Triggers – 101

Obviously if you saw this wolf coming towards you, you would know that you were in danger and had to act.  Being triggered is essentially the same sort of response, yet the fear may not always be present and is based on a past experience.

The human body is made with a self protection mechanism and automatically reacts to perceived danger. The brain is also biased to protect  you from anything that it recognizes as having experienced before i.e.: a certain time of day, a gesture, a smell/scent, tone of voice, a certain touch, colours and even a body sensation.

Once triggered, you may feel an overwhelming impulse, feeling or sensation that you are in danger now.

As a starting place, identifying some triggers may help validate things you are currently experiencing and also help you to see that you are not alone and there are so many triggers – they are hard to avoid.  That said, information is power and if you have a sense of what to prepare for, it may also help provide motivation to do some personal work.

For sake of this blog post, I will list some of the more common triggers, in addition to the triggers identified above :

  • Being surprised
  • Having to wait
  • Seeing siblings together
  • Particular songs
  • Being alone
  • Failure to follow through
  • Silent treatment
  • Being happy
  • Certain people
  • Authority figures
  • “Pity” or “Support”
  • News stories – specifically suicide
  • Being watched
  • Feeling trapped
  • Seeing people who are vulnerable
  • Witnessing others being traumatized
  • Heights
  • Confrontations
  • Being centre of attention
  • Feeling inferior
  • Seeing others partake – alcohol & drugs
  • Being asked a lot of questions

There are so many others, but the intention in sharing this was to help you see how widespread they are. You are not alone and having so many triggers can seem like you are always unsafe, that you are always being ambushed or hurt.  Bringing some awareness to the triggers can help you see that most are out of your control and are not personal, yet your responses do need to be managed, carefully and gently for you.

Please take a few moments to consider what triggers you. Information and awareness are tools that can help you every step of the way.



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