Emotional mastery: Recognising your triggers

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I’ve always felt a strong pull towards working with emotions. I remember working through feeling based meditations, recommended to me by my life coach, in the weeks surrounding my awakening. All the while feeling rather clueless as I stumbled through the practices. At that stage I couldn’t really grasp the importance of what I was doing, but something about the process of sitting with my body and tuning into my feeling center was strangely seductive and appealed to this spiritual novice.

Fast forward two and half years and the process of emotional alchemy and body based energy work have become the cornerstones of my personal practice. Truth be told I find it all completely fascinating!

I wrote about the process of working through your emotions in my new ebook (free for my email tribe), but I really wanted to touch on a different aspect of the emotional landscape with you today.

That being, emotional triggers.

Emotional triggers are quite possibly even more confusing than emotions themselves. Your triggers are the pathways to old emotional wounds that can cause you to react and respond to a situation. In most cases this results in an unconscious behavioural pattern playing out, often resulting in world war three taking place between you and your loved ones.

Emotional triggers can be uncomfortable and are often nasty to deal with, mainly because they are the catalyst for releasing repressed emotions.

More often than not, the emotions we repress are the ones that are unfamiliar to us or that cause us pain. So needless to say any situation that triggers an emotional response of this kind, probably isn’t going to have you feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

After what seemed like yet another trigger filled conversation with my ex partner, I took some time out today to call my energy back in and journal about these emotional triggers that continued to come up for me in his presence. My ex partner and I still share a lot of love for each other and have remained in each others lives; however to this day he continues to be the person that triggers me more than anyone else in my life.

Some may question my sanity for continuing to sustain a relationship like this, however I couldn’t be more grateful for this man’s presence in my life.

Every trigger I experience with him has provided me with the motive to dive deeper into my own internal landscape, peeling back the layers on the emotional wounds I still hold deep within, in order to heal. These are the wounds created from all the painful events I experienced and repressed over the course of my life, through my relationships with my father and previous partners.

In my personal experience I feel that when it comes to triggers, the more you care about a person and the depth of the emotional wound, both play a large part in determining how you react to a situation.

I believe everyone has a core set of emotional wounds; wounds created in the past - often during childhood - that pertain to a particular area of a person’s life. When these emotions are triggered, we start to see explosive unconscious reactions and outbursts. Think temper tantrums, aggression or even emotional withdrawal.

In most of my relationships I feel I have been able to successfully master these situations. Normally having the ability to diffuse the trigger, preventing an unconscious pattern from rearing it’s ugly head while remaining non-reactive.

However things start to get rather interesting for me when it comes to relationships involving men, particularly those I have been romantically involved with.

My core wounds centre around my relationship with masculine energy, so naturally this is going to be something that comes up very often for me when I am with a partner.

The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal.

Each wound is formed during an uncomfortable or painful personal experience; every situation that triggers the emotions associated with the experience adds to the size of the wound.

As you could imagine, as a woman in her late twenties, the wounds I carry regarding my relationship with the masculine run pretty damn deep.

The good news is, with awareness comes healing. One of the most important steps to mastering your emotions is in recognising situations that trigger you as they arise.

When you recognise the cause of a trigger, you are consciously reclaiming your power by choosing how to respond to a situation rather than unconsciously reacting.

The next time you react in a situation, take a step back afterwards and honestly ask yourself why you responded in the way you did. The answer might not be apparent at first but if you spend some time with it and dig deep enough, you can often uncover the root cause.

A prime example of this is a common communication breakdown that can occur in relationships and has on many occasions happened to me...

In the past when I would ask my ex partner a question, he would often ignore me because he was focused on something else. Some men tend to be task oriented, focusing on one task or thing at a time. Him ignoring me unconsciously triggered a painful emotional memory of being ignored by my father as a child. Through that trigger I relived the pain of my past through my present experience and reacted from a place of hurt at not being seen. He wondered why I was so worked up and the wound deepened because the cause of the trigger was left unconscious and unresolved.

Through awareness I was able to resolve the problems this trigger caused. Once I had consciously recognised where the pain came from, I no longer felt like I needed to react in the way I had. Instead I would touch my ex’s arm if I needed to get his attention or ask him something, that way he could shift his focus onto me instead of elsewhere.

Recognising your triggers can be helpful in any form of relationship, whether it be friendships, family or even those you work with. Cultivating this awareness can vastly improve the quality of your relationships and intimate connections, while aiding in your own personal growth and overall wellbeing.

If you’re struggling with remaining aware through a trigger, using the process above can help you become more familiar with your triggers. Eventually you will start to notice the triggers as they arise, rather than needing to revisit them after they pass.

Do you have a recurring trigger that seems to constantly come up for you? Please share away in the comments below! These insights hold a very important key in determining the best path forward in order to achieve emotional freedom and mastery.

In love, light and magic,

jess-sign-off