5 Ways Your Triggers Are Actually Helping You Grow

Being triggered is one of the most uncomfortable feelings, as it awakens within us deep wounds we have suppressed since childhood. We are suddenly filled with intense feelings of shame, guilt, anger, sadness, and inadequacy. Insecurities arise, and we do not quite know how to deal with these emotions. So we start diving into our thoughts until we feel worse. And how do we cope with this discomfort? We shut down—we escape, overwork, hang out with some friends, go to that party, drink, get high, have sex, or even people please. We think we overcame this discomfort, because we do feel better, but in reality, your feelings are still there. And the hard truth is: there’s no escape. Your feelings still being there means you will encounter these same emotions in another circumstance. If we decide to face ourselves, if we allow ourselves to feel our emotions, our triggers can actually become the doorways to our healing—our triggers will set us free. Here are five signs your triggers are nothing more than roadmaps that will lead you to actually achieving your highest potential.

1. Your triggers help you identify the unhealed parts of yourself

As uncommon as this may sound, trying to understand why you got triggered by sitting with yourself is one of the most powerful ways to develop self-awareness. You will no longer be a prisoner of your feelings, reacting upon every uncomfortable emotion until you feel better. Nor will you put the blame on other people or outside circumstances and victimize yourself. You become the watcher of your thoughts, rather than being them. With practice, your thoughts and feelings will be no more than visitors, passing through you and leaving no marks on your mental well-being, because you no longer identify with them—you no longer believe your emotions make you who you are.

2. Your triggers are signs to connect with your inner-child

In every situation where you feel angry, sad, guilty, or shameful, try to identify where you have felt similar emotions in the past. Getting triggered when your friends don’t invite you to that party, or getting angry when someone does not listen to you, might be painful in the moment. However, if you feel a deep ache in your body or a heaviness on your chest, do not hide away from it. Instead, sit with the uncomfortable emotion and try to identify the root cause of the issue: who made you feel this way in the past, and when have you felt abandoned, rejected, or not heard? Maybe you will recall a repressed memory of your childhood where your parents did not give you the attention you required, or abandoned you when you were emotionally dependent on them.

3. Your triggers are signs to provide yourself with the emotional needs you lacked

Whether you lacked affection, validation, or connection as a child, your triggers actually signal the emotional needs you ought to provide yourself. And instead of trying to fill this inner void through other people or outside factors, you learn with time to fill these needs yourself—you learn the skill of reparenting. Gifting yourself on Christmas whenever you have accomplished a new milestone is a sign of affection towards yourself. Saying no when you don’t feel like going out or setting boundaries with toxic people help you restore emotionally and increase your sense of self. Meditating and connecting with your body whenever you feel anxious, fearful, or unsafe allows you to feel connected to yourself instead of expecting another person or relationship to save you and fill this internal void. You become then the exact person you needed as a child, providing yourself with the uttermost needs you once lacked—you become your own parent.

4. Your triggers are signals to not tolerate what you once accepted

Not all anger is unhealthy or bad; in fact, anger is not a negative emotion at all. Being angry makes you acknowledge that you want and deserve better for yourself and helps you make choices that serve your highest self. For instance, being angry for not being treated fairly in your current relationship is actually a representation of your inner voice saying you do deserve better and helps you make better choices while avoiding repeating past mistakes. Anger communicates what serves your best interests and sometimes prevents you from settling for the average in order to receive better things as you go. Remember, the voice inside your head whispers until it screams.

5. Your triggers are roadmaps to get in touch with your intuition

How many times have you felt a negative emotion and then been told it wasn’t a big deal? As we grow up, we learn to deviate from our emotions, or worse, to not express them at all. This practice internalizes feelings of not trusting ourselves, especially when living in a society where negative emotions are unaccepted, rejected, or misinterpreted. Growing up, we learn to silence our intuition, faking our happiness through the famous ‘Stay Positive’ affirmations we keep repeating to ourselves. The truth is, getting in touch with your uncomfortable emotions allows you to connect with yourself and unleash what hides beneath them: your intuition, the doorway to unraveling your highest self. Once you have removed the layers of negative emotions after fully feeling them, what remains is your authentic self, the person you have always destined to be. It will then be your guide to your life, and the more you listen to it, the better you’ll be able to make decisions that serve you instead of decisions based on emotions, or worse: ego.

One thing to keep in mind

It is important to understand that your negative thoughts do not represent who you are. With practice, you will be able to identify the source of all negative thoughts, alongside the emotions that come along with them. What lies beneath the pain is your happiest self, the person that was destined to achieve anything. You may come across limiting beliefs on your way of fulfilling your highest potential; however, you will no longer be affected by them, because they simply do not represent who you are. Just like any other emotion, negative self-beliefs will pass through you and leave. And what will remain? Indescribable peace.