Emotional triggers are when something happens and you have a big emotional response that is disproportionate to what is happening.
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- James 1:19-20
- Genesis 4: 1-8
- Hebrews 11:4
- Matthew 18:23-35
- Ephesians 4:26-27
- Proverbs 15:18
- Proverbs 4:23
- Seeking Wholeness
- Controlling Your Emotions
- What Are Emotional Triggers?
- Cain and Abel
- Own Your Emotions
- Practical Solutions
How could something your boss says bother your co-worker but not bother you?
Why would something that Trump says bother one person but doesn’t bother another democrat?
- Biden / Republican
Can someone make you mad?
We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness
How can we be _______ healthy
Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from past experiences/wounds
We’re not just supposed to get eternal life
- We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience and self control as well
Traits of Wholeness
- Not seeking external approval / validation
- Living by values and principles
- Setting Boundaries
- Taking ownership of your responsibilities
- Living with purpose and passion
- Healthy relationships with both genders
- Not losing control of your emotions
- Free from addictions
- Addressing Conflict
- Not critical or Judgmental
- Not jealous
- Genuinely applaud the success of others
- Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
- Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
- Not afraid to fail
- Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
- Selfless encounters with others
- Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
- You care about how others feel
- Don’t give into peer/social pressure
- Can communicate directly
We want to not only to seek results, but also to value the processes of growing.
- A big part of that process is understanding ourselves
Controlling Your Emotions Review
2 approaches to protecting ourselves from emotional hurt
- Proactive Shielding
- Reactive Shielding
Proactive shielding is the behavior or personality that you’ve adopted
- control your environment to keep you safe
- pleasing people
- Your self identity
Reactive shielding is usually a response to experiencing negative emotions
- unconcerned about the consequences
- feel out of control
It’s your approach to life
Some common proactive shielding behaviors include:
- Avoid conflict
- approval seekers
- people pleasing
- avoiding risks
- constantly striving to achieve
- Emotionally disconnect
- Being an Achiever
- Being Antisocial
- Staying Single
- Ignoring people
Proactive shielding is an attempt to manage how you're coming across to others
Tied to your self identity
- “I'm a nice person,”
- “I'm a hard worker,”
- “I’m a good Christian”
Reactive shielding has the goal of keeping you from experiencing hurt
Reactive shielding doesn’t care if you look good or are approved of
- reactive behavior only cares about distracting from the pain
without regard for the consequences
Anything that will distract them and make them feel better
Reactive Shielding Behaviors
- prescription drugs,
- Binge watch Netflix
- thrill-seeking activities
less acceptable means
- illegal drugs
- suicidal thoughts
- Acts of domination
- compulsive sexual activity
Reactivate behavior can be triggered by
- traumatic memories
Reactivate behavior aims to eliminate or distract from the immediate
- Bad feelings
- sensations and memories
The Goal of Wholeness
You are in control of your emotions and not the other way around.
You know which conversations are the most difficult but you still have them
- You know how to lead with emotion
- not driven by fear
- You don’t let the opinions of others cause you to make the wrong choices
- You don’t blame others for how you feel
Things that used to trigger automatic responses in you lose their charge
you break patterns related to
- intimate relationships
- your body
You feel more integrated and solid, but with a wide range of emotion and expression.
When life becomes stormy, you sense the deep peace that lies beneath the waves you are riding. From that centered place, you can calm your behavior and the people around you.
Broke the bonds of
You trust your emotions.
Example: Professor Hulk
- You are in control
What Are Emotional Triggers?
Emotional trigger is when something Happens and you have an emotional response that is disproportionate to what is happening
- You blow up at a small thing
- You overreact
- Over obsess
It’s usually because whatever happened hit a deeper wound or a deeper insecurity.
- We are reacting to the past.
- Something inside of us is feeling deeply threatened.
- This is why we have the big reaction.
Our bodies have a physical reaction because we are feeling threatened
- A lump in your throat
- Tightening in the chest
- The flipping feeling in your belly
- Tingling in your armpit
- A hotness in your head
- Ringing in your ears
Triggered when you feel
Cain and Abel
Genesis 4: 1-8
1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”
2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.
4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Why was Abel’s sacrifice accepted but not Cain’s?
Each offer in accordance with his occupation and pursuits
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was attested to be righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
Why was Cain mad at Abel?
