Too often we find ourselves overeating or reacting emotionally to a given situation and cannot explain “why”. Often this is related to triggers. Triggers are things that cause us to react to a situation with feelings. For the most part these are feelings from the past. Most of the time people do not understand what being triggered is all about and because of this it is complicated to recognize.
A trigger is something inside us or around us in our environment that evokes an emotional and/or physiological response. It has a strong impact on our senses. It may be something we smell, feel, sense, see, and hear or any combination. Triggers are personal to an individual’s experiences or history. The same triggers that may cause a response in me will not be the same for you. Triggers can be conscious or unconscious. It is important to identify things that trigger you and equally important to identify them if possible before they happen so that you can take the appropriate steps to minimize their impact.
Some triggers can lead to unhealthy behavior such as overeating. This can interfere with one’s quality of life and good health. The top triggers for overeating are boredom, feeling deprived, feeling disgusted with your body, a glucose intolerance, habit, feeling tired, the need to be loved or comforted, feeling overwhelmed, feeling hurt or upset and lack of willpower. Most of us have experienced one or all of these feelings but our reactions may be different.
The key to successfully identify these triggers is to recognize when these feelings come upon us and take appropriate actions. When we are bored and have to eat choose healthy choices such as cut vegetables. If you are feeling deprived, moderation of anything will not do any harm. When you are feeling overwhelmed simply do what you can, this will bring a sense of accomplishments. If someone hurts you or make you upset, take a walk, breathe and relax. Identify your positive attributes if you are feeling disgusted with your body. We all have much more positives than negatives. If you experience glucose intolerance plan to eat small meals every three hours. Overeating may be a habit, combat this with physical activity---jog, swim, or work-out. During your periods of feeling tired, instead of eating take a short work or just get up and stretch. When you find yourself in need of love and comfort, provide this for yourself. Find an activity that relaxes you (other than overeating) and pamper yourself. Finally, willpower should be exercised often. It is like one of my clients who wants to build muscle they must exercise with weights to accomplish this. Willpower is the same way; we must exercise this great quality to make it stronger and to help us in self-discipline.
Triggers often make us react emotionally. We should first identify that we are reacting emotionally, then identify what the trigger might be and appropriately respond. We can do relaxation techniques such as breathing; clear our minds of the thoughts---utilizing the mental “delete” button, focus and participate in a positive activity or thought.
Remember every human being is the author of his own health, thoughts and actions.