Ways to manage triggers in secure relationships

Everyone has their own triggers. Triggers are situations, or words that can unleash a range of negative emotions in us, making us react in a way which we may regret later. However, when we learn to regulate our emotions and know how to respond mindfully to such triggers, we can avoid a lot of damage. In secure relationships, the partners know about each other’s triggers and try to work on it as much as possible. However, difficult situations can prop up anytime and we must know how to regulate ourselves and our emotions and behave accordingly. Addressing this, Psychotherapist Sadaf Siddiqi wrote, “People who can manage their emotions and control their behavior are better able to manage stress, deal with conflict, and even achieve their goals.⁣ This is especially true when it comes to managing disruptive emotions and impulses that impact your daily functioning.⁣”

People with depression, anxiety who had a traumatic childhood grow up to be angry adults: Research. (Pexels)

Sadaf further shared a few ways on how to manage triggers in secure relationships:

Choice: In every difficult situation, we always have three choices – approach, avoid and attack. It is best to use the approach technique and address the issue in a mindful manner to not end up behaving in a way that can harm the relationship later.

Overthinking: It’s the common nature of the mind to fill in blanks by itself when we do not have enough information. However, this can affect us mentally. Instead, we should choose the way of speaking about it directly6 with the other person, than creating a story in the mind.

Physical sensations: Our body always gives us signals on what we are feeling. In case of the heartbeat rising and the feeling of exhaustion coming, it is more likely that we will end up reacting to situations. Instead, we should address the physical sensations by making the body calm or choosing to take a break. This will further help us in changing our reaction and addressing the emotional response in a different and a mature way.

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