This is the one-year anniversary episode of the Holistic Trauma Healing Podcast!
And, I’m tackling a topic that I’ve wanted to talk about from the moment I decided to start a trauma-healing podcast: TRIGGERS!
I have a different perspective on triggers than most people. I don’t believe they’re bad or for avoiding; I believe our triggers are our wise teachers, showing us exactly what wants to heal.
I also believe that avoiding triggers forces us to outsource our power, which will always end up in disappointment, resentment, and more hurt. When our well-being depends on factors outside of us and beyond our control, it’s impossible to take back the reins of our lives and live as sovereign beings.
In facing triggers, we can stop living in avoidance, feel our feelings without judgment, and acknowledge that those feelings are a present-moment resurrection of something hard and hurtful from our past.
Lindsey Lockett (me!) is the host of the Holistic Trauma Healing Podcast. After leaving behind the dogmas of fundamentalist religion and toxic wellness culture, Lindsey experienced her own dark night of the soul. During the healing journey that followed, she realized that trauma affects us as WHOLE people and therefore, we need to heal as WHOLE people.
Although Lindsey has benefitted tremendously from therapy and psychiatry, these modalities never totally resonated with her because she found that they forced her to fragment herself rather than heal holistically.
She set out to find an affordable and accessible approach that integrates the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and ancestral parts of our being.
In addition to her podcast, Lindsey works one on one with clients as a trauma educator and coach, and she has also created the Trauma Healers Circle, an online community of empowered women who cheer each other on as they become the heroes of their own stories.
She lives in the north woods of Minnesota with her husband and 2 teenagers, and enjoys growing her own food, making plant medicine, and cold-plunging in Lake Superior.
In this solo episode, Lindsey…
- shares the 3 ways in which we are triggered
- shares why she doesn’t do trigger warnings or content warnings on any of her content
- talks about why avoiding triggers isn’t how we heal and why avoidance is a sign of victim consciousness
- shares some practical steps listeners can take when they feel triggered
- discusses the role of personal responsibility in facing and healing triggers
- explains the unfair and unnecessary expectations a triggered person often places on others to accommodate them
- talks about why it’s important to process triggers in the safety of trusted community rather than online
- discusses the wisdom of discomfort and why feeling triggered is an amazing healing opportunity
Hello. Hello. Welcome back to this very special episode of the holistic trauma healing podcast. This is the one year anniversary episode. I published the trailer for this podcast on October 9th, 2020. Today is October 10th, 2021. And here we are 59 episodes and I’m starting from scratch with a brand new business coming from the food blogging world, pivoting into trauma, educating and trauma coaching.
I started this podcast to help put the, put this work out in a way that would be accessible and affordable to people. I’ve since launched a membership, the trauma healers circle, I have launched my first course belief beyond the binary and. Instead of just doing one off coaching sessions, I have launched an official holistic trauma healing coaching program.
All of that is happening right now. And a year ago, none of it existed. And sometimes on these healing journeys of ours, we can get stuck in the day to day feeling like we’re not making progress, feeling like we haven’t really accomplished that much. Like we still have so far to go. But when you put all of the daily steps, if you just take one small step a day in a year, your 365 steps closer than you were, if you’re writing a book and you write one page a day and a year, you’ve written 365 pages, which is the length of a pretty good book.
And to be able to record this episode and look back at this year and how much. I have had to grow and stretch myself personally, to do this work has been just incredible. I’m really fucking proud of myself. And it wouldn’t have been possible without like my own willingness to put myself out there and be vulnerable and learn new skills and try new things.
And for sure, I had zero experience or knowledge of how to record, edit, publish, and produce a podcast. I still don’t really feel like I have a great knowledge of that, but you know what this process has taught me to show up in perfectly that it’s better to show up in perfectly than not at all. And even if I’m not an expert sound person or producer, even if I’m not a therapist, even if I’m not a psychologist and I don’t have letters behind my name, I still have a story to share.
I still have the experience that I’ve lived through. I still have some tools in my trauma healing, toolbox that sometimes even therapists and psychologists don’t give their patients or their clients. I have this like beautiful trust in the universe and in timing, and I’m learning to release control and let go of my own limiting beliefs and trauma when it comes to like unworthiness and putting myself out there and scarcity and all of that, and this podcast has been.
