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Focusing Tip #692 – “When I get triggered my thoughts explode…”

Focusing Tip #692 – “When I get triggered my thoughts explode…”
February 19, 2020 Ann Weiser Cornell
“The situation triggers this energy in my head, but it is difficult to feel in my body.”

Focusing Tip #692 – “When I get triggered my thoughts explode…”

What if you’re trying to feel in your body but all you get is emotions and thoughts? Read on…


Jo writes:

Often when a situation really triggers me emotionally, the primary reaction is an explosion of energy in my head, ideas jumping in all directions.

Underlying there is anger about the situation and fear of losing dear persons in my life. It triggers this energy in the head, but it is difficult to feel in my body. Last time I felt this was when it occurred to me that my daughter who is married and has a proper job is still using our yoga 10 times-subscription to follow lessons instead of paying her own subscription.

What could be a next step?

Dear Jo:

Let’s start by appreciating that you know you are being triggered. (Not everyone does!)

But then you have a hard time feeling in your body… even though you clearly have stressful thoughts (jumping in all directions) and emotions like anger and fear.

People often think that Focusing starts by feeling in the body, and when feeling in the body is hard, they think they can’t do Focusing.

But actually, Focusing does not have to start with body feeling. Instead, you can start by acknowledging your present experiencing.

“Experiencing” is a great concept, because it includes your thoughts jumping in all directions, and your awareness of emotions like anger and fear that you don’t yet feel in a bodily way.

You can acknowledge your present experiencing before you feel it in your body.

“I am aware of being triggered. I am aware of my thoughts jumping in all directions. I am aware of anger and fear.”

(By the way, what ARE those thoughts? Judgmental thoughts about your daughter, perhaps? Acknowledging specific thoughts can also help, as in, “Something in me is thinking that my daughter only cares about herself.” Or whatever it is.)

After you acknowledge what you are actually experiencing right now, notice if even that much has made a difference, helped you get a little distance, to calm down a little.

And then… in that calm… visit your body. There will be something there.

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