Transorming Emotional Triggers

An emotional trigger refers to a stimulus or event that prompts a strong emotional response in me, like being Bullied. It is something that reminds me of a past traumatic experience, or it can be a situation that provokes intense feelings of anger, fear, sadness, or anxiety.

The many words written Anonymously online in various domains are a trigger for me, that is filled with malicious judgements of my person, and so is fire, the smell of burning wood, and being in crowded spaces full of loud voices. Feeling like I am being judged is also a major trigger for me.

These triggers may vary from person to person and can arise from personal experiences, memories, or even certain words, sounds, or visual cues. Emotional triggers have caused me to react in ways that seem out of control, as the emotions they evoke often originate from deeper, unresolved emotional wounds or past experiences I have had.

I had PTSD from past experiences and being Bullied so severely online in the public eye made the symptoms worse. How could it not? I had no control apparently.

It is important for individuals to identify their emotional triggers and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage and address their emotional responses. Below are some ways I transformed my triggers!

Transforming triggers into something positive can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Identify your triggers: Start by identifying the specific situations, people, or thoughts that trigger negative emotions or reactions in you. Understanding what triggers you is the first step to addressing them.

I was triggered by the toxic shame placed upon me by Tenants and the many lies they told about me to others out in public, in person and online. Their many websites are filled with such speculations on my life, personal and professional, all written by Tenants, not friends, not even family, but total strangers I had in my last place of work. Their many lies and embellishments were my major triggers. They played Judge, Jury, and Executioner of me and others when they didn’t have the authority to do so.

  1. Pause and breathe: When you feel triggered, take a moment to pause and take a few deep breaths. This allows you to create some space between the trigger and your response, helping you move from a reactionary state to a more thoughtful one.

Doing this was hard for me as my emotions were so strong, but with practice, it has become easier. I had to let go of my Ego and learn to respond from a more authentic place. I do this now in all my relationships and it has helped me to make them stronger. I had to lower my defenses and as Brene Brown says, become vulnerable and show myself in all ways, good and bad. Honesty is always the best policy!

  1. Self-reflection: Use the trigger as an opportunity for self-reflection. Ask yourself why this trigger affects you so deeply. Explore any underlying fears, insecurities, or past experiences that may be contributing to your reaction.

I have spent the past 3 years in self-reflection and learned why these triggers affected me so deeply. No one likes to have false accusations made so public about you, such as in various domains’ content. Being pushed aside for my concerns didn’t help either! Being bashed in the public eye is terrifying and creates so many issues for me. I have had so much going on, physically and mentally, I come to see I was overwhelmed with it all and couldn’t cope.

Everything in my life contributed to why I was triggered so badly by being Bullied, from my physical health issues with Cancer and Stenosis, the pressures of the work I was doing with the additional duties I was given there and the physical aspects of it I was having problems with. I just couldn’t cope with it all.

  • Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding during the triggering moments. Remind yourself that it is normal to be triggered and that you are doing your best. Be gentle with yourself as you work through the process.

I am human, and as such, it is normal to have strong feelings over being Cyberbullied in so many website contents and on Social Media. I made mistakes during the process but it doesn’t make me less worthy of kindness and understanding. I am doing the best I can with the resources I have at my disposal.

  • Seek support: If needed, reach out to a therapist who can provide support and guidance as you navigate your triggers. Sharing your experience with someone else can provide validation and new perspectives.

I did find therapy. In the early days, I called the Mental Health Helpline. With their help, I got connected with a psychiatrist, who helped me come to terms with what I was experiencing and put me on my path to learn about toxic traits and narcissism. I also found Blogs online, written by other people who experienced Bullying. Learning from others who understood how I was feeling was priceless.

Once I moved to NL in 2020, I used the Mental Health Helpline at times until I found the Doorways Program, which helped me by phone for the past couple of years. Now, I no longer need regular therapy, but it is there if I do. I have attended webinars and even group therapy! I have a family doctor now too who is aware of my experiences and is there to refer me to someone if needed. I have options!

  • Reframe your perspective: Try to reframe your triggers by seeking out alternative perspectives. Consider the situation from a different angle or try to empathize with the other person involved. This can help you shift your thinking and find positive aspects in difficult situations.

I do feel sorry for the Adult Bullies I had as Tenants. It must be very hard to live a lie every single day where they believe they are “perfect” and do not wrong in any situation they find themselves in. It must be so hard to keep their stories straight! Creating so many websites and staying on top of them, must be exhausting and confusing.

Living a life where you see racism and discrimination from everyone and in every situation must also be hard. I see them now as lost souls who refuse to accept their own culpability, they go through life blaming everyone else for the troubles they face. They have strong narcissistic traits, as shown by the words they wrote on the many domains they created, that in time will bite them in the end. You can’t spend your life bashing others and not be held to account eventually.

  • Learn and grow: Look for opportunities to learn from your triggers. Each trigger can provide valuable insights into your own emotions, thought patterns, and personal growth. Use them as opportunities to develop resilience, understanding, and emotional intelligence.

Using my triggers as opportunities to learn and grow as a person was intense for me. I have gained resilience, understanding, and emotional intelligence. I learned about toxic people and narcissism and came to see I have some of these traits as well that have allowed me to make changes.

My favourite phrase these days is that you don’t know anything until you know it. You take the time to learn about what you are seeing and feeling and it creates all of these things for you above. You become a better person when you learn about yourself. Focus on your own growth and learn to ignore the Bullies, as there is nothing you can do or say that will ever change their perspective. It is your life, so focus on making it the best you can, for you!

  • Practice mindful awareness: Cultivate mindfulness by practicing present-moment awareness. This can help you become more conscious of your triggers as they arise and give you the space to choose a positive response instead of reacting automatically.

Mindfulness… Such a simple concept but hard to put into practice. Being aware and present in that moment, and not stuck in the thoughts in your head, is hard for an overthinker but I manage. Actively listening to what is being said, or written, and being aware that it can trigger you emotionally does give you space to choose a better response. Leave your Ego behind, it makes you defensive when you don’t need to be. I choose these days to see the bullying words towards me as a reflection of their own insecurities, not a reflection of me, as I know they don’t know me. How could they when they were Tenants from a job?

  • Develop coping strategies: Once you understand your triggers, explore healthy coping strategies that can help you manage and diffuse the negative emotions they evoke. This might involve techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, journaling, or engaging in a favourite hobby.

I came to understand my triggers and have found ways to manage the negative emotions they cause by journalling in my posts on my Blog over the past 2 years. I practice mindfulness and believe what I see, not the thoughts in my head. I read posters, other Blogs, and even science articles. I am coping as I am still here!! I fought the suicidal thoughts I had and remained strong in my belief in myself.

  • Celebrate progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress along the way. Changing your reactions to triggers is a gradual process, so be patient with yourself and celebrate even small victories. Remember that growth takes time.

As I said, I am still here, living my life to the best of my ability and learning along the way how to be a better human to the people I love and care about. I have learned to celebrate every small victory I get. Growth as a person does take time and I have all the time in the world to work on myself and my relationships.

Remember, transforming triggers into something positive is a personal journey that requires patience, self-compassion, and a commitment to personal growth. In the end, though, you are worth it.

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