What's Got You Triggered?!

Tips from Dr. Liz

What’s Got You Triggered?!

Triggers are actually designed to keep us safe…

First off though, what do I mean by a trigger?

Triggers are our emotional response to certain stimuli that often activates a behavioral response… in an attempt to keep ourselves safe from this thing that our brain is perceiving as unsafe.

The limbic system is the part of our brain that alerts us to perceived threats and it does this by storing all sensory memory of our previous experiences.

It is a filter of sorts that helps us to quickly process, make sense of, and respond to similar events.

When an experience was painful, scary, overwhelming, etc., the brain stores all the sensory components of this experience and will alert us to anything that is even similar to this experience… to help us to be able to either avoid it or fight it off.

While this is actually a brilliant model in theory… in practice, it has us behaving in some less-than-ideal ways in response to things that don’t really require that kind of reaction… because our brain is telling us that it is too similar to a previous experience, thus we better do something about it.

These unchecked triggers can take a major toll on our relationships… Because, unfortunately, our behavioral responses to them can often be really hurtful and unsafe for our partners.

Even though triggers can be super frustrating, they are actually an incredibly valuable tool for assisting us to determine where we are still dealing with some unprocessed pain and trauma…

Also, awareness of these triggers allows us to learn how to manage them better and respond more appropriately when they are activated… Which is crucial if we want to show up better for ourselves and our loved ones.

Identifying the things that often cause you to become reactive… and then exploring earlier life events that created a similar feeling or fear… is the very first step towards working towards Relationship (Re)Programming.

The Fight or Flight Response

The more we know about what happens when we are triggered, the better we can regulate ourselves when we catch this happening. Here is a brief fact sheet about the trigger process: 

Relatable | Relationships Unfiltered Episode 25

Dr. Liz hangs out with Rob Hill Sr., author and publisher, to chat all about how our relational programming impacts how we show up in our romantic relationships. Dr. Liz and Rob explore how their own upbringings have impacted their relational behaviors and patterns, including the partners they choose. They discuss the importance of emotional intelligence when it comes to romantic relationships, as well as what they each need in order to feel safe in a relationship. You won’t want to miss this very relatable episode all about the impact of our upbringings on present day relationships.