Triggers are those things that crop up and get us going and thinking on some kind of subject that for people with mental health can end up being the start of spiraling thoughts. Triggers are normally made up from something that happened in the past that when there is any resemblance to it in the future that starts the thinking going. Your standing there saying what am I afraid of? Or where is this coming from? But its basically what ya Subconscious mind is bringing forward from the past into present day. It can be anything from a smell, to a picture or a sound.
The trick is (and I'm just starting to learn to do this), when you feel an emotion rising and your not sure why, start thinking of what could be stirring the emotion(s). Get to the core of it and the other spiraling thoughts that have come along for the ride can subside.
I want to share an example of something that happened to me.
I took my daughter swimming one day to her club. As we started to drive by the pool my daughter says "I don't know any of the girls". My daughter has anxiety also so right away I'm thinking "Oh No"!! She clearly did not want to get out and walk over into the pool area. It was her trainer but the girls he was with my daughter did not know. I said, "well I'm gonna pull around and park". "Call ya Mum and find out if things have changed". While she was on the phone with her Mum I started to feel angry. NO idea why it was happening. I said, "Forget it, I'm driving home". Loud enough so that my wife could hear what I was saying. I could feel my anger starting to rise, so instead of just going overboard like I usually do, I recognized what was happening and so started to question where this out of nowhere anger was coming from. First thing I asked myself was am I angry at my daughter? Clearly, I wasn't because a big NO came back with that one. Anger is normally covering other emotions. Its the minds way of coping. So after a little bit of thinking as I was driving home, I came up with half the answer. First I said to my daughter that I was not angry with her. Then said, as a Dad what I wanted to do was be able to take her up to the trainer myself and ask if anything had changed. instead, my anxieties raised up and stopped me in my tracks. I didn't even get out of the car. But there was more to it than that. Yes, I was annoyed at the anxiety for yet again stopping me but there was another piece to the puzzle. When I got in it came into focus. WORTHLESSNESS!! So where was the feeling of worthlessness coming from? Its the feeling I felt when I was bullied many years ago. My therapist recently told me that I have PTSD symptoms because of the bullying. So I was feeling the same feeling of worthlessness as when I was bullied that brings on my anger and sometimes rage. Except now in a modern day situation. Once I came up with the root cause of the anger, down the line it made things in my mind calmer....I had an answer.
When we don't have an answer to why we feel what we are feeling we focus on it. That makes it bigger. Then all the other thinking comes in to back them emotions up and downward spiral thinking we go We end up not even remembering what we were originally thinking about because we have turmoil now going on. Our bodies go through all the feelings too because our mind does not know that it's not real and happening. Everything you tell it, it sees as real.
So the trick is to recognize when something is happening to yourself that is unexplainable. Emotions, body reactions, an off the wall thought, that doesn't match what you are doing at that time and start using your tools to focus on the cause and not the thinking itself. Focus on the thinking and it will get bigger and more out of control.