We are moving along in our series “Those Things That Trigger You are a Gift”, and Level I for handling this new information: “Modify Your Responses!” I’ve shared a number of ways to untangle yourself from the inclination to react angrily or intensely. I am excited to share our next step with you, and hear how it impacts your progress!
STEP 4: FOCUS ON CONTEXT VS. CONTENT: Get Out of Your Story
Our feelings are triggered by thoughts, which, if left uncensored and unrestricted, are like the Sorcerer’s apprentice. If we go too deeply into the story, our runaway thoughts can convince us of anything. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t care. I am not good enough for him. Begin to notice these thoughts and then the actions that may result from them. What stories are you telling others? Are they focused on what he did and what he may be thinking or not thinking? Or are they focused on what is going on with you? Don’t bother people with endless details of your despair.
When sharing the events of your life, keep it short and simple. Monitor carefully what you say, especially when you are feeling upset. Do not cause harm by letting words slip out that you will later regret having said. When you are feeling vulnerable, limit your conversation to the measurable facts, (*He stopped calling.”) and the feelings that accompany those (“I feel sad and confused.”). A true friend or good therapist will be able to help you process the context of the situation without going into the story (content). Do not permit yourself to be in the company of anyone who allows you to go into the dramatic negative when you are upset. And then discipline yourself to notice when you are about to fall into the trance of a long, sad story and be faithful to whatever it is that stops you from doing so.
– Chapter 6, Alchemy: Take Back Your Projections, “Happily Ever After Right Now… Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” by Luann Robinson Hull
With only two more steps to go, you are on your way to mastering Level I: How to Modify Your Responses to Triggers (to review previous steps, click here and scroll down to read them in order)! Level II is covered in depth in the book. I look forward to next time, when we’ll cover Step 5. Stay tuned.
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You can find the book “Happily Ever After Right Now. Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” here.
All content copyright 2012, What A Gem, a.k.a. Luann Robinson Hull (a.k.a. Happily Ever After Right Now)