOGS in 2020! I did want to write one last BLOG for 2019. The holidays are in full swing; I genuinely hope that everyone has been taking some time for yourself, and leaning into your Self Care. Holidays can be joyous; however, they can also be challenging. In the past, I would often see the Holidays as a heightened time where we can quickly become emotionally triggered. I still believe that those triggers happen when we spend more time with our family and have significant expectations we might be encountering. I would love for us to have an awareness of these "triggers" but to possibly be open towards reframing the word "trigger" to another term, which I believe honors what we are experiencing but removes the negative connotations attached to the word trigger. I have regularly used the term trigger in helping my clients process things that were upsetting. Trigger has become commonplace in how we explain how we feel when something negatively affects us. I am happy that we have been able to coin this term; however, I have come to see how the word trigger might not be the most productive expression, and that there might be a better description. When we think of triggers, we quickly associate it with a gun. Also, trigger somewhat implies that it is an act of permanence. Once a trigger is released, there seems that there is no other point of action. Its trigger, and then we assume its DONE. To me, this pattern reinforces a victim mentality instead of an attitude of awareness. I also find this reasoning to be very limiting while not allowing any room for growth to enter. Instead of using the word trigger, perhaps we can choose to use the word activate when we are experiencing the same emotional effects. Activate has less of a reference point to trigger; however, to me expresses the same emotional experience. We will be activated, and when we are, I believe we are in a position towards doing the work to becoming less activated. If we again are aware of how we are emotionally activated, we can do something about it. We have the choice to take care of ourselves when things aren't feeling healthy, or someone or a situation is making us feel less than. Having the actions to go forward knowing that your goal is to feel better, is all you can do, however, will make the ultimate difference. The way each of us is activated is subjective, and it does not to be explained. When something does activate us, let us tune into the feelings instead of the why's so much. In honoring our emotions, we are doing the work to start feeling better. We can then take action. Knowing how you can be less reactive towards being activated is also going to help you tremendously in moving on from these hurt feelings. What serves you best when you need to rebound from hurt feelings? A walk, time alone, time with the family dog, a text to a friend… Whatever it is plan on knowing it and committing towards executing these resources. Its the only control you truly have over the situation while claiming space towards feeling better. Most people are traveling today and tomorrow, so I hope this new way of seeing how you are being affected by the holidays and your family serves you. Having an ongoing conversation with yourself that you are the one in charge of your emotional health can make things feel less hurtful while positioning you towards empowerment. Making the choices to walk away from things that aren't serving you and redirecting your response from a place of action is essential and completely doable

Enjoy all that's around you these next few weeks, especially your OWN presence. I am wishing everyone a Happy Ending to 2019, with positive wishes and vibes for 2020! Best, Hillary


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