Triggered? 5 things you can do to relax

Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Especially when you’re trying to get your life in order and show up as your best self. You will get tested. Some heavy feelings can be triggered. And that’s fine. It’s ok to sit with your feelings and work through them. But what do you do when you feel overwhelmed by those feelings? How do you cope with heavy feelings and difficult choices?

Part of learning yourself is understanding firstly, what triggers you and secondly, how you cope with those feelings once they are there. It is important to know which words or actions trigger negative emotions in you. Once you identify the trigger, you will be able to identify the way you cope with those negative feelings. If not, you may not realize how one is affecting the other and therefore won’t be able to break the cycle. There are positive and negative coping mechanisms. Some people cope with issues by drinking and others by harming themselves. These are definitely negative coping mechanisms.

In the movie “For colored girls”, they also addressed promiscuity as a negative coping mechanism. The movie covers a lot of issues women face and is a must see.

Instead of those negative coping mechanisms that only make you forget the issues for a while but doesn’t resolve them, we should all incorporate more positive coping mechanisms. Learning to sit with the emotions and using the discomfort to help us grow as individuals. If you are like me, you don’t like to deal with feelings. I would probably “I don’t know” a therapist to death. (Just kidding)

But I have realized that understanding your emotions is much better than ignoring them. Just by acknowledging the feeling or feelings, it reduces the intensity of the feeling.

When I am going through a difficult situation or experiencing feelings I am unsure about, there are a few things that I do instead of running away. But before I got to that point, I had to figure out what makes me happy. I wrote a list of the things I like or make me happy. This doesn’t have to be difficult. On my list, I have a cup of coffee, a hot shower and a good book, amongst other things. You can also add more intricate answers, but don’t forget the simple things. This list will also help you to incorporate more self- care into your routine. Basically once you have your list, try to do 2 or 3 things every day.

Once you are aware of your coping mechanisms and also know some things you like, when you are triggered, you will be able to respond and not react to those negative emotions. If you can, remove yourself from the situation and take some time for yourself. The first thing I usually do to try to understand what’s happening and why I am feeling the way I am feeling is to journal. Write, write, write. Just get it out of your system. You can look for prompts online if you are unsure where to begin. The most important thing is being honest. No one else is going to read what you write so don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. Writing allows you to clear your mind and can give you a better overview of what is happening.

Another great way to calm yourself and clear your mind is spending time in nature. If you can, go for a walk. The movement is good for your body and you get to change your scenery. For us living on an island, heading to a beach is also a great way to spend time outdoors. Chances are there will be something to remind you of the beauty of life during that time. Another quick mood booster is listening to music. Don’t get stuck on the sad songs too much but try to incorporate some feel good music. Play your favorites. Dance a little. Or a lot. Play songs that remind you of the good times. If a song is playing and it is making you feel down, change it! If music isn’t your thing, you can always watch your favorite movie.

Last but definitely not least, I pray about the situation. I pray to see the lesson I need to learn. I pray for guidance. I pray for wisdom. I pray for compassion. I pour it all out to God and trust that He will work things out for my good. And when I overreact or give in to the negative emotions, I pray for forgiveness. Having a relationship with God means being honest and reaching out even when I think I have messed up. His grace is sufficient for me.

Next time when someone triggers you and you feel overwhelmed, I pray you will do one or all of these things and feel a sense of calm. It’s not easy but you got this!

Hiking is a great way to unwind, especially with views like this

Make it the most wonderful time of the year…

Happy Monday

Last week I was tied up with Tropsical and did not make my deadline. The holidays are approaching, so myself and a lot of entrepreneurs are going into overdrive. Castel from The Alternative posted about not spending emotionally for the holiday season. Definitely a great reminder. This will be my first January as a full time entrepreneur so pray for me!

The juggle is real! Coordinating schedules and organizing gifts can be very time consuming. I have always loved Christmas because it was a time where I would be surrounded with family members. Some I may not have seen all year. It was a time to reconnect and make new memories. This year COVID has altered plans immensely. Lots of people are quarantined and even more are unwilling to travel so a lot of families are split. Financially, this year may be harder for many as well.

This blog started with epiphanies in my garden and it’s only right that I go back to the garden for this one. Like many, when the lockdown began, I started to plant. It was a wonderful time and I enjoyed spending my mornings in my garden amidst my plants. Sticking a seed in some dirt and checking daily for growth is entertaining. At one point I had over 100 plants and this was way after the lockdown. I was even getting messages about plant related issues. Some I was able to help, others not, but I could not believe that I was talking plants! I always thought I didn’t have a green thumb.

Plant life was great and I was feeling myself. Then things started picking up with Tropsical and as I like to say, life was happening. The past couple of months I have lost a lot of plants. And I have been discouraged. Plants, like our relationships, need time and attention. When we spend time with our plants, we are able to give them the attention they need. I could tell which ones needed more water or more sun and which ones needed less. My busy schedule had me rushing when I watered or simply going through the motions. Since November the weather has changed and the plants have adapted. It’s cooler and some of my plants didn’t need to be watered as often. These past two weeks I have made time to be in my garden. Just assessing and adjusting where necessary.

We, too, start to suffer if we don’t take time to pay attention to ourselves. We easily neglect our needs and wants. Our friendships and relationships fail when we don’t spend the necessary time and give the needed attention. They say time heals all wounds and I agree. We have to bear in mind though that although healed, some wounds still cause long term pains. Time gives you the opportunity to grow and learn. In all of our relationships, time helps us build the connections. Disagreements may arise but when we take the time to discuss and decipher them and give it the attention it needs, we can usually resolve the issue. Relationships grow when we spend time hence why it is important to spend time in God’s word to grow your relationship with God.

I admitted that I lost plants but I can also admit that some could have been saved if I had taken time sooner to give them the attention they needed. I was so caught up in myself and feeling bad that I chose to ignore them instead of do something. By the time I finally did something, it was too late for some. And that’s how it is in life. Sometimes we are blinded by our own beliefs and so we choose to ignore and by the time we want to do something, it’s too late.

This holiday season, forgive petty arguments and disagreements. Start working on resolving bigger issues and get help if needed. Spend time with your loved ones. Create new memories.

P.S: Time is so valuable and we never know how much we have left. This weekend I went to Vision & Voice 3 and had an amazing time. Kudos to Cam, Malaika and Kareem! It was a beautiful event but I was also able to spend time with persons I don’t normally see and our conversations and interactions will remain with me. Time is needed to build relationships, hone our crafts, heal, grow and learn. Don’t waste another minute doing things that don’t bring you joy.

Enjoy the holidays and embrace the moments, whether it’s a Zoom session, FaceTime or face to face.