Feelings don’t come out of the blue, some are triggered by our thoughts, and many of the triggers are set into our neurology in childhood. To change the triggers we start by getting the information so you know which part of the mind is triggering the reaction. Once you know where the triggers are coming from you can choose tools to change the unwanted ones.
Four secrets to changing unwanted triggers:
Secret 1: Know which part of the mind is triggering the emotion.
The mind is made up of two different parts.
1. The conscious part: The images and thoughts you are aware of.
2. The unconscious part: The stored programs and repressed memories
that are stored in the unconscious (subconscious) part of the mind.
Secret 2: Use body sensations to find triggers.
1. Notice where you feel the emotion in your body.
2. The next time you feel sad, angry, worry, depressed or anxious:
a. Close your eyes and take a deep breath and release. Do this three times.
b. Take a moment and scan your body – from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.
c. As you scan your body simply notice where you feel tension, anger, dread or what ever emotion you are feeling.
This step is really important because your emotions will give vital information needed to change the triggers. Knowing where you hold each emotion gives you a way of using your body as a dictionary that you can go to when triggered so you can start the process of changing old programs.
Secret 3: Become aware of thoughts and images that trigger reactions.
1. Many times our thoughts move so quickly that we aren’t aware of them.
2. When you feel an emotion, it’s helpful to stop, close your eyes and think back to an what was going on up to an hour before you had the reaction. Its important to stop when you feel an emotion and look for the thoughts that might have triggered the feeling.
3. Once you find the thought you can move to the next step and track it back to earlier events that caused similar feelings. This is a more advanced skill, where you are using a present emotion to uncover memories that are adding to the emotion.
Secret 4: Changing internal triggers.
The unconscious part of the mind reacts to your thoughts, responding as if the terrible thing you imagined is actually happening in the present moment. The brain then sends out the chemicals you’d need to either fight or flee.
The unconscious part of the mind is constantly working in the background to keep you safe. It manages all the information coming in from all of your senses and sends the chemicals needed to get you ready to fight or flee in the imagined situation. The body chemistry changes and you feel the jittery, nervous, depressed, worried or anxious feeling. For more information on changing triggers go to the Anxiety Control Center