Updated: Mar 3, 2021
What is a trigger? A trigger is an event or circumstance, which causes one to react in a certain way by habit; as it is recurring. We all have many triggers, which can be both good and bad, most of the time we are unaware of what our triggers are.
Good triggers are ones where we act positively as a result of it, e.g. brushing your teeth after eating breakfast is a good trigger, as you are doing something good for yourself. The trigger here being you always eat breakfast first and then brush your teeth straight after. Alternatively bad triggers are ones where we act negatively as a result of it, e.g. when one goes drinking, they may also start smoking in the environment too, therefore doing two things that are not so good for one’s health. The trigger here is drinking, which leads to smoking. If this becomes a regular habit, then at some point it will lead to consequences for your health.
Some of our triggers can become our habits, things we do daily, whether we consciously think about it or not. Some triggers can be traumatic, causing one from the flip of switch to react and become out of control, causing adverse damage to others.
Everyone will have different triggers, and the above examples may not apply to everyone, but once it becomes a habit, it is a trigger, i.e. to always brush your teeth after breakfast, or to always smoke when drinking, etc. Therefore if you wanted to change one of these habits, you would need to remove the trigger. So to stop smoking, you would need to stop drinking, and therefore you would less likely feel the need to smoke and stop smoking, unless you smoke whilst doing other things too.
An example of my trigger; when I hear noise when trying to sleep at night, I get triggered and get angry due to developing negative thoughts in my mind about why the noise is occurring. Reason being I either don’t sleep much generally or at times I find it hard enough to sleep as it is, so when I hear noise when trying to sleep, I feel like the other people making the noise are deliberately trying to stop me from sleeping and being disrespectful towards me. Actually a lot of the time, others may not even realise they are making noise (especially if they have been drinking) and are having their own fun; it is their habit to have fun in this way.
You can let others know they are making noise and interrupting you by asking them to stop, but I have found sometimes others may not want to change as they have their way of being. In this situation all we can do is either remove ourselves from the situation thus making an external change. Alternatively we can change the way we see the situation, trying to understand why the other person may be acting the way they are and accept it as it is, making an internal change. The external change is temporary, whereas the internal change lasts longer, something that stops us from reacting to the same situation in the same manner. It is much easier to make an external change and over time it is possible to make it an internal change, once we instil new habits into our lives. The alternative is to get angry, which causes our mental health to suffer. This is something I am still working on.
Another example of my trigger is when I am about to head off to my bootcamp session exercise. My instant thought is: I am excited to be fit and healthy when I am 60 years old. Based on this, I go ahead and exercise whenever the class is scheduled for, no matter how I feel as I associate fitness with being fit and healthy within the later years of life.
Are you aware of the things that trigger you? Please share in the comments.