How to identify and deal with emotional triggers (Tips for men)

There are situations when one is likely to experience emotional triggers.

There are situations when one is likely to experience emotional triggers.

Photo credit: fotosearch

What you need to know:

  • It is important to identify your emotional triggers to learn how to deal with them healthily.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by your triggers,  reach out for help from a therapist or trusted loved ones. 

All human beings have emotional triggers. These are things that set off a particular feeling or reaction inside of you. Unfortunately, it is difficult for some people to deal with their emotional triggers. This is especially true for men, who are often taught from an early age to suppress their emotions. In this article, discover the importance of identifying your emotional triggers and how to deal with them healthily.

An emotional trigger is something that sets off a strong emotional reaction in someone. This can be positive or negative, but it is usually hinged on an experience or memory.

For example, if you were brought up in a household where there was a lot of yelling and fighting, you may have a trigger that makes you feel anxious whenever people start to raise their voices.

Or, if you were sexually abused as a child, you may have a trigger that makes you feel scared or panic when someone touches you unexpectedly. Emotional triggers can be very subtle, too. For instance, you may have a trigger that makes you sad when you see happy couples because it reminds you of what you do not have.

Or, you may have a trigger that makes you angry when someone cuts you off in traffic because it makes you feel like they are disrespecting your personal space. Whatever the case may be, emotional triggers can impact your life.

Identify your triggers

There are situations when one is likely to experience emotional triggers.

When you are feeling: -

  • overwhelmed or stressed
  • insecure
  • angry or treated unfairly
  • guilty or shame
  • like you are not good enough or rejected
  • when you encounter a challenging situation or person

Some emotional triggers can be based on positive emotions, such as feeling joyful when you see a loved one or feeling relieved when something good happens after a period of stress.

Tips to identify your triggers

  • Keep a journal: Write down when you feel triggered and what was happening at the time. For example, was there something someone said or did? Was there a particular smell or sound? Did something remind you of a past experience? The more specific you can be, the better.
  • Talk to a therapist: A therapist can help you identify patterns in your life that may be causing you to feel triggered. They can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with triggers.
  • Identify your emotions: Pay attention to the emotions you feel when you are triggered. For example, are you feeling scared, anxious, angry, or sad? These emotions can be clues as to what is causing your trigger.
  • Talk to trusted loved ones: Talk to people who know you well and who you trust. They may be able to help you identify things that trigger you that you weren't aware of.

Dealing with your emotional triggers

  • Acknowledge them: Acknowledging your triggers can help you feel more in control of them. It can also help you understand why they affect you in a certain way. This means being aware of your triggers and their power over you without letting them control you.
  • Challenge them: Once you have identified your triggers, you can start to challenge them. For example, if you have a trigger that makes you feel anxious around people, try to put yourself in situations where you are around people more often. This will help you to slowly desensitize yourself to your trigger and build up your confidence.
  • Give yourself time and space: If you feel overwhelmed by your triggers, it's important to give yourself time and space to recover. This may mean taking a break from work or social obligations or simply spending some time alone.
  • Talk to a therapist: A therapist can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with your triggers. They can also help you understand the root cause of your triggers and work through any underlying issues.
  • Talk about them: Discussing your triggers with someone you trust can help you feel more in control of them.

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