What are triggers? This short video aims to explain what triggers actually are and why we should be aware of them at a deeper level.
Triggers are events or situations that can cause us to feel strong emotions or reactions. They can be related to past experiences or current events and can vary greatly from person to person. When we are triggered, it can be difficult to think clearly and make good decisions. This is because our brains are designed to protect us from danger, and when we are triggered, our brains activate the fight, flight, or freeze response.
One way to manage our triggers is through mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity, without judgment. When we are mindful, we are better able to notice our thoughts and feelings and respond to them in a more balanced way.
Here are a few mindfulness exercises that can help us manage our triggers:
- Take a deep breath: When we are triggered, our breathing can become shallow and rapid. Taking a deep breath can help calm our nervous system and bring us back to the present moment.
- Notice your surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings, including the sights, sounds, and sensations you are experiencing. This can help anchor you in the present moment and reduce the intensity of your emotions.
- Label your emotions: Try to name the emotions you are feeling. This can help you identify and understand your emotions, rather than getting swept up in them.
- Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, as you would a good friend. This can help reduce self-judgment and increase feelings of self-worth.
- Seek support: It’s okay to reach out to a trusted friend or therapist for support when you are feeling triggered. Sharing your experience with someone else can help you process your emotions and feel more connected.
There is also a growing body of research in neuroscience that suggests that mindfulness practices can have a positive impact on the brain. For example, studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in decision-making and emotional regulation. It can also decrease activity in the amygdala, which is involved in the fight or flight response.
In conclusion, when we are triggered, mindfulness exercises can be a helpful way to manage our emotions and reactions. By paying attention to the present moment, labeling our emotions, and practicing self-compassion, we can better navigate challenging situations and make more mindful decisions.