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Triggering Past Trauma

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As a self-help mentor, this article will help you on your path to discovering that your shopaholic habits do not ease stress but adds to it.



We have all suffered from various types of trauma and have to deal with triggers that keep bringing the past into the present time. We must constantly process those old emotions that never seem to be healed completely and go away. We are all affected differently, one trauma for one person may only be a slight obstacle for another person. Everyone born on this planet must trek through their human experience on their own and find their own true life path.


Triggers is a term we hear frequently. It involves someone doing or saying something that evokes strong emotion in us, when it shouldn't. There is no real reason for us to become emotional, it's just normal day-to-day interactions that may trigger aberrant emotions.

Triggering events could mean that there is unresolved trauma that we have not processed and had no closure. It could mean that your inner child has unresolved conflicts that were never processed through the years.

For example, when you were a kid and came home from school with exciting news and your mother told you to shut up and brushed you aside, this could have been traumatizing and you buried it in your subconscious mind. Then, years later as an adult in your workplace, your boss brushes you aside and ignores your suggestions, you will be triggered and may act out inappropriately.

All of us may suffer from a wide range of unresolved trauma and will notice the triggers when it happens.

Coping with Triggers

What do you do when someone might trigger negative emotions and gets you reeling into a mass of anger or resentment? It begins by realizing that you can and will be triggered by people as a normal part of life.

For example, you may hear a co-worker talking about an issue that evokes strong anger yet it does not personally involve any of you. To stop that triggering emotion, be objective and realize that it's just conversation and people have opposing viewpoints. This is a factor of emotional intelligence.

Try some inner self-talk, such as, I am okay here and now, speaking to my inner child, I am here, I am taking your hand. This issue is not important, do not be upset, you are valued and loved and these people mean no harm. Let's go on with our day. It's lovely outside.

This type of inner self-talk can make you realize that these triggers could be your own inner child that was ignored or perhaps was physically, emotionally or verbally abused. Reprogram that inner child to be there to help you face your past trauma and move forward with a calm yet confident approach.

Your triggers are most likely unresolved issues from your childhood when you may have felt weak and vulnerable with no one to champion you and understand your needs.

Your triggers are most likely unresolved issues from your childhood when you may have felt weak and vulnerable with no one to champion you and understand your needs.

Stop the Roller Coaster of Emotions

You might feel quite happy when you begin your week only to fall into depression and you don't know where it came from. It's most likely past trauma trying to emerge and destroy your present self.

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When a negative feeling kicks in without having any real cause, recognize it as just a triggering emotion yet your present safety is not threatened.

Stop, think, and acknowledge that you may be feeling a bit low, then move forward with your daily tasks and slowly those triggers will start to integrate into your present feelings that you are okay and you can handle whatever task is before you.

Moving forward is the key here, don't stop and wallow in grief or anxiety and slowly your emotions will stabilize and you will find that you're feeling better.

Human emotions are the same in the rich man and the poor man. It is true that possessions cannot make us happy. It's the person we are inside that chooses happiness and develops solid coping skills when life hits us with a curveball.

Acknowledge the triggering emotions and process them with a calm, objective inner voice and move forward. You will soon find that each time you do this, those triggers have no power and are just a mere click of an empty gun and they're gone.

Reinvent Yourself

In a real sense, we all throw out things that no longer work or that we outgrow. As a kid, you might have had a room filled to the brim with toys and stuffed animals but as you matured, you either donated them to charity or they were thrown in the trash. This is perfectly normal and fine, yet we also have to stop and think about throwing out old emotions and feelings that no longer serve us as we mature. If we don't get our way at the office, do we still throw ourselves on the floor and have a tantrum as we might have done as a child? No. These are old emotions and immature ways of dealing with life as an adult.

Are you constantly talking down to yourself? Then rewrite that script in your mind and you will find that you can be open to new possibilities and a new you will emerge that will be open to new thoughts and new emotions. You can start to discern the people you want in your life. Are they pushing you towards a new level? Or are they keeping you stagnate?

Invite Drama, Conflict, and Challenge

You might think this is odd, but if you invite healthy conflict into your life, you will push yourself farther along in your emotional intelligence journey. You do not want to shut down your emotions. If you just hide inside your home afraid of drama or conflict, you will never be challenged to face new experiences and will not grow as a human. You will become self-centered and fearful of everything. No one wants to live like that. Consider negativity as a challenge to rise to the occasion and you'll see a new, more confident person emerging inside of yourself and you will reach new heights of emotional confidence that you never imagined.

Choose Happiness

You can create happiness no matter what you might be dealing with. Don't let other people completely control your emotions and you will find those triggers will diminish and you can integrate them into your daily life. Triggers can be insights into your soul to figure out what happened to you in the past and you can use it to transform yourself into that strong person you are striving to be today. You can be proud of how far you have come in your personal development. Soon, people will rely on you for answers and inspiration and it will move you forward to your next level of greatness.

Seek Help

Don't be afraid to seek help from a trusted friend, family member, or a therapist that can help you process your trauma and help you move forward with your life. We all process trauma differently, and some types of trauma were a result of being abused. This type of trauma may not be easy to share with a family member. So, sometimes an impartial person like a therapist can be extremely helpful and you can get closure to your past trauma. Your triggers will slowly integrate into your new, more confident self and will no longer control you, but you control them.

Nurture your emotional intelligence and proceed with love and understanding, first for yourself, and then others.

Nurture your emotional intelligence and proceed with love and understanding, first for yourself, and then others.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Nancy M

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