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Ep #109: Understanding Triggers | Becoming You Again Podcast

For someone going through a divorce, feeling triggered can seem like a daily occurrence. The trigger can be somewhat expected, like your anniversary or knowing you'll see your ex in court the next day. And often the trigger will be unexpected, like hearing that song playing in the background at the grocery store, or hearing the tone of someone's voice.

When you feel triggered you have the stimulus (trigger) and then your automatic nervous system response without any space in between to choose how you want to react in those moments.

In this episode you'll learn the three types of triggers. You'll learn how having better understanding of your triggers will help you create space between the stimulus and your response, leaving you feeling less powerless in your life and instead more powerful and in control.

You'll be given a simple four step process to help you release the triggers when they show up in a healthy, self caring, compassionate way.

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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself (your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

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Full Episode Transcript:


I'm Karin Nelson and you're listening to Becoming You Again, episode number 109.


Welcome to Becoming You Again the podcast to help with your mental and emotional well being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the trauma of your divorce by reconnecting with yourself creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so your life will be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson.


Hello, my friends, how are you all doing? I'm actually doing really great. I've had a good couple of weeks, the spring is keeping us very busy here in our household.


My son is actually turning 18 Very soon. And then a week after that is my partner's daughter's birthday. And then a week after that is my partner's son's birthday. And then it's going to be basically graduation for my son. He is 18. And he's graduating from high school. And then in between there, my daughter is leaving for Germany for three months. And it just kind of seems like everything is going on. And then of course, after graduation, it's going to be summer. And then we all know how quickly summer goes right? It just seems to fly by. And we are getting ready to foster a cat for a few months for a friend of my daughter's which is actually going to be something that's kind of new for us. We've never actually fostered a kitty. I've had cats my entire life. And I have two cats right now. But I've never fostered a cat that we only get to keep for a little while. So I'm excited. But also, you know, a little nervous because I think I might be sad to see it go when it has to go back to its owner. But I am very excited to have another kitty in the house. You know, you guys know that I I'm such a cat person. I really love the cats. So I feel like I've got a lot going on. It's all seems like great things. And of course I'm sure there will be some mixed emotions in there too. And that's totally fine. But how are you all doing? What is going on for you? What are the things outside of divorce or maybe even with divorce that you are excited about or that you are struggling with? I would love to hear from you feel free to drop me a DM on Instagram at Karin Nelson coaching and just tell me I'd love to get to know you a little better. And you know, connect. So feel free to DM me, I love the DMS. Alright, so let's move into today's topic, which is understanding triggers. I have done a previous episode on triggers. And it was a very long time ago. And I think it's a good episode, I really wanted to give an updated episode on this topic. Because triggers are something that affects so many of us, especially as we are going through a divorce triggers don't affect just people who have been through trauma or people who have been through really hard things. I mean, we all have the opportunity to be triggered by something in our life, right. And I'm really going to kind of dive more into that and explain more about triggers and where they come from, and why we have them and what different types there are. But I think especially as we go through a divorce, or as we are working to heal from our marriage, or our divorce triggers can be kind of a big deal and a big part of our lives. And so I really wanted to revisit the topic of triggers to give a deeper understanding of what they can look like and what types there are. And I really just wanted to kind of offer you some directions about having a better understanding of triggers, that might be showing up and then what you can do to deal with those triggers when they show up. And not just the mindset part because the mindset part is important. But also there are other things that we can be doing to take care of ourselves and really love ourselves through those times those moments when we feel triggered. So first off, I want to define a trigger. And a trigger is a psychological stimulus that prompts in voluntary recall of a previous traumatic experience. So this stimulus or this reminder, if you will, of something that happened in the past, it doesn't necessarily have to be frightening or traumatic, like the stimulus that happens, right? It may indirectly or superficially be reminiscent to your body of an earlier traumatic experience. So let me give an example. Let's say your partner can't sleep one night, and he gets out of bed and he goes downstairs and he sleeps on the couch. And you may have an amazing relationship with this partner, right? This is something that doesn't happen very often it's totally out of the blue. But you might wake up and feel triggered by not seeing him in bed sleeping next to you. Now, not seeing your partner in bed. That in and of itself is not necessarily a traumatic or frightening experience in that moment. But it may be bringing back a reminder


Have something that had happened in the past, let's say that when you were married to your ex, he would get angry at you often at night, as you were getting ready for bed, and then he, you know, would maybe yell and get in an argument and then choose not to sleep in the same room together, that experience might have triggered some kind of response in your body. And although these two experiences are not the same thing, the way your nervous system is reacting, or is responding is the same, it is like a remembered response. But the problem with triggers is, they can occur unexpectedly, just like that example that I gave, like, you didn't know that your partner was gonna get up in the middle of the night and go downstairs to sleep because he couldn't sleep and he didn't want to wake you up. And triggers can also sometimes occur Expectedly, like, maybe it's your anniversary next week or something, and you know that that is kind of a heavy day for you. So triggers are kind of messy in that way, because they can happen at any time without any expectation. And there can be certain moments or certain times or be in a certain situation where you know, that you are probably going to feel triggered in some way. And there are three types of triggers that we should be paying attention to. The first type of trigger is external triggers. And this means that the trigger is associated with something outside of us like the external environment. So this could be like a person a place or thing that is associated with a memory, kind of like the example that I just gave. Or if you remember back to the movie, Forrest Gump, when Jenny is older, and she is working on healing herself, and she's staying at four US house and she and forced her out on a walk, and she sees the house where she spent part of her childhood. And that house was an environmental trigger for Jenny, because of the abuse and the trauma that she suffered in that home. And if you remember this scene, she, you know, is really having a very emotional response. And she's picking up rocks and throwing them at the house, and she's crying, and just the the exter