Kind of my like very public journey of showing up and perfectly. And it may not be reflected in that, but like for me personally, that’s what this podcast represents. So if you’ve been listening since the beginning, thank you so much. I’m completely honored. I hope that this podcast has made trauma, healing, education, and nervous system education and resources accessible for you.
I hope that. These episodes have been easy to understand that we’ve been able to take very complex topics and distill them down in a way that the average person or even child could understand. I hope that, in 59 episodes you have been introduced to various providers, therapists, coaches, authors, teachers, healers in this space because you came across this work and maybe that opened a door for you and your healing journey that you hadn’t ever opened before.
And maybe that’s been transformational. That’s what I hope. I think that’s what’s happened. I’m just honored to share this space with you and to know that we’re all healing together and none of us has it all figured out and holistic trauma healing is just one. It’s just one frequency or consciousness.
I think that at this time in the world, it’s so crucial for everyone to be waking up to their true essence, to living in an embodying their highest selves to individual and collective healing on a massive scale. Like we need so many people in the world to help put this out there. Not just like me, not just New York times, bestselling authors, like we need millions of people.
And so holistic trauma healing is just one frequency or one manifestation of that consciousness. It is certainly not the only one. It is not the best. It is just one. And if it resonates with you, then it’s for you. And if it does, I’m so honored that you’re here. So welcome to this very special episode, the one-year anniversary of this podcast, who, what a ride.
So today’s episode is a topic that I have been wanting to talk about since the very first episode. This has been on my list of topics for over a year now, and I am excited and nervous and Getty, and I don’t even know what else to put it out there, but here it is. We’re going to talk about triggers today.
We are going to talk about triggers. So take a deep breath. You may find this episode to be triggered. If that’s the case. It’s okay. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t judge me. Just remain. Open-minded remain teachable, remain curious. That would be the advice that I would offer to anyone who may feel a little bit of constriction in your body.
Because I said we were going to talk about triggers, or maybe you felt a little bit of annoyance or some anger. Maybe your reflex was to just hit the pause button or the stop button in whatever you’re listening to to stop listening to this episode. If you haven’t, I’m really proud of you. But yeah, we’re going to talk about triggers today.
We’re going to talk about why I don’t do trigger warnings or content warnings for the podcast or for anything I put out. We’re going to talk about why we get true. We’re going to talk about my personal definition of what a trigger is. I’m going to talk about what to do when we feel triggered.
And then probably the main point of this whole episode is our own self responsibility. When we get triggered, what is our own personal role to feeling triggered by what someone else has said or done or posted online? So yeah let’s dive in. So first I just want to tell you that everyone has triggers.
Everyone has triggers. Literally anything can be a trigger. It is impossible to know. What could potentially be a trigger for every single person, especially, someone like me, who’s in the public eye and I have thousands of followers and thousands of people who listen to this show, like literally anything has the potential to be triggering.
And so that’s actually the main reason why I don’t do trigger warnings and content warnings on any of my content is because I would have to do it for like literally everything. If I’m talking about psychedelics, I would have to give you a trigger warning for that. If I’m talking about masculine, feminine energies and essence, that’s going to be triggering to some people.
If I’m talking about alcoholism and addiction, that’s going to be sure you’re going to some people, if I’m talking about childhood trauma, complex trauma, abuse, neglect, sexual trauma do you see what I mean? Every single topic, every single thing has the potential to be triggering. And I think we’re wasting our time by trying to figure out.
What deserves a trigger warning and what doesn’t deserve a trigger warning. You can’t know that for anyone else. I can’t know that for anyone else. So that’s my like, disclaimer, going into this episode is you may find a podcast episode about triggers to be triggering. And I’m not going to give a trigger warning about that because I don’t know that about you.
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. All I ask is what I said earlier is that you have an open mind that you be teachable and that you be curious. So with that said, let’s dive in, even for. So I waited my triggers for a very long time. I believed that avoiding triggers kept me safe and stable. It was very much an avoidance strategy of if I can just avoid this and pretend like it doesn’t exist and not ever have to look at it or hear it or feel it, then I will be safe.