- He was mad at God
- He took it out on Abel
Sometimes our attitude towards someone is due to the fact that we haven’t healed from what someone else did to us
The Source of Our Triggers
It often begins in childhood
- Your brain records every good and bad first time experience
father saves a child from a dog
- Yelling father
- Calm father
- Dog bites him
- Pets dog and licking him
What you feel what you felt the first time you experienced it
Your mind records how you felt during that first time experience
Movie Clip: Italian Job: I had a bad experience
- A traumatic post childhood experience
Story: Boy Who Was in the Way
Boy going to get some water
- Stops to watch TV
- hits him in head
- “In the way”
- heart start to speed up
- his breathing is heavy
- He clenches his fist
He internalized how to feel when someone
- raises their hand
- sneaks up on from behind
- He’s blocking someone’s view of the TV
- blocking his view of the TV
- calls him stupid
- “ worthless”
- “in the way“
- looks like his father
These are now triggers for him
Turns in a report to boss
boss called it worthless
Same physical response
Who is John really angry at?
John believes that he is angry at his boss
- If he hadn’t have put it on my desk
- If he had not of said that I’m worthless
- I wouldn’t have reacted this way
That is true, but the bigger truth is that even if his boss did do that he still shouldn’t have that big of a response
When John goes to explain to his wife what happened he says
- He thinks I’m stupid
- He thinks I’m in the way
His wife tells him he is in the way
- He responds “don’t you ever tell me I’m in the way“
- You think I’m stupid just like my boss
- You think I’m worthless
He goes in the living room and one of the kids were playing in front of the TV
- calls the other kid stupid
He slaps a little boy in the back of the head and tells him he’s worthless
Now we have familiar curse passed down to the next generation
- Now he has programmed his son with the words stupid, worthless, and in the way
Now John is upset because he swore he wouldn’t do it with his own kids
But who is John really angry at?
- He wasn’t angry at the kids
- He wasn’t angry at his wife
- He wasn’t angry at his boss
He was angry at his dad
All unresolved issues that you have with your primary caregiver are going to be transferred to
- Your spouse
- Your boss
- Your kids
Child was ignored by their parents
then whenever they feel ignored by their spouse it is going to trigger the feelings they felt when their parents ignored them
Anytime you do something similar to the parent that ignore them they will feel with you what they felt towards the parent
Child was left alone for long periods of time
Whenever you start to leave there is an argument
- Where are you going?
- Why do you have to go?
- You like spending time with everybody but me
- Why don’t you have time for me?
Cheating Parent or First Boyfriend
- It hurt the family bad
- The painfully get experience gets recorded by the child
- Now you have taken the place of the father who cheated
- Now they are jealous every time you look at someone
- Was the cashier at the store a female?
What Child Had to Say Wasn’t Important
- Don’t bother me can’t you see I’m trying to cook dinner
- I’m trying to watch the news
Mom and dad didn’t listen to them too much
- They were made to feel that what they had to say was not important
- Now they have grown up in their spouse has taken the place of their parent
- When they feel that you think they what they have to say is an important all of their emotions from childhood come to the present and I transferred to you
- “ you don’t care about me“
- “you don’t really love me“
- “I’m not important to you“
They Shouldn’t Feel That Way
You are saying that they shouldn’t need that
- That is true
- But the bigger truth is that they do need it because they didn’t get it in their childhood
- And you have taken the place of their mother or father who did not meet their needs
Summary: The Source of Triggers
We get triggered because of a bad experience
- first time
- Traumatic time
First time someone:
- Someone embarrasses you
- Laughs at
- Yelled at
- violate your trust
- Called you stupid
- Gives you the silent treatment
- Makes fun
- gives you a certain look
- Talked down
- Touched you inappropriately
- Withdraws love
- Heart beating fast
- breathing is heavy
- Clenched fist
- Revert to the same mental age as when it happens
The Triggering Experience
You’re triggered when someone
- embarrasses you
- reject you
- Laughs at you
- Yelled at you
- You make the same facial expression
- Same hand gesture
- Same tone of voice
Yes you are mad at the person standing in front of you
- More mad at the person who did it the first time
- And you’re taking it out on the person who is in front of you
- Parable of the unforgiving servant
23Because of this, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlements, a debtor was brought to him owing ten thousand talents.f 25Since the man was unable to pay, the master ordered that he be sold to pay his debt, along with his wife and children and everything he owned.
26Then the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Have patience with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’
27His master had compassion on him, forgave his debt, and released him.
29So his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you back.’
30But he refused. Instead, he went and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay his debt.
31When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and recounted all of this to their master.
32Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed.
35That is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
- Did the king forgive?
- Did the king forget?
Forgiveness Cancels the Debt
Forgiveness cancels the debt that they owe you
- You give up your right for revenge
They no longer owe you
- An apology
- A confession
- An explanation
As long as you are demanding something that they choose not to give it ties you to the person
A parable uses earthly symbols to reveal spiritual things
- God = the king
- jail = the memory of what the person did
- the emotions = the torture
You feel the hurt when
- you think about the person
- someone sounds like the person
- someone walks like them
- Someone acts like him
- You smell their cologne
This is the consequence of not forgiving
Be Angry But Do Not Sin
26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27and do not give the devil a foothold.
