Day 20: Track and Respond to Triggers 

Day 20: Track and Respond to Triggers 

Day 20 

Track and Respond to Triggers 

Pause 

breathe in for a count of... 

hold for a count of ... 

breathe out for a count of ... 

hold for a count of...  

Most nights around 5:30 PM, I start dinner; this is when I am most likely to be triggered; I feel the weight of the day upon me, overwhelm takes over, and without a built-in Pause, I frequently flail. I have noticed this also happens when we are off our regular routine. I am now aware that even on happy occasions like Mother's Day, when my schedule changes, I am vulnerable to be triggered. One tactic that has helped me enormously is knowing my triggers. I have done this by tracking my moods at the end of the day in what I call my Steady Joy Tracker (SJT). In the front part of my Steady Joy Tracker I have a list of Trigger Responders. If I am triggered, I literally open my SJT, read through the strategies, and apply one that will bring me back to Steady. 

Now that I have been tracking for years, I see the patterns in my triggers and can anticipate most of them before I feel out of control.  

My recent known triggers: 

  1. Anything, other than pumping my own gas, that has to do with my car: oil change, service, new tires, getting an inspection sticker. 
  2. Any school or social function if I am going alone: concert, conference, PTO, meeting, yoga. 
  3. Preparing food in front of people, I am ok if we are cooking together, but I feel judged when I am doing it alone. 
  4. The few hours before something I am hosting begins. 
  5. Anytime I can hear my husband preparing food for himself, I feel like I am the one who should be doing it and he often asks me simple questions, but I feel judged. 
  6. Driving when I do not know where I am going in traffic or big cities. I like to drive long distances on open roads.  
  7. Most all types of speaking on the phone, except for with my sister, Jodi. 
  8. When my children or someone I love is in pain; I am an empath and truly feel their pain. When my children whine and complain randomly, I literally feel my chest tightening and I cannot breathe. 

When I am feeling Triggered or know I am about to, I first try to remove myself from the situation and partake in one of my Trigger Responders: 

  1. Pause, walk, kitchen yoga. 
  2. Go to the bathroom and wash my hands. 
  3. Ask for what I need: space, help, a hug. 
  4. Engage: play a game with Coleman, ask my children questions, call my sister, text Rachel or Carrie.  
  5. Create: weathered and worthy drawing, doodle, t and t prep, which is cutting out pictures, or make a collage. 
  6. Engage media: play Wordscapes on my phone, read, watch a show, browse the web. 
  7. Chew gum, ice, suck on a cherry blow pop. 
  8. Clean while listening to something.

I heart Spotify: things I listen to when triggered: 

  1. Abraham  
  2. Bashar 
  3. Podcasts 
  4. Disney instrumental piano 
  5. Glee songs 
  6. Catholic Hymns 
  7. Deva Premal 
  8. Chanting 

There is a fine line between distraction and avoidance. Sometimes my days look quite different than planned, I must shovel for hours because of a storm, someone is sick or needs extra attention because of school or work or just because of life! Sometimes Melly pays a visit and stays too long; I become uninspired and sluggish and want to binge watch Netflix or reread Dystopian YA trilogies. And sometimes I give in, or more accurately, I feel like I am suffocating and incapable of accessing my toolkit; I don’t engage, I function, doing the bare minimum as a parent, but enough that I pray my children don’t notice. Eventually, my mood and the moon will wane, I will Pause to catch my breath, be motivated to reach for a Steady Joy strategy in my toolkit, the momentum picks-up, and Melly finally lifts off. There is an eternal ebb and flow, fortunately now, my lifestyle steers me back to Steady.  

How do you Track and Respond to Your Triggers? 

Share on social media with #sj28