What to do when you’re triggered
Even the best of us get triggered. The first step is noticing that your triggered which for some can be the hardest part. Noticing that you’re less open, contracted, or you’ve suddenly had a change of mood /emotion to the person or situation you’ve been interacting with.
For some of us, it can be severe where you drastically change as you may shut right down and go into your shell or become vocal and attacking of your partner.
If you are feeling triggered there is some part of your body that is holding on to an old story that hasn’t been fully processed or let, go of within your body. Old stories around trust,
feeling unsafe, rejection/abandonment, unmet expectations and resentment to name a few.
Allow it to move.
What to do when you’re triggered:
Take a deep breath.
Ask for a pause in the conversation.
“Can we pause this conversation for a moment?”
Take care of yourself.
Place your hands over your heart.
Maybe tap your chest bone.
Continuing to breathe.
Letting out a sound when you breathe out.
Maybe reposition yourself?
(If this means walking away asap from the conversation – notify the person you’ve been interacting with before leaving) “I need some space right now, I will come back in 10 minutes”
Giving a time frame will assist in the comfort of their nervous system (if they have abandonment wounds, this is so crucial!)
Now, give your body a little bit of a shake.
Moving the energy in your body.
If you stay articulating that you are triggered:
“I feel triggered, I feel I need to move some energy before we come back to this conversation, can you give me ten minutes?”
“I feel triggered, I feel I need to move some energy before we come back to this conversation, are you willing to hold space for me?”
“I feel triggered, I feel some emotions welling up, are you willing to hold me in this?”
However this looks, you want to be able to feel safe to move the energy in your body, emotional release, move, shake, scream, cry… Be with it and let it run.
I advise my clients to do this, whether with their partner or whomever they are with or on their own, but to make sure this is done.
The emotions need to run – transform – let go – to move on.
It’s important to make sure that this is YOUR process, your partner can witness and hold you, but don’t direct it at them.
There are emotions from past experiences burning through your night now, know that it’s not all of them.
It can be unresolved trauma, conditioning, grief, pain, breakups, parental stuff, so many things…
See if in the emotional release you can spot, where the emotion is stored, where it’s coming from, or where the trigger originated?
This may or may not happen then and there.
A few things I like to do when I’ve moved a lot of emotion:
- Listen to a calming song
- Hold my hands over my heart
- Have a warm bubble bath
- Make a tea
- Put my feet on the ground
- Pat my dogs
When you feel grounded. When you feel your nervous system has reset. Come back to your partner.
Note for yourself:
Do I feel ready to talk about it again? (If no, set a day/time to revisit).
Then maybe go journal with yourself or have a conversation with a support person about it.
If yes, do you need anything before you restart the conversation?
Movement with that person?
Come back to your partner, and speak about your needs and what happened.
“Hey, I’m feeling more open and grounded now, can I have a cuddle?”
“I felt triggered when … happened”
“I don’t believe it was you, I felt… (emotion) similar to when… (a potential root of the trigger)”
“I don’t believe it was you, but something was off, I don’t know what yet, but know that this was sensitive for me”
“We can continue the conversation, but I may pause, is that okay?”
A suggestion for partners is:
“Can I offer you anything to make you feel supported?”
“Are you ready to continue the conversation or shall we continue it at another time?”
“I’m grateful you went off and moved that energy, we can move slowly through this.”
“You are safe, you are loved, I care for you, I’m here for you to talk about it if you would like to.”
I feel that the more I notice my triggers, am responsible for them (moving the emotions through emotional release) and can tell them apart from the situations, the more graceful and easeful I move through my relationship.
If I have cleared out my blockages and past traumas, then I’m running from a much more loving and open place, I am able to find compassion, love, and stability. Your triggers are your responsibilities and an opportunity for growth and healing.
Tune in to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth.
What to do when you’re Triggered – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/
Or check out this article from my blog – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/blog/7-ways-remove-negative-energy/