What To Do When You Are Triggered

When we feel triggered it is easy to look for the external cause. To put the blame on someone or something else. When I feel like I have been shot in the heart, when heat begins to rise in the body and I face the tactic of fight or flight (or my old favorite, fight and flight), I know it is time to turn inward and look straight into the eyes of my ego.

There she is. Trembling in her boots. Afraid that she will be found out and then killed. She is bitter, and she is small. She cannot handle the challenge, so she does everything she can to feel bigger. To do so, she places blame, puts the opponent down with some nasty remark and in general, steeps to the level of low. She feels wounded and lost and fights dirty to save her life.

This is my ego. This is my ego when threatened. This is my higher self completely awake and aware. This is the beginning of the end in the struggle between higher self and ego. When, through countless practice and a lifetime (or two, or three or more) of opportunity to come to peace with one another, to fully acknowledge and find humor in the ego, I can be free. Too often, we mix the two, ego and higher self. Only to be left in confusion and moreover, entrenched in a deep internal battle. It feels like a warzone in the body, mind and spirit.

When we can continually pause, especially in moments of trigger, and go within, we begin to put the weapons down one by one. The higher, more wise self carefully and confidently raises the white flag and declares peace. With a soft gaze and gentleness, the fires can burn out and all that we be can rest in the eyes of wisdom and love.

Each time you are triggered you might follow these steps to gain clarity and calm from your wiser, higher self:

  • Notice the trigger
  • Breath.
  • Feel into the body and into yourself and begin to notice what is happening (heat in the body, a punch in the chest, tensing in abdomen, the urge to fight or flee, the urge to blame, to steep to a level of low, etc.). This creates space and allows you to notice what happens when you become triggered. This places you out of victim and into full awareness and power.
  • Breath, breath, breath
  • Ask your higher self for guidance and simply listen.
  • Obey your higher self.

When the moment is afforded, sit alone in quiet. Repeat the above steps in a meditative posture. Eyes closed allows us to turn out external distraction and navigate more carefully inward. Shed bright light on what is happening within. Every time you do this, the layers begin to peel away. Our stress levels decrease, we become more self-aware, our relationships with others and ourselves improves, our bodies relax, and our hormones begin to balance, our digestion improves, our sleep improves…. must I go on?!

We just don’t know what we don’t know. We cannot change until we become aware. In awareness, we take the power back. We then get to play in this game of life instead of falling victim to its every turn.

In peace, love, light and flexible strength, I love you.




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