I will be stable. But avoiding triggers actually kept me stuck. And when I went out of my way to avoid triggers, I convinced myself that I couldn’t face them. And in convincing myself that I couldn’t face them that further cemented the narrative to my mind, body and spirit, that this was a thing that I would have to always avoid.
And. It’s really hard. There’s so much nuance here. So like I probably should’ve said that at the very beginning, but I’ll say it now. And I’ll probably say it multiple times throughout this episode, there’s so much nuance and complexity here and it is the trauma brain that tries to jump to the most extreme perspective.
So what I mean by that is if I say you shouldn’t avoid triggers, avoiding triggers keeps you stuck the trauma brain and the pain body will immediately try to jump to the most extreme perspective and say something like, so are you saying that I should just sit across the dinner table from my rapist and have dinner with them?
Like something really extreme like that and know that is not what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m saying at all. There are, there’s a difference between avoiding triggers and setting boundaries. It’s not an avoidance strategy. If a person is not good for you, whether they’re toxic, abusive someone from your past.
Like harmful, whatever they are. It is okay for you to have boundaries with that person. But the trigger part is when the boundaries that you’ve sat with, that person include anything having to do with like that topic, for example. So an example of that would be you were sexually abused, for example And so of course you are going to have the boundary that the person who sexually abused you is not a welcome presence in your life.
They have harmed you. They are toxic. It is okay for you to put a boundary up and say, you are no longer allowed in my life. That is a healthy boundary. That is not avoidance. The avoidance comes in whenever, like you’re trying to watch a movie and it has a sex scene in it. And you can’t watch that because it’s triggering or when your partner and you want to be intimate and you can’t be intimate with them sexually because it’s a trigger.
So that’s what I mean by the difference between triggers and having healthy boundaries. So when we avoid our triggers on purpose, We actually shine a light on how we need to heal. Our discomfort is so wise. Our discomfort shows us exactly what needs to heal and triggers are very uncomfortable.
So they can be really revealing if we’re curious and open, if we’re self-aware and we have self-responsibility, which we’re going to get into later in this episode, we can actually use triggers as like the greatest clues for what needs to be healed and us so that it becomes something that we don’t have to avoid, but something that we can either use our sovereignty and our autonomy to set a boundary against and just be like, no, this thing is not welcome in my life anymore.
Or the other part of triggers. That might be a perspective you’ve never heard before is when you’re avoiding triggers, you’re actually outsourcing your power. And your safety to something else because your power and your safety then depend on you not experiencing the trigger or feeling the trigger or seeing the trigger or hearing the trigger.
So when you outsource what keeps you safe. And so you’re no longer finding safety within yourself and within your own sovereignty and your ability to set boundaries. If that’s what you need to do, like now your safety depends on something outside of your control, because the truth is we can’t control our triggers.
We like to think that we do our egos, our pain bodies like control is a mechanism by which our egos try to keep us safe. So we have to acknowledge that there’s a purpose for it. Avoidance is also a strategy that our egos use to try to keep us safe. So there is a purpose for these things. The problem is that they don’t serve a purpose in so far as we cannot grow.
And heal if we are still firmly planted in the belief that the only way we can be okay is through avoidance. So I hope that makes sense. I feel like there is so much empowerment in being able to face triggers and this goes back to our discomfort being such a wise teacher, like discomfort as uncomfortable as it is.
It actually is so wise because it shows us exactly what needs to be. For example, if you find it triggering or even uncomfortable let’s say it’s not a trigger, but it’s very uncomfortable for you to talk about money. For example, like anytime money gets brought up, you feel like uncomfortable.
You don’t want to talk about it. You feel like it’s not socially acceptable. You feel like it’s inappropriate, public conversation or whatever. So you’re uncomfortable talking about money. Does that mean everyone around you shouldn’t talk about money or that you should avoid people who talk about money?
I say no. And if you are avoiding people who talk about money or expecting people not to talk about money around you, then again, you’re outsourcing your power and your safety and your regulation come down to what other people are doing and whether or not they’re going to change or modify themselves.
And what they’re talking about to accommodate you, which is the fond response. People who have triggers and who are in a victim consciousness. And we can talk about this more later. They expect other people to change themselves in order to accommodate the triggered person’s trigger. That’s expecting somebody to fawn, which is a trauma response.
