Consolation Thoughts

Get out in Front of Your Triggers

If we know that certain things set us off or drive us crazy or ignite our frustration, then we can do something about these things.  We can learn to recognize these triggers, and we can learn how to live without being set off by these triggers.  Some people will tell you to just avoid the triggers.  At first, this is sometimes the only thing we can do.  But if we are serious about growing and learning new and better ways of dealing with certain situations, we will eventually find that merely avoiding the triggers is a surface bandage maneuver.  There are often underlying issues that lay the groundwork for making our triggers the triggers that they are to us.  If we eat non-nutritious food to fill the void (for example), the answer isn’t simply to rid our homes of non-nutritious food.  It may be a start if you don’t know what else to do—but the void will still be there.  How are we going to deal with the void and not merely the fact that we have access to non-nutritious food or the act of eating non-nutritious food (for example).  At some point, we will need to replace the unhealthy and unhelpful behavior (like mindless eating) with healthy and helpful behavior (like mindful eating).  And then it helps to investigate why we participate in mindlessness in the first place.  Avoidance, denial, distraction, escape (for example).  But why?  There’s often a hurt, a gnawing, a discomfort that we are trying to soothe with our mindless actions, thoughts, and words.  We need to dig deep and find the real reason for why our triggers are our triggers.  This helps us get out in front of the things that set us off—and this is how our triggers cease to have any power over us and, thus, cease to be our triggers.