We all are triggered at some point and when it happens it hurts! I could be innocently scrolling through my news feed and there it is, a photo, a few words or a video which rips off the scab from a previous trigger and BOOM my calm and composed self is shaken and I am left with a cocktail of emotions steaming from self doubt, jealousy and even hatred for that person. And guess what? It actually happens to all of us!
Recognising if you have jealous tendencies, want to react in a spiteful way or wanting to lash out is not helpful for you in anyway, if you do lash out maybe your ego is satisfied for a bit, but ultimately the person who posted whatever triggered you probably has NO IDEA you were triggered and karma will have its way with you eventually. They did not do this on purpose to rub you the wrong way or to provoke a reaction. Regardless of this they are just living and expressing their life in their own unique way. Yes you may see similarities to your work, hobby or passions in the post so you may want to accuse them of plagiarising/ copying you or for them treading in your territory but once again this is not helpful, productive or cultivating a harmonious relationship with yourself and those around you.
Being a yoga teacher, jewellery/ clothing designer, mentor and influencer on different platforms I have spoken to many about this and from personal experience have found the following ways work to soften your reaction when triggered. The intention of these points is to create a more loving relationship with your self, to use this triggering experience as a learning tool for growth and healthy development moving forward and to know your natural tendencies to react in a certain way can be changed and or reprogrammed so it doesn’t happen again.
1. Recognise the kind of posts which trigger you and unfollow (or unfriend if they are not in your tribe) that person so they don’t appear in your newsfeed. I promise this will create an instant relief and a glow of satisfaction knowing you have actively participated in a positive way without hurting anyone in the process.
2. Catch the trigger response before it penetrates and the hurtful dialogue with yourself starts. By consciously acknowledging the post and sitting with gratitude (challenging yes, but oh so humbling) we begin to realise that they are not out to degrade or undermine you. They really are just on a similar path and for whatever reason when they express and share their journey it is making us feel inadequate but remember there is a high probability that they have NO IDEA of this so you have the power to take control of your reaction and turn this trigger into medicine for the greater good of your wellbeing.
3. React in a way which is the opposite of what your instant response is. Yes, this means send love instead of daggers of hate or jealousy. Like and perhaps even add a comment of encouragement to the post in a way which is supporting them and see what happens! I would happily bet that they appreciate your feedback/ response and this will soften the blow to your heart.
4. Talk to someone in confidence about it. Reach out to someone you trust (a close friend, teacher, coach or mentor) and openly share your triggered experience. Don’t hold anything back so this someone can give honest feedback knowing the full extent of your emotions and feelings. In doing so you will hear another side of the story (their view and option) and will make you feel like you are not alone in feeling this way because we are all human after all and don’t like to feel isolated.
5. Ride the trigger like a tiger and go into the battlefield with a fierce vulnerable heart. Take yourself into a reflective meditative state, have a dialogue with the actual experience and take notes in the process. Ask why? Let the tears flow and see if you can pin point the exact point which made you react in that way. Be curious about where this reaction has steamed from and be gentle with yourself, no need to respond in a negative way, just listen to the inner dialogue without judgement or fear of being judged. Remember that transformation and change isn’t always easy, just like a lotus flower we need the nourishment of the dirt and mud to fertilise our roots in order to grow strong and healthy to live a long and happy life.
I hope these points have provided you with a few tools and tips to work with. Suppressing and hiding from emotions goes against our natural state of being. If you are struggling with your work, in need of accountability or support, reach out for a free 30 minute consult. Reclaim your power and begin to change the triggers into opportunities for growth, evolution and positive change.