I think most people can agree that this has been a triggering year, and I know I’m not the only one dealing with old patterns, triggers, and emotions popping up in my life, causing me to feel like, “Gah, I thought I was done with this! I thought I already dealt with this!”
It seems like I’m continually running into triggers and it can be frustrating, especially when I thought I already did the work to overcome these feelings and emotions. I know I can’t be the only one getting triggered to heck this year, so how do we move forward? How do we actually process an emotion in a healthy, beneficial way and not act it out in our life in a way that’s destructive to ourselves and others?
How do we handle emotional triggers, especially the ones we thought we already worked through?
Get ready. We’re going to dig into that today.
It’s Normal not to Want to Feel Feelings
I want you to know that this entire post is written coming from someone who has avoided feeling her feelings her entire life. When I got triggered before, I used to stuff it all down and move on without really dealing with it. I didn’t know how—or have any real desire—to feel my feelings and work through them. I didn’t have the understanding or self love needed to do anything else but bury my feelings and triggers.
That’s how I built my entire life… up until a couple of years ago when I had a near death experience giving birth to my last kid. This experience changed me. I couldn’t live my life like that any longer. I needed to find a better way of processing my triggers, emotions, and life. I needed to be kinder to myself… and that meant processing my emotions in a healthier way.
I know I’m not the only one out there who isn’t good at feeling feelings, who doesn’t always know how to pull them up and out, and who often has a hard time taking out my emotional trash. If you’re that way, you are not alone, but keep in mind that it’s also no excuse for allowing your suffering cycles to repeat. Let’s put a stop to it and start handling these emotions.
Dealing with Triggers and Emotions so You Can End Suffering Cycles
Here’s the key to handling your emotional triggers in a good, healthy way (rather than reacting in a destructive way and repeating suffering cycles): in a safe place, take half the day, a full day, or even an hour segment across several days, where you intentionally allow yourself to feel that thing that’s bothering you. Yes, I know, it’s uncomfortable but it’s important. Set aside some time and trigger yourself, give yourself space to feel, and then do loving, nurturing things for yourself throughout that time. Really dig deep, face your feelings head on and process through them, and show yourself unconditional love.
I know how crazy this sounds. I’m naturally a finance person. I’m a left-brain logical, so the idea of deliberately feeling my feelings is so bizarre to me and unnatural… but that doesn’t make it unimportant.
Avoiding your feelings, not giving yourself the space to process them, or stuffing your feelings down to a dark hole might sound more natural to you, but as my friend, Rita, says, it’s one of the scariest chronic issues in the world today. And I agree with this as someone who’s still working through it. I’m not talking about this because I’ve mastered the ability to overcome all my triggers, but rather because it’s so important that we show ourselves the unconditional love and respect necessary to heal from our chronic triggers, emotional reactions, and suffering cycles.
Process Your Emotions Purposefully
My good friend, Rita, is so good at explaining this whole process of handling emotional triggers. She recommends how necessary it is to give yourself the safe place and amount of time needed to trigger your emotions so you can get them off your nervous system and out of your brain. By stuffing down your emotions, you’re not allowing your brain or nervous system a chance to process them, and they just end up carrying them—leading to you feeling tired, exhausted, and more easily triggered next time.
I’d like to challenge you to process your emotions in a purposeful, healthy way this week. Maybe this means watching a movie and allowing your feelings to move, even have a good cry. Maybe it means going for a long drive and scream-singing along to your music as the emotions exit your body. You are worthy of self love. You deserve to show yourself the kind of self love it takes to give space, time, and freedom to remove these emotions in a way that doesn’t negatively affect you or anyone else.
Check your email next week for Part Two of “How to Handle Emotional Triggers” or click here to watch our live video with Rita.