So if you are a person who’s triggered and you think that it is other people’s responsibility or duty to not talk about certain things or not mention certain things or not show you certain movies or have certain conversations with you or whatever it is, then you’re basically expecting them to change and modify themselves in order to keep you comfortable, which is the definition of the Fon trauma response.
But back to what I was using with the example about money, whether it’s triggering or uncomfortable to you to talk about money, to be around people who talk about money, then you need to heal your relationship with money because it’s not the other people’s fault. You need to heal your relationship with money if it makes you uncomfortable, or if it’s triggering to think about releasing control, because control is the mechanism by which you try to keep yourself safe in this world, then you don’t have to expect other people to give up control to you or to not be in control of their own lives.
You need to heal the part of you that believes it can only be safe when you’re in control. We could go on this. This applies like to expressing ourselves sexually, that can be triggering for a lot of people that can be really uncomfortable for a lot of people. If it makes you uncomfortable, or if it’s triggering to express yourself sexually, then not as a sign, you need to heal.
Wherever you’ve been shamed and suppressed sexually. For people pleasers and people who have the fond response, it can often be triggering or make us feel very uncomfortable whenever we meet our own needs first, because we’re so used to thinking about other people before ourselves and waiting on other people and meeting other people’s needs.
So the answer to that is not to expect other people to not need things from you. It’s to heal where you’re people pleasing and to heal, whatever in you feels unworthy to put yourself first. So I can guarantee you though that if you can look at it through this lens, then you will see that the things that make you uncomfortable or the things that trigger you are a better metric for whatever is hurting.
Inside of you then anything outside of you that makes you uncomfortable. I’ll say that again, the things that make you uncomfortable within yourself are a better metric for what’s hurting you inside yourself than anything outside of yourself that makes you uncomfortable. So our discomfort is so wise, it shows us exactly what needs to be healed.
Our triggers are so wise, they are showing us exactly what needs to be healed. It’s just that our culture, our society is so conditioned to believe that we need to avoid triggers at all costs and that in avoiding them, we are keeping ourselves safe. But I hope through this episode to offer a different perspective that avoiding the things that make us uncomfortable, doesn’t actually keep us safe.
It actually just keeps us stuck and it keeps us in a victim consciousness or victim mentality because we’re constantly outsourcing our power and outsourcing our safety to people and our environment and what we see on social media rather than being able to face our triggers face our fears, face our discomforts so that when we encounter them in real life or on social media, they don’t elicit the same response.
So I define triggers as a present moment, resurrection of past trauma. So the trigger is whatever brings up the feelings in your body that are so uncomfortable that you experienced in real time at some point in the past. Whatever happened to you was not fair. It was not your choice. It wasn’t something that that you deserved.
Like we can acknowledge all of that. And that experience because of trauma was cemented in your body, in your mind and your soul as a threat to your existence. So then whenever you are in similar situations or around similar people in the future, or see something on social media, even though what initially happened to you is not happening in that moment, your body behaves like it is happening in that moment.
So that’s why I call triggers a present moment, resurrection of past trauma. It’s like the trauma is being resurrected as if it’s coming to life all over again. And sometimes people can be really surprised about what triggers them and when they discover that something is a trigger, then from a place of disempowerment, And from a place of fear and victim consciousness, they then begin to live in the narrative that this thing is a trigger.
Therefore, I must avoid it. I can’t be around it. And personally my own experience with this. And I don’t feel shame about sharing this, but I’m also not proud that this is how I was, but I avoided my triggers for a long time to the point that I like joked oh, that’s a trigger like, oh, that’s triggering Nope.
And it was like a very defensive excusing sort of thing. And. To the point again, that like I would expect my husband to modify whatever he was doing. So as not to trigger me or I would expect, if we were watching a movie or something that was really triggering to me, I would expect to turn it off or to leave the theater or something like that, because I just couldn’t face it, which like in my own sovereignty and autonomy, if that’s what I need to do, then that’s what I need to do.
But in expecting my husband to turn off the TV and stop watching the show or to leave the theater or to leave the gathering or whoever were around or whatever, in order to keep me comfortable. And under this notion of perceived safety, like it’s not actual safety, it’s just perceived safety. When we avoid these triggers.