Anger is not a sin
- Wrath of God
- God got angry
It is clear from this verse that being angry is not a sin.
- But it is your reaction that can be
- You can have righteous anger.
Anger could cause you to
- Curse them out
- Hit them
Unforgiveness is a sin
Do Not Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger
- Not Reconciliation
I always thought this meant that you had to reconcile with the other person before nightfall.
- Perhaps meaning the couples should make up before they go to sleep.
But what I now see is that this verse doesn’t talk about reconciliation it only talks about anger.
You have to forgive at some point.
Your anger, no matter how righteous it is, turns into sin if you have it too long. It turns into unforgiveness.
Be angry, but there’s a time limit, in which your anger...becomes sin
Be Angry But Do Not Sin
Own Your Emotions
18A hot-tempered person stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
Did you ever know someone who always seemed to push your buttons?
- What about someone who did it intentionally?
They knew how to push your buttons.
- But you may not know what that button is.
What triggers people?
- Cutting someone off in traffic
- Getting name wrong
- Arrogant people
- Stupid people
- Fake people
- Show offs
- Being misunderstood
- Being talked down to
- Being disrespected
Take Responsibility for Your Reaction
You have to take responsibility for your life.
- You control whether or not you react.
- Don’t make your wound their responsibility.
It is great to know what in your childhood caused the trigger, but the main goal is to determine what triggers you.
- Where is that wound ?
Be mindful of what certain people in your life can say or do that will trigger you.
What is it that made you
- Feel defensive
- Feel angry
- Stirred up all of that negative emotion
How Did it Make You Feel?
Ask yourself when he or she does this how do I feel?
- I feel abandoned
- I feel like they don’t care about me
- They are selfish and it’s all about them
- They are always blaming me for things
Whatever comes to the surface… Don’t try to suppress it.
In order to guard something you have to own it. You have to own your emotions.
Stop saying things like ... “he made me mad“.
Don’t give your power away to someone else
If your attitude is a byproduct of your circumstance, your emotions will always be out of control
The Story You Tell Yourself
You are making the story the whole basis of the relationship with that person.
“He doesn’t care about me“
“She doesn’t appreciate everything I do”
In reality your wound is being triggered because of that one instance. You won’t believe how much that one sentence affects how do you now confront the person and how you feel regarding the situation
When Addressing the Issue
Changing the story to a positive possibility allows you to confront the person in a caring and loving way.
- It helps you to realize that a lot of time when things happen, it has nothing to do with you.
- We take things so personally in relationships as a reflection on our own self-worth and how someone views us or loves us.
Changing your view allows the other person to tell their side of the story without you getting emotionally charged up.
How would I be experiencing this if I wasn’t adding any meaning?
Look for a Pattern
If there is a pattern with someone then you need to set boundaries and enforce them.
Triggering reveals something about you
- Areas of your emotions that need healing.
- What you have pride in
- What your ego is tied to
- what you are seeking validation from
Have you ever met anyone and they automatically had a negative opinion of you?
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Guard Your sunglasses because out of your sunglasses you see life. If your sunglasses are cracked it distorts your vision. If they are smudged you don’t see clearly.
My glasses are cracked so I see you as a bad person even though you were not.
My heart is wounded so I see you as a bad person but you’re not.
Stop And take a breath deep
- The emotional brain is taking over and you are losing access to the rational brain
- This breaks the fight or flight response of our brain
- This helps us to be rational
- This helps you feel more calm
Tune in to what you are feeling
What are you feeling?
Observe what you were thinking
What about what happened makes you feel threatened?
What did I interpret this to mean?
- I’m not good enough
- This person doesn’t love me
- I’m not worthy enough
- I’m failing
- No one is ever going to stick around
- I don’t have what it takes
What were you interpreting this to mean about you, or about life, or about God?
Reframe what you are thinking
Did you feel like you were being controlled or manipulated?
- Why were you thinking that?
Could it be something else?
Remind yourself that you have the ability to say no.
This is not a real threat.
Move into self compassion
Don’t put yourself down
Don’t start the negative self talk
- Ask God how you should feel about this.
- Find a scripture pertaining to this situation
- Is this tied to a stronghold?
Teacher: Michael Leadon
Anger and emotional triggers (part 1 & 2)
Trauma is the Gateway
How to Handle Intense Emotions | Stop Getting Triggered
Julia Christina counseling
7 Angry Men
The key to controlling your emotions
Gaining control over your emotions
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
11 “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”