My daughter used to say, "I'm triggered" when she felt a pang of anxiety based on an external source. We would laugh it off at the moment but I knew what she meant and knew that it needed to be addressed. I knew what was happening in her nervous system, brain and how she was feeling. A trigger is a sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, place, object or person that sets off an emotional flashback. It can be negative or positive. It's usually something so innocuous that it's not seen by others and can be seemingly harmless. When a trigger occurs we get a surge of cortisone and adrenaline. Some triggers can affect us for hours, days, weeks or even years finding us on alert. Our brain processes millions bits of information in our subconscious. We have a lot of triggers that are below our consciousness making us vulnerable. If we've been very traumatized our reaction to certain triggers can affect our health and quality of life. We might feel like we're losing our minds if they continue to take over our lives. A trigger that tells us that there's an unhealed part of ourselves. Something that we suffered and have yet to reconcile. Hearing a song, passing a special place and/or smelling a familiar scent. Here's the litmus test of healing. If we have completely healed, we are not moved in one direction or another when a reminder of the past is placed in front of us. We also do not seek reminders to help us relive that memory and pain. So the quest is to see the emotion BEHIND the trigger instead of addressing only the trigger. How To Manage Your Triggers The first step is to accept responsibility for your reactions. Take your power back. We may not even be aware that we are blaming the outside world, this includes our past and others, for what we feel. The outside world acts like a trigger. The triggers act like mirrors for what is already brewing inside of ourselves. Let me say this again. Our reactions were already inside of us BEFORE the person or circumstance ever existed. Once the trigger has brought that emotion to the surface it has done its job. Now the task is to clearly see what is inside of us. That's where the healing begins. It's arguably the toughest part of this whole process. It's easier to blame and try to change the outside world instead of manage and see the pain inside of ourselves. The second step is to recognize that you are having an emotional reaction as soon as it begins to appear in your body. It'