How to ultimately understand WHY we are triggered? Simple physiology and mindset

There’s lots of noise in the world at the moment. Do you find that you are triggered when someone speaks about health, money or even relationships?

I was triggered recently. I had a very heated discussion with someone. To which I had to stop the conversation and ground myself. As I grounded myself I realised (objectively) my position in the conversation. My part.

I myself had been well and truly triggered.

But what is triggering? And how do we deal with being triggered?

What is triggering?

Triggering is a reaction or an emotional response to something we have seen, heard or felt from the energy (air/vibration) around us. And therefore, triggers a chemical reaction in the body.

What happens when you are triggered?

The human body is a great piece of kit and even in these times, we may neglect to see what it can do…

When a behaviour is triggered when… our body

💡 Feels a sensation first

💓 The nervous system will send impulses to the brain 

🥶 This triggers a feeling (which can be familiar or unfamiliar) 

🧠 The feeling triggers a memory

💭 The memory triggers a thought/emotion (sometimes based on a belief) 

🤪🤩😭🤬That belief signals a behaviour and sometimes a physical movement… decide not to listen to them, getting defensive, putting up barriers, running away

And let’s add an extra layer…

💪 Deeper mechanisms – where your muscles react, pain exists, tightness appears somewhere, a sudden bout of tiredness, low or high blood pressure.

The thing to remember now is that the body puts… SAFETY FIRST (even though we are not in the Serengeti being chased by a tiger 🐅 ) 

(Important note: we need to have an alert system to keep us out of actual danger)

Hence, many of us (myself included) may lose it when life changes. 

What happens when there’s no REAL danger?

Our brain has amazing programming, however, as mentioned above it loves to keep you and me safe. Safe from our natural instinct of evolution and growth. When the behaviour occurs we switch off and no longer want to listen. This stunts our growth whether it is in life, health or business. Where are you stopping your natural growth as a human?

An example of triggering in health

One night we may be excited to go for a run, knowing we will feel amazing 😉. However, the next day we talk ourselves out of it and cancel it because we feel a sudden urge of tiredness or it’s too cold

In this example 

Something may have triggered a physical response. 

And under this response is a human need

Let’s work backwards… with that extra layer

💜 Mechanisms – did you feel… chest tightness, ankle pain, or lower back needing support…? The list goes on… because there is physical feedback. Where do you feel it when triggered? Go to the source.

💜The behaviour – staying in bed, talking ourselves out of something, may result in frustration, anger, procrastination 

💜The thought – can’t do it, beds too warm, it’s can wait

💜The feeling – tiredness/cold/physically frozen, unsafe (fight or flight)

💜Memory – couldn’t run at school, left out by other people… BASICALLY ANYTHING (remember I am not you, this is your memory)

💜The sensation… anything… could be the sound of your alarm going off that day

And let’s add an extra layer…

What if I am triggered by what someone says?

The same process

The sensation, the memory, the feeling, the thought, the behaviour

What did they say?

What is the memory/emotion?

How did you feel?

What did you think about yourself?

How did you react?

We have to be aware that the person pulling the trigger that triggers us is not the culprit. They are the person who has triggered a memory in us that has come up for healing.

And even though it may hurt, it means that that memory (usually from childhood) still has some power over us depending on how we react.

What is your deep-down need?

When we are triggered what has been stirred from memory is a deep-down need for something. They need to be either loved, to feel safe by the need to be listened to because that means that someone values what we are saying or that we belong. Belonging means we feel safe. Yet, it is in listening to ourselves that we can learn to understand that the memory is to keep us safe and maybe the person in question has something good to say and if they do not. We can walk on. By also listening to ourselves and separating the memory means that we are open to the opinion of others.

The dreaded post or emailthe first perception

Have you ever, read an email and your first perception of what they said has triggered you? Yet, when you look back at the email the next day you realise that it wasn’t a trigger? That is your safety mechanism at work.

Triggers happen very fast. This is why it’s a good idea to take ourselves away and reread the meaning or ask what someone meant in their message.

When we work like this through our triggers then we understand how to listen not just to ourselves, but be open to the opinion of others. No one is going to think or maybe write the same as us. So, step back and reread. I myself am having to learn to become curious in terms of what someone is saying.

Using 🥰 Self-love 🥰 to get through your triggers?

Self care to me, is allowing ourselves some time out to understand and process the thoughts that have come up and combine that with a need deep down for growth. If you are a slow processor (like me) then it is always good to answer important messages once you have had time to process your thoughts.

There are many ways to do this.

One way is by taking myself offline and looking after my own emotions, so I can move through my underlying feelings and regain an inner sense of security or happiness.


Because what someone thinks of us is non of our business. Have you spent years making yourself ill wondering what others think of you? I still do at times, hence I have practices that aid me to be present and see the bigger picture. These practices help me provide all the things that I need… to be listened to, to belong, to be accepted and so on. To feel that love and safety help us learn to self validate ourselves with processes…

Such as…

  • Sit in silence
  • Meditate
  • Tune into myself
  • Read something other than person development (to allow my imagination to flow)
  • Do personal development
  • Art
  • Go outside
  • Join a club
  • Eat lovingly (guts linings/microbiome and feelings go hand in hand)

If I am triggered, that is me and only me.

If someone says something about me, that is them and only them.

I cannot go and condemn them (even though I am still capable of doing so) for having an opinion, what I can do is work on my reaction to the opinion. It is still a work in progress, yet life is getting much easier to handle.

Hence I am writing this blog to share my findings with you.

The more we understand and move through why a trigger happens the more life became fulfilled.

To end… this does not have to mean that I have to agree with everyone’s opinions… no. However, it does mean that everyone is entitled to their own truth and just like I am entitled to mine.

To recap

Triggering is a reaction from a past memory brought up in us. It is not the person who has triggered the memory. When you are triggered… stop, cool down and give yourself some time before looking at it again. What do you need deep down? To be listened to, valued, belong, needed, accepted, food (soothing foods that are gut-friendly, guts are linked to mental health and moods), warmth and so on. And, finally, self-validation comes from self-love. When we create this environment in ourselves, we find our reaction to our triggers changes.

You are the cheerleader of your life

Trina xx

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