HEY! I felt that!

Noticing and understanding the reality of triggers

What happens when your mood changes? Is it a good change? Maybe a bad one? In any case, this is how you easily identify the triggers that have become a part of your daily living.

Triggers are common among people from all age groups and cultures, and it’s a simple concept. When you make memories, even accidentally, something from that moment will stay with you forever.

It might be a scent, random holiday or a video clip from an old movie. If you have a “thing” that picks up your mood or have a “thing” that dims your mood, that my friend, is your trigger.

In May, I went to Italy. It was one of the best times of my life, and after this trip there are memories that I will never forget.

I can’t have a Corona without thinking about my friends, Garrett and Ricky. Flirting with waiters isn’t the same without my friends, Hannah and Karly. See what I mean?

Although happy triggers are great, I’d be naïve to only include those. For some, there are more relevant heavily emotional triggers as well.

When I see potted plants at a strangers home, I think of the 10 that lined the altar of my Great Grandmother’s funeral. My love for superheroes is bittersweet because I once shared the excitement with someone whom I’m no longer friends.

And for some it’s even more intimate than that. A lyric from an old song can trigger sadness because it reflects on the worst breakup of someone’s life. The anniversary of the death of a loved one could figuratively cast a dark cloud on a beautiful day.

It could be the new cologne that a lab partner wears that reminds you of the guy from that party last weekend who wouldn’t leave you alone. Or the dress that your five-year-old sister wore the day she swore she’d never speak to you again.

A trigger is a symbol. A symbol of whatever it will represent. And the worst part about having a trigger is that you probably will never be able to control when they trigger you.

So, how can you make this an easier thing to deal with? Embrace your triggers. Address your triggers in your friend circle and with family. Understand that by embracing these things, it makes it easier for you to help others embrace theirs.

And if you happen to be someone who’s lucky enough to not even understand what a trigger is, because somehow you don’t have any, then I challenge you to also embrace the reality of triggers as well.

You’ll notice when a friend becomes tense or they get overly excited about something that happened years ago. Just make a mental note, “when I did this, my friend reacted like this.”

Triggers will never change you. If anything they make you better, because you’re always aware of the things that make you you.

Live in your happy moments, be sober in your sad ones. But never stop.

For me, triggers promote self-growth. And without them, I wouldn’t have been able to share it’s reality with you.