Have you ever felt “triggered”?
Perhaps you’ve found yourself experiencing a strong emotional charge to something in front of you — but the charge didn’t quite fit the situation?
Maybe you felt RAGE at someone making a simple suggestion for improvement?
Or HEARTBROKEN when someone said they couldn’t join you for coffee?
Or a DEEP TERROR when a client didn’t renew their contract?
Why do we sometimes experience these “oversized” emotions and charges?
It’s simple, actually.
We’re not reacting to what’s occurring in front of us.
What’s in front of us is REACTIVATING a memory of a time when we had a strong emotional response that never had the opportunity to be fully felt or properly processed by the brain.
It’s as if there’s an invisible fishing line between what you’re experiencing in the NOW and a past event or events that contains similarities. And the event in the NOW is pulling on the old events, bringing how we FELT during them back to the surface –all without us remembering what the past events actually were.
When I lived in Frisco, CO, I once walked into my dining room and suddenly dropped to the floor while starting to cry while the thought “I’m going to die!!” repeated over and over in my mind.
It was terrifying!
It turns out that visual elements of the dining room (the white quartz table, the picture on the wall of a highway, the color brown in an ornament on a shelf, along with what I was looking at on my phone in that moment, combined to reactivate a memory of a near-fatal car accident I’d been in years prior when I had been driving and looking at my phone.
My brain was not consciously remembering the car accident in that moment in the dining room, but my BODY was remembering the terror I felt as my car was hit by a semi.
My BODY re-experienced the terror.
To an external observer, it would have looked like I was having a panic attack for no reason in my dining room. Luckily, I knew my reaction didn’t match my environment, and knew that a traumatic memory must have been reactivated. Also, I am lucky enough to have a team of incredible humans who helped me properly process the car accident — and I never had a panic experience like that pop up again.
If you experience emotions that don’t quite seem to fit your environment or what’s in front of you, your body is likely reacting to something from the past that you don’t have an awareness of. It’s okay and it’s normal. Your brain is working just as it should!
If this becomes a problem and is causing you suffering though, and you’d like help in properly processing the memory (or memories) getting reactivated, let’s talk. We’d love to support you.
When you're tired of getting in your own way, and you know you're capable of SO much more, it's time to talk to us.