It can get really messy. And we get really like codependent and enmeshed with other people. Whenever we let triggers and avoiding our triggers rule our lives, because when we’re in community with other people and we feel triggered, then there’s this like expectation that the other people need to do something in order to fix it or take it away or make it go away or make us feel better.
And that’s the opposite of living as a sovereign, autonomous, authentic being. Okay. So before we get even deeper, I just want to recap. So one avoiding triggers. Isn’t the answer to our discomfort is so wise, our triggers are so wise because they shine a bright spotlight on exactly where healing needs to take place.
And we can use our triggers as valuable information about ourselves. To go, you know what? I don’t want to be ruled by avoiding this thing. I don’t want to expect other people to change themselves or what they’re doing in order to accommodate me. I don’t want to lash out. At creators on social media because they post content that I find triggering.
I want to stop looking outside of myself and I want to start looking within I define triggers as a present moment, resurrection of past trauma. And I don’t do trigger warnings or content warnings on my content because literally anything can be a trigger. Anybody can be triggered about anything.
And if we did trigger warnings and content warnings for every single thing, then we would be taking up all of the space with trigger warnings and content warnings instead of the actual content, which could be very valuable. So there’s three reasons why we get triggered. The first is that past trauma is a rector is resurrected in the present moment.
So for example, you’re watching a movie that has a scene in it that triggers. Emotions and feelings from the past. And I used the example earlier of having sexual trauma and then seeing something like that on TV and not bringing up those feelings. You’re not being traumatized in that moment. You’re not being hurt in that moment, but your body is reacting as if it is happening in that moment because it’s triggered.
The second reason why we get triggered is that our ego identity is threatened or challenged in some way. And I don’t want to elaborate on this one too much because I’m still formulating. My own feelings about it, but basically like right now, everyone is obsessed with identity and there’s all these different identity markers for sexuality and gender and the type of relationship you have and the diet you follow and the form of spirituality that you’re into, or the kind of religion that you’re into, or like your your nationality, your ethnicity, your ancestry, like there’s so many identity markers.
And it seems like everyone is really obsessed with these identity markers. Identity isn’t is ego. Identity is ego. And I recognize that might be triggering for some people to hear, but identity is ego and all of these identity markers that we think are like so important, actually just create all these little boxes for us to get inside.
And I have permission to share this from my daughter, but my daughter is queer. I knew my daughter was queer before my daughter knew she was queer. When she first came out to me, she came out to me as bisexual. And I was like, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I feel honored that you would share this about yourself with me.
Like I support you. I love you. I will always accept you for who you are that will never change. Have a happy life. And try not to get boxed in to the bisexual label, because if that becomes what you need to identify yourself as then you may hesitate or have difficulty shifting in the future. If you want to have a different kind of sexuality, you may decide now that you’re bisexual, but later you may be full on gay.
And like you’re not attracted to men at all. Ever. You’re only attracted to women, or you may be like pansexual where it doesn’t matter what somebody is, gender is you’re attracted to them no matter what you may go through a period of feeling asexual, if so, that’s also okay. So I’ve encouraged my daughter every step of the way through, through her coming out to me as queer and queer as the label that she’s settled on now, because she feels like it leaves the most options open for her.
And I’m really proud of her for that, but. If she had gotten stuck in the label of being bisexual and felt like she had to create this identity for herself within that label, then that limits her to what other experiences are possible for her. Because our ego always has this desire of sticking with the label being inside the box, because this is what makes us.
And so I’m not saying it’s wrong for us to have terms like queer and gay and trans and black and indigenous. And I’m not saying any of that is wrong. What I am saying is that when that becomes an identity marker for us, and we find ourselves getting inside of that box, it limits. What we’re able to see it limits our perspective.
Whereas if we’re able to notice these labels and hold space for these labels, like they are a thing they do exist, but me and you, at our core essence, like our higher selves don’t have gender. They don’t have race, they don’t have sexuality. Like they are spirit. They will return to consciousness when we die and we will incarnate as somebody else afterwards.
And in every single person’s soul history, we have all incarnated. Every gender. We have all incarnated as different races. Like it’s possible that I was black in a past life. It was possible that I was Jewish in a past life or middle Eastern. It’s possible that I was a man in a past life. It’s possible that I was gay in a past life.
