Emotions are nothing foreign to us. Every day, we feel a plethora of emotions ranging from happiness, excitement, annoyance, giddiness, sadness, anger, and even sentimentality over trivial things that we encounter as we go about our day-to-day. However, there are times when we feel just a little too much than usual in reaction to something. It can be words someone said, an object, a person we met along the way, or a shuddering memory. Feeling happy is one thing, but feeling extreme bouts of anger, sadness, and frustration is a whole different matter. These feelings, if left alone and unmanaged, can result in emotional outbursts that can be harmful to you and to others.
Emotional triggers can be found anywhere and can happen anytime, even at the workplace. In dealing with emotional triggers, the best that we can do is to prepare how to handle them as they are unavoidable. Here is a quick guide that can help us lessen the brunt of negative emotions when they come crashing down.
Follow To Handle Emotional Triggers
1. Be Aware of the Changes in Your Body
Before we fully realize that we are stressed out, our body is already responding to it and giving us warning signs or symptoms that we are not feeling okay. We usually dismiss these signs as a result of tiredness or fatigue, but sweating, headaches, shaking, and increased heartbeats are definitely something you should not ignore easily. Actually, even if you take them as signs that you are simply tired, it does not erase the fact that the feeling of weariness is an emotional trigger itself.
Becoming aware of these changes in our body can help us acknowledge what we are feeling, which is comforting in a way as it helps us regain a bit of control over our own thoughts and emotions. From here, we can start trying to identify what exactly is causing us distress, enough to elicit such physical reactions.
2. Observe Your Behavior
Our change in behavior follows suit quickly with the changes in our body in response to our stressors. This again can show in different ways such as becoming snappish, distant, and cold. For some people, they act excessively happy in an attempt to cover up the stress and negative emotions that are pent up inside which sometimes can result in a fit of rage once snapped.
Identifying changes in our behavior can be challenging but is definitely easier after being aware of the reactions of our body. Once we take notice of how we are behaving toward other people and how we have strained away from our usual routines, we can start to slowly regain control over how our emotions manifest.
3. Look Out for Patterns
Changes in our body and behavior can be a chain reaction. Learning about our body’s physical reactions and our changes in behavior is helpful in trying to seek out the root of the problem. It is important to take note of recurring patterns in the way our behavior changes and how our body reacts to it and vice versa. Does your heartbeat increase at the sight of something or someone, and in response, you feel more withdrawn? What, then, makes you uncomfortable and how can you change this if there is a way?
4. Acknowledge Your Feelings
One of the things that makes it hard for us to face our emotional triggers is denial. Even after recognizing physical symptoms and observing changes in our behavioral patterns, dismissing them as something else like mild sickness will bring us nowhere. It is understandable that we would feel extremely vulnerable during these times but do remember that acknowledging what we feel toward a particular person, event, or object should not be considered as a weakness. On the contrary, strength is what allows us to dive in deeper to identify how we can properly manage our emotions in the face of our emotional triggers.
Unfortunately, there are triggers that we cannot resolve such as past experiences. However, we can still ponder and reflect on the best way to deal with them without breaking down. By reflecting, we can think of how we can better cope with these past issues and learn to gradually deal with our triggers. Activities such as writing a journal, taking a walk, pausing for a break, or watering the plants can bring forth positive emotions or help us relax. This can also help us to clear our minds, enough to think about how we can resolve the problem at hand or think of the best way we can confront our stressors.
6. Seek Professional Help
It is time to erase the stigma about mental health. If you think you cannot handle it alone anymore and none of your coping methods are working, seeking professional help is always an option. There is no reason to be embarrassed about going to therapy. In fact, going to a doctor is highly recommended. This kind of intervention will save us from potentially inflicting harm to other people and more importantly, to ourselves.
All of us have been through a lot in our lives and sometimes, stress and anxiety can appear in the most inconvenient and unexpected times. There is no easy way to resolve these things, but that does not mean there are no ways to deal with them. The guide above is a simple yet effective method on how to deal with our emotional triggers step by step.
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By being able to manage our emotions, we can function properly. There are fewer risks of our emotional outbursts affecting our work environment and relationships with other people, may it be co-workers, family members, or friends. If you find yourself constantly having this dilemma, preparing a checklist of the things you need to be aware of can be helpful in keeping yourself in check. At the same time, this can become a healthy habit or routine that can combat your stages of denial.