Understanding what triggers you emotionally and setting yourself up for a good day. By Madeline Johnson
Mondays can bring so much promise. Like a new year, Mondays can offer a clean slate. A fresh start. A chance to begin again as you plot and plan for a better, more productive week.
Setting out to have a good day, a good week or a good year begins with a conscious knowledge of one’s own feelings, motives, and desires. It starts with knowing who you are and how you will navigate your day to get where you want to go. You understand there will be inevitable distractions.
You need to know what sets you off. What disrupts your day. What makes you feel angry, needy, shutdown and frustrated. What triggers a bad mood for you. Anything that makes you experience a negative emotional response that could pull you off course.
Understanding how you react to people and situations throughout the day will help you identify patterns in your life and develop a better understanding of the events in your life that usually lead to a problem, similar to what Mei does at work. Mei is an artificial intelligence messaging assistant that warms of personality changes based on communication with co-workers.
Knowing What Set’s You Off
What triggers you? It’s important to identify when you feel the need to be accepted by others, understood, in control of the situation, paid attention to, at peace. Understand if it is important for you to have things in order, to feel safe and secure, to have a bit of fun during the day. Are you getting the respect you think you deserve? Do you feel like your talents are needed?
Do you always need to feel right? Are you comfortable? Calm? Do you feel as if your life is balanced? Are you spending too much time on work and not enough with your friends? Is your life way too predictable? Are you a bit bored with what you are doing?
Could you use a bit of challenge in your career? Your relationship? Are you feeling like you are liked, valued and being treated fairly by others?
Does everything feel a bit too chaotic around you? Like something could break, crack or fall apart at any minute?
Do you believe that others are ignoring you? Avoiding you? Do you feel included?
Make it your mission to understand how you operate.
If at any point during the day you feel out of sorts, off, emotionally frustrated, take a pause. Breathe deeply. Calm your mind. Don’t get so worked up.
Try sitting up straight and breathing deeply to the count of six. Breathe through your nose for six counts and out your mouth for six. Go slowly. Deep, deliberate inhalations and exhalations. This will calm you down.
Take a moment to understand what you need right now? Do you need to be patient? More tolerant? Less tolerant? Perhaps you need to explain yourself again? Let others know how you feel? Show some compassion? Walk away?
Before you take action, question your own thinking. Know if what you are thinking and feeling is actually true, or if it is a projection of what you negatively think is true.
What might trigger you?
- Someone rejecting you.
- Someone leaving you (or the threat that they will).
- Helplessness over painful situations.
- Someone discounting or ignoring you.
- Someone being unavailable to you.
- Someone giving you a disapproving look.
- Someone blaming or shaming you.
- Someone being judgmental or critical of you.
- Someone being too busy to make time for you.
- Someone not appearing to be happy to see you.
- Someone coming on to you sexually in a needy way.
- Someone trying to control you.
- Someone being needy, or trying to smother you.
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You’ll probably want to avoid them, but find out why they are behaving the way they are – and why you are reacting they way you do.
Realize everyone is trying to trigger you.
Advertisers and marketers bake emotional triggers into their brand messaging. They know how strong emotional triggers will motivate you to act from feelings like fear and desire. These emotions have effect on you, whether it’s feeling like your life is lacking excitement, adventure and love from an Instagram story to feeling like you are a lonely, loser and not enough from a YouTube ad. The messages are incessant. Turn them off.
Getting a leg up on emotional triggers. Face them . . .
- Do the most important things first this morning. Understand what you need to do vs what you want to do.
- Watch what you tolerate.
- Expect yourself to be triggered by something or someone and have a plan. Avoid or face it.
- Spend some time alone during the day.
- Practice being more compassionately assertive.
- Decide how you will respond to how others mistreat you. Not react. Respond.
- Try to understand others. God only knows what they are going through.
- Protect your time at all costs. Tech apps below to do just that.
- Let others know when you won’t be available. Make something up – like you have an important meeting to go to. They won’t know. Or tell the truth. You are working on something big and need to focus.
- Decide what you will pay attention to today. If you can, put your phone on airplane mode for a while.
8 Things Mentally Strong People Do Everyday
Technology to help you say no to distractions and to help you have a better day, all day.
Freedom app helps you protect your time, so you can focus on getting things done during the day.
One Big Thing ensures that you focus on your main priority, that one big thing, all day long.
Headspace is like a gym membership for your mind. 10 minutes of meditation a day to help burn off the busy in your brain.
Indonesia based artist Roby Dwi Antono
works meticulously in painting, illustration, and drawing. His paintings are especially detailed, depicting dreamy scenes.