Triggers are any stimuli that sets off a memory tape. The memory tape transports you back, you can begin to feel emotions, fears, and anxiety from the original event. These stimuli can lead to obsessive thinking and unhealthy behavior. Becoming aware of your triggers is crucial for healing.
There are three basic categories in which most triggers fall: Emotional, sensory, and situational.
I will give some examples of triggers in each area, but it would be impossible to list all of the possible triggers because they are different for each person.
- Being lonely
- Feeling abandoned
- feeling worthless
- Visual: attractive women, websites, billboards, movies
- Sound: music, laughter, someone’s voice, whispering
- Scent: perfume or cologne, flowers, sweat
- changes in seasons
- spouse coming home late
- job changes
- financial struggles
As you begin healing and move through the process it becomes easier to recognize your triggers. Most of my triggers are sensory. When my ex-husband left I had to get rid of all my sheets, my dishes, my shower curtains. I painted my room and other parts of the house. I changed my decorations. Like I mentioned in my blog post, I have asked my new husband to get rid of anything that he had when he was married. Other women’s belongings are very triggering for me.