It often seems that the way you feel is someone else’s fault. However, in truth, each of us is responsible for our own feelings and emotional reactions. There are several events, situations, dilemmas, crises, and news items that can trigger a range of human emotions. The key is learning to manage your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours activated when something triggers you.
Even the most highly reflective and composed individual with years of experience in mindfulness has “triggers” in the everyday world. No human being is completely void of emotional reaction to situations that challenge core values and beliefs. In fact, habitually acquiescing to positions of policy or practice that fundamentally shake your core sense of beliefs and values is a recipe for upset in the least, and significant illness at its worst.
There are many people seeking mental health supports after years working or living in environments that fail to support core family, health, wellness, and civic values. Of course, society is charged with the responsibility to ensure that every individual has equal protection under the law. It is also responsible to create the fora for people to voice discontent or protest when something just doesn’t feel right within the parameters of the law.
When the psychotherapeutic lens is turned inward and you are challenged to take a closer look at yourself and your own role in the ways you react to triggers – the real work begins! This type of clinical introspection has its risks, as it may result in transformative and radical changes in what has been your “good enough” life. Many marriages have ended after one or both partners begin counselling for boredom, emotional distance, sexual neglect, or infidelity.
This personal clinical journey may also become one of the most exciting times of your life. It is a time to honestly examine all areas of your life that you are simply not happy with or that require a thorough spring cleaning. When you bravely respond to the beck and call of your personal triggers, the freedom that emerges is well worth your efforts to get reacquainted with yourself.
As your clinical work progresses with a trusted therapist, you may find yourself wondering: where did I go and what happened? The answer is often very complex and related to the decisions you have made along with way to take care of the people closest and most dear to you. Women in therapy at mid-life often identify their roles in caregiving as the main reasons for neglecting self-care and personal wellness.
Sometimes, recognizing the importance of self-care comes too late to save a marriage, job, love affair, or friendship. Your emotional triggers are communicating, perhaps loudly, that something is wrong. Your emotional reactions signal that it is time for you to take a closer look at your life and to re-evaluate your priorities.
Securing the support of a trusted and skilled therapist is a recommended first step. Sunny dispositions deserve to shine, so call today.
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