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Subconscious Mind Triggers – what sets you off?

photo credit: Ian Wedlock via photopin cc
photo credit: Ian Wedlock via photopin cc

by Angela Counsel

We live busy lives. There is so much going on. Work, life, family, school drop off, managing a household, being in the right place in the right time, squishing some exercise and me time in there somewhere – it gets crazy. I get that.

But if you find yourself in a continual pattern of reaction – irritability, being stressed, being fearful or in pain – it’s important to look at what might be triggering these negative emotions.

What makes things really tricky is that it may be subconscious triggers.

Some people may cope really well at work but fall apart at home. Or vice versa. It depends on the sort of person you are.

A trigger may also be related to colours, smells, tastes, sound.

So, let’s ask why. Why do we have these things that set us off? Why does the subconscious mind trigger certain reactions in us? A lot of the time it’s to do with situations that have happened in the past.

Let’s talk about smell. I know my grandmother used to smell of lavender. Every time I smell lavender, it takes me back to spending time with her. It triggers a positive reaction. It reminds me of love and being nurtured at a young age.

But what happens if the opposite happens? What if a smell or sound or a colour take us back to something scary or stressful that happened in our past? Sometimes we can’t remember that far back. As children, we may have been in a particularly stressful situation – saw something, heard something, felt something or smelt something – and now it sits in our subconscious mind unable to process.

When something in our present lives triggers us, we go back to that feeling of when we were a child at that point in time. We go back to the behaviour. Fear, terror, anger, hurt…..whatever it may be.

The thing to remember is that you can’t change the environment, the people around you or the situations that do trigger negative reactions in you. What you CAN do, is change the way you react.

Here are three ways you can manage your subconscious triggers.

1. Observation

How do you act when you are with certain people or situations. Observe your own reactions and behaviour. Is it a family gathering like Christmas that makes you feel uneasy? Or doing a presentation at work? Observe and think about it.

2. Forgiveness

If it’s a person that triggers a negative response for you, forgive them. If there are people in your past who have caused you pain and continue to cause you stress, the first thing you can do is forgive them. You don’t have to face them or speak to them. Forgive them in your heart. Write them a letter that you may not ever send. Get it on paper and then practice mindful forgiveness. And more importantly, forgive yourself. Many people hang on to situations in the past believing they are responsible when they’re not. Forgive yourself for feeling that way and move on.

3. Mindfulness

When a subconscious trigger has kicked off a negative reaction in you, sit with it. Notice that it is there, respond positively to it instead of negatively. Make the Infinite Love and Gratitude sign with your hand, place it on your heart – sit with that feeling, that colour, that smell, whatever it may be – and instead of being fearful, choose love.

Infinite Love and Gratitude.

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