Present Tense – Part 2: Becoming Aware Of Your Triggers
Tiny triggers, like being stuck in traffic, may make us frustrated, but the real stress does not come from the present, but from anxiety about the future or the past.
Traffic stress is actually about being in trouble for being late for a meeting, or not being in control of the situation. It brings about a prickly reaction about other interactions and circumstances.
If your stress is coming from the past, your body will display signs that you are experiencing a trigger event. Some examples are:
Holding your breadth, clenching your fists, tensing your body or breathing rapidly.
Inattention, spacing out, fatigue.
Repeating thought patterns.
Feeling victimized and very sorry for yourself with “why me?” thinking.
All these physical manifestations are reactive methods of protecting yourself, and this protection comes at a heavy price.
Stressful reactions create muscle tension, ruin our immune systems and disrupt our ability to respond calmly to situations.
When we are stressed, we react defensively, and behave in ways which we end up regretting, like speaking and acting in ways normally we would never do.
When we are relaxed, we can be far more creative and resourceful in responding to the situation and make all the right decisions.
Stress from our past may pop up in totally unexpected places. At home, clutter is an indication that you are letting your past determine how you live today.
Most of our reasons for hanging on to clutter are a reaction to fear.
Clutter then becomes comforting, it acts as a buffer between you and reality and if it was cleared away, then you would have to refocus your attention to the present.
Financial decisions can also keep your stuck in the past. Taking on debt, indentures you to do work in future, to pay for past purchases.
Remember that income provides for three parts of your life:
Your debts or the past.
Your basic needs or the present.
Your extra-curricular activities, your trips, your entertainment, your investments and your future.
Your decisions today, very much effect how your future income will be divided between the three.
Thus to give yourself the most choices, it makes sense to be cautious about adding to item 1 or your debts and the past.
In the final Part 3 of this series, we will learn how to de-stress by using simple techniques when experiencing unnecessary stress.