How To Journal Through Triggers
Do you ever react to a situation, a person, or an experience only to feel terrible afterwards?!
Do you ever set goals only to fall short because you keep getting in your own way?
Do you get frustrated when your behaviours and actions don’t line up with the person you WANT to be?
If so, you’re NOT alone.
We’ve all found ourselves in situations like these – even though we don’t mean to.
Something happens that triggers an ‘unhelpful’ reaction or thought inside of us, and because that reaction is hard-wired into our being, we don’t show up in the way that would empower us the most.
Of course, you don’t see this at the time.
It’s only after the event – when you have the benefit of hindsight and some space between you and your reaction – that you realise you wish things had been different.
You wish you’d said something different. You wish you’d been more empowering way and showed up as the real you… Instead of the triggered, disempowered version that left you frustrated and irritated!
Here’s the thing…
It’s not totally your fault!
Neuroscientists reckon around 97% of our brain’s activity is subconscious, which means only 3% is under our conscious awareness. When you think about this, you can see why it would be the case…
The less you have to think about things consciously, the quicker you can react.
The fewer calculated decisions you have to make [and the more automatic responses you take], the more bandwidth and creative energy you have to focus on things that DO require your conscious control.
Automatic is quicker, easier, and requires less energy. [Think about the effort required to think about every breath consciously!]
Our default behaviours only become a problem when they undermine the person we want to be.
And if you’re going through a period of personal growth and expansion, it’s not unusual to become more aware of the instinctive reactions that hold you back.
And this is where your journal can help 🙌
I’ve found that your journal is one of THE best places to coach yourself and transform an unhelpful behaviour… so you can step into more of who you came here to be 💕
But how does this work in practice?
First up, you need to become AWARE.
This step is crucial and it involves shining the light on an unconscious behaviour or belief and bringing it to your conscious awareness.
You’ll get this awareness anytime something happens that didn’t go the way you would have liked. For example:
- An argument with your kids.
- A disagreement with your partner.
- A missed opportunity at work.
- A ‘failure’ or ‘mistake’.
You’ll also get a shot of new awareness when you get results that you didn’t expect – for example, when things went better than you planned or when you get given an opportunity that you didn’t expect.
Your journal is the best place to own this new awareness.
Step 1: Get clear on the trigger.
Ask yourself, what sparked the reaction and how did it make you feel? Then let it all out in your journal… remembering to be brutally honest with yourself – even if it feels uncomfortable.
Step 2: Ask yourself how your default response served you
This sounds like a weird question, but there’s no way you would have responded this way unless it helped you.
You’ll likely find that your reaction was protecting you in some way. For example, maybe you were defending yourself or covering up insecurity. Whatever it is, try to get to the root cause even if it feels painful, confronting, and tricky!
Step 3: Stick with it
The deeper the wounds, the more resistance you’ll feel, but if you allow yourself to go there, the clarity can be liberating.
For example, you might discover that:
- Your partner triggered you because you didn’t feel seen [and you reacted in a way that compensated for a potent experience in the past when someone didn’t see you].
- The encounter with your kids became a reminder that there’s a part of you that doesn’t respect yourself.
- The failure made you feel unworthy; highlighting the absence of self-love and acceptance.
Remember, ALL the answers are within – when you find them [with the help of your journal] you’ll feel liberated.
So go there…
Allow your triggers to become invitations for growth and you embrace MORE of who you came here to be.