The evolution of awareness is an ongoing process, moving from a state of confusion to a state of health and stability. The activation of intense emotion, usually called triggering, has been associated with PTSD for the most part, but is actually a description of something that happens to everyone across the board. That makes it an evolutionary opportunity for all to engage in.
Whether we have PTSD or not, we are presented with situations that engage us and activate us emotionally in ways that we do not necessarily want. All of our primary relationships as well as our work spaces contain moments of triggering.
But what is our role in this matrix? How many roles can we have?
Emotional realities are non-negotiable in real time. We do not get to decide that we are not experiencing an emotion or being affected by an emotion. Decision making is not our role.
Emotions need to be processed. This means we need to be present for their incubation period and engaged in some way with them until they reach maturity (calmness is achieved). So we do not have a truly "active" role when processing. "Holding space" for them to be processed is much more accurate.
Where can we find an active role when it comes to our emotional triggers? I call them Compressors. These are triggers we add through the creation of healthy habits while activated. Compressors are a function of the conscious realization that triggers are catalysts. All triggers are "emotional realities demanding our conscious attention." But when something needs our attention, whether it is a tarantula in the cupboard, or it is our child yelling from the back room that they are about to commit acts of assault against their younger brother, our emotional activation is not what's needed. Our emotional stability is. Kind of an odd reaction for a body to have ... taking a vital component of conscious action and removing it exactly when we need it most.
Once we know that our body naturally overshoots the mark, we can work to become conscious during the next activation. For instance, if you have never heard of this, you can start right after reading this. I had rage issues, so I started when I was 11. Each time we have any emotional reaction that negatively activates our mind (panic, fear, surprise, fury) we can recall the fact that the physiological component is unhelpful, and, as fast as we can, we can shift our perspective.
Perspective Shifting is a focus all its own, and is a wholly powerful tool. This is just one example of it. We use our Observer Consciousness to witness ourselves. Whenever any situation activates us, the moment we become conscious of it, we can take an immediate step back and an immediate breath out. In that second, the moment where we breathe and are temporarily freed of the emotion, we can zoom out to see the whole of our lives, and that this is just a small moment in an epic story of moments. That relieves pressure and tension immediately. ... gives the moment its appropriate level of emotional weight.
This is an exercise in “mindful preparedness,” not unlike playing slug-bug in the car on a long road trip. We are riding and not necessarily focused on everything, but we are keeping a light eye out for the shape of a Beetle. This is the same as when we get into a space where emotions are likely to arise. We prepare to witness the activation and triggering effect. Being mindful here allows us to get the drop on our emotional selves before we get thrown completely off balance (or before our friends and loved ones get the drop on us and punch us in the arm).
All emotional reactions are valid, but they do not have to cripple our minds. We can take a more active role in pulling our conscious mind out of the mire when we are under the stress of emotional activation. We can add compressors, self-created triggers that allow us more presence to bring ourselves back into equilibrium to best deal with what we are presented with.
This is Influence, and it is activity of consciously engaging the matrix that drives our behavior so that we can make healthy changes in accordance with our expanded level of knowledge, rather than being strapped to the programming we received through our genetics and socialization.