It’s possible that I was, whatever in a past life because we have so many incarnation experiences, we don’t just come back as the same thing over and over, because that would not serve our soul’s growth very well. But we come back as multiple different things so that we can live a variety of experiences, which can beautifully shape our soul and help us to have.
Anyway, I feel like I’m getting off on a little bit of a tangent about ego and identity, but basically we can get triggered when our ego identity is threatened or challenged in some way. And then the third reason we get triggered is that an active wound is poked. So I want to tell you about. An active wound of mine.
I’ve been working with a coach for the past nine and a half weeks. And one of the things that has come up repeatedly during my work with this coach is the control issues that I’ve had. And I can be 100% honest and totally transparent. That control has been a big issue for me in my life. Because of complex trauma because of being raised in religion, because I was raised by controlling people.
Like I have all kinds of reasons for why control is my default, but basically why I have this compulsive need to control is because my pain body, my inner child believes that the only way I can be safe is when I can control my environment. Or situations, and oftentimes the people in my environment, as you can imagine, this is not working out well for me, which is why it’s an issue that I’m needing to work on because in trying to control my environment, to keep things just so that I don’t get triggered so that I don’t have to feel uncomfortable so that I don’t have to feel difficult feelings.
I’ve hurt people. I’ve been controlling for my children. I’ve been controlling of my husband. I’ve been controlling of my friends, like I’ve limited other people’s experiences of life and of me by trying to control everything. So when I’m working with my coach and she gives me homework assignments, or she sends me messages, poke at that, it’s an active wound.
Like I’m actively trying to heal this wound that I have around control. And so I do get triggered, but I know that this is not, I don’t want to be controlling person. This isn’t who I want to be. This isn’t who my highest self is. Like when I am trying to control other people or my environment or situations, I am not embodying my highest.
So I don’t want to control anymore. I want to face it. I want to heal it. And the triggers are a beautiful thing because if I’m still having such a strong, emotional response, when I’m working on control because of the homework assignments or the journaling that I’m doing or whatever it is that’s a really amazing marker because there’s still healing work to be done.
But it’s still a trigger because it’s an active wound. It’s still an open wound. It hasn’t healed yet. And so working on it, having my coach pointed out, having my partner pointed out, like seeing it mirrored in my children, because they’ve picked up on this bad habit of mine in some ways like that hurts.
It’s like a wound is being poked and it’s triggering, but rather than retreating from it and being afraid of it and putting my arms out and resisting it and be like, oh dope. Just kidding. I can’t face this anymore. Like this is too uncomfortable rather than doing that I’m doing, or I’m trying to do consistently what I talked to you guys about and what I talk with my clients about, which is leaning into that discomfort.
So I’m noticing that the discomfort is there. It’s talking to me, it’s shedding light on what’s going on for me. And rather than avoiding it, which is what I have done in the past, which is not working out very well for me. I’m actually leaning into it and I’m choosing to face it. So that’s the three reasons why we get triggered.
One a past trauma is resurrected in the present moment to ego. Identity is threatened or challenged, and three, an active wound is poked. So I want to talk about what we do when we get to. And before I go into that, I just want to give a big fat disclaimer. Like I am not a therapist or a psychologist. I’m never going to expect anyone to take what I say in this podcast and just go apply it to their lives.
If it doesn’t feel safe, or if it doesn’t resonate if you have a therapist or a psychologist or counselor or someone that you trust and you want to start working on triggers, maybe have them listen to this episode. And then the two of you can work together to figure out what would be the best way for you to face your triggers.
So again, this is not to be construed as medical advice or mental health advice, or it’s not to substitute for working with a practitioner of your choice. So I’m just wanting to give that disclaimer, before I go into this, but here’s what you can do. Here’s what I do whenever I feel.
So first notice how you feel when you’re triggered, notice your body’s reaction. Does your heartbeat Quicken, does your breath get shallow and quick? Do your muscles tense up? Does your stomach feel nauseous or sick? Is there a knot in your throat? Whatever the physical sensation is, that’s the trigger.
Okay. That’s what you’re wanting to avoid feeling. So rather than avoiding it, simply notice it don’t judge it. Don’t try to fix it. Don’t try to make it go away. You’re just noticing it. And this is the first step and it’s awareness. And I’ve been saying on this podcast for a year now, awareness is 90% of the battle.
If you can be aware, you can heal whatever you’re aware of. You can heal, whatever you’re not aware of. You’re not going to be able to heal because it’s not going to spontaneously happen. So just notice that. What happens in your body when you get triggered and just allowing it to be there, not trying to fix it.
That’s the most important step. Second breathe. When we feel triggered, we tense up and construct our body contracts. So we need to breathe and just create space inside of ourselves. When you breathe, your chest literally expands and that’s the opposite of the constructive energy. Of trauma and constructive energy of triggers.
So you’re creating expansion and space in your body when you breathe, which is exactly what you want to do because you’re moving out of the constricted feeling of being triggered and intentionally opening up and creating space in your body. So breathe into your throat, your chest, your belly, your pelvic floor.
I cannot even describe how important it is to breathe into your pelvic floor. So much stress and tension gets stored in the pelvic floor and the relationship to the pelvic floor and the nervous system cannot be understated. And I’m really hoping to do a podcast episode about this in the future, because I think it would just benefit so many people, but breathe into your entire body, into every, visualize breath and space, filling up every nook and cranny of your body.
Create space. If you happen to be on your phone, when you feel triggered, put your phone down, just immediately put your phone down, don’t react. A lot of times when you’re triggered online, the initial reaction is to, thumbs on fire, start commenting, start sending a DM to someone because God damn it.
You want them to know how triggered you are and you want them to know that they’re not trauma informed. And if they were trauma informed, they wouldn’t say such triggering things. And you want them to know what XYZ people group feels about it, bringing identity into it. Here’s what the black community feels like.
Here’s what the indigenous community feels like. Here’s what the, whatever other community feels like as if those communities are a monolith and you can speak for them. If you’re on your phone, put it down, don’t react, commenting, or DM-ing that creator who’s content triggered. You will not accomplish anything for you.
Because again, as I talked about in the beginning of the episode, you are handing over your power and your safety to someone else. And so in doing so now they’ve triggered you and you expect them to take the post down or issue an apology or whatever it is that you expect. And a lot of cancel culture, I think is tied into people, just not fucking being able to face their triggers and deal with their triggers.
Everyone’s trying to get everyone else to walk around on eggshells and somehow curate content that. Whatever 2 billion, Instagram users, aren’t going to find sugaring. And that’s just, it’s impossible. So just put your phone down. You’re not going to be able to move into a space of being able to regulate your nervous system by being on your phone period at all.
And I don’t care if you only follow people like me who are talking about regulating yourself and healing trauma. Even we even, I am going to say things that are going to trigger you, because again, anything can be a trigger. So if you’re on your phone, put your phone down. And then, now you’ve become aware.
Step one, you’ve briefed breathing into the body, intentionally creating space, opening things up. If you were on your phone, you’ve put your phone down. The next step is to get curious. Why are you feeling triggered? What’s coming up. When have you felt this trigger in the past? That’s maybe the most important question is this is a present moment, resurrection of the past.
When have I felt this before this feeling is familiar to me and my body. That’s why I worked so hard to avoid it. So when have I felt this before? How is it similar now? How is it different now? What feelings are you noticing? Where is your body showing you that it’s triggered? Again, is it in your chest?
Is it in your heart racing? Is it tension in the back of your neck? Is it clenching your pelvic floor? Is it pain somewhere? What is your body communicating to you? Every trigger is a healing. Every trigger is a healing opportunity. I cannot state that enough. This is why I think triggers are amazing.
I think it’s amazing when we get triggered because it’s so wise, it’s showing us exactly what needs to be healed. And every time we’re triggered, it’s an opportunity for new healing. It’s amazing, but it’s only our societal conditioning that we have to avoid, and then expect other people to accommodate us that keeps us stuck in this belief that triggers are the double or that they’re the worst thing ever or whatever.
Every trigger is a healing opportunity, but only when we approach the trigger from a place of openness and curiosity The next thing, feel the feelings, feel the anxiety, feel the discomfort. This is where it might be really helpful to work with a practitