What Roses, a Whiny Child, and a Crazy Driver all have in Common
What do roses, a whiny child, and a crazy driver have in common? They can all be triggers! Triggers are those specific items/scenarios that immediately flood you with emotion. Triggers are consistent. They typically effect us the same way over and over again. What are your triggers? Is it a particular story on the news? A distinct whiny tone from your child? Perhaps its a crazy driver on the highway. Maybe it's even a scent (like roses) that reminds us of someone.
In many coaching sessions, I've had the opportunity to discuss triggers with clients. Triggers can evoke positive or negative emotions. Of course the ones we want to change are the ones that bring us down! We all have triggers. They are unique to each of us, and they are influenced by our past experiences. Many times we know our triggers. But, other times, they surprise us and catch us unaware.
How do we handle these triggers? What can we do to remove their power over our lives? Nobody wants negative emotions to well up inside or to feel out of control. So, here are a few steps to intentionally tackle and remove unwanted triggers.
1) Recognize them.
The first step of transformation is often recognizing what you want to change. If you are unsure of triggers, look for patterns. Do you always get upset at a certain time of day? What is happening at that time? What triggers might be there? Do you always feel defensive when you get asked about __________? What trigger might that be? Once you know what the trigger may be, do the following.
2) Determine your trigger message.
Emotions always follow our thoughts. Often we may not even be aware of the subtle messages going off in our brains about our triggers. We simply know we "react." In the case of a whiny child, perhaps the message is something like, "She is testing my authority." Or, perhaps it's, "He is in such a difficult stage!" When we think these thoughts, we are less likely to be the positive, intentional, and in control parent that we desire to be. Be clear about the message you are hearing.
3) Get a new message.
You now know the old worn out song that is playing in your head. To ditch the trigger, it's time to get a new tune playing. Using our whiny child example, perhaps your new message is something like, "She is acting like a normal child. Here is an opportunity to show patience, be calm, and teach her a life skill."
4) Determine what actions you want to take.
Triggers are so difficult because often we feel that we have no control over them. Get a plan for how you WANT to respond when the situation occurs. Continuing with our example, maybe the action is taking a deep breath and counting to 10 before addressing the behavior. Or maybe its even doing something active to burn energy such as 5 jumping jacks! (There are times I probably would have lost a few pounds with that strategy!) The point is to get a plan which will enable you to respond the way YOU choose, rather than simply reacting instantly to the trigger.
5) Repeat the new message and take action as needed.
When the trigger comes, repeat your new message and perform your chosen action.
You may not notice immediate drastic results. But, over time, transformation will happen. Your trigger will start to lose its grip and power.
"For every minute you remain angry, you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is the newsletter section where I share tips or strategies from One Intentional Mom to another. These are time savers, guilt relievers, helpful tools, and some good old fashioned mama sense. If you have a tip to share, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's grilling season! One of my favorite, easy to make meals on the grill is hobo meals. I love these meals because they can be prepared ahead. Also, there is virtually no clean up because the mess is all in the foil! My family used to have these when we went camping and they cooked on the open fire. Now I make them year round on our grill at home.
1 lb. Bulk Sausage thawed (Breakfast or a spicier variety if you prefer)
Potatoes - 1 large potato per person
1 - 2 Peppers (all colors work well)
Tear aluminum foil (Heavy Duty works best) into squares. There should be one square for each serving. Each square should be large enough to fully cover food when folded. Drizzle each foil square with some olive oil and spread the oil evenly over the center of the foil. This prevents the food from sticking to the foil when cooking. Shape the uncooked sausage into patties and place one patty on the center of each foil square. Wash and slice the potatoes into thin slices and place them on top of the sausage patty. Next chop the onion and place the desired amount on top of each potato. Finally slice the peppers into strips. Place desired amount of peppers on top of the pile. Fold the foil into a square shape over the food. (This makes them easier to flip on the grill.) Place foil squares on the grill on medium high and cook for 20-30 minutes or until meat is fully cooked and vegetables are soft. Add additional salt and seasoning as needed. Enjoy!
* This recipe works well with hamburger. However, I prefer sausage because then you do not need to add additional seasoning or salt.
* Adding a slice or two of tomato can add additional juice and flavor during cooking.
* Sometimes kids like this meal even better when they can dip some of it in ketchup!
I help women confidently navigate life during the season of motherhood. Shift from "reacting" to purposefully leading your life - which eliminates overwhelm and guilt and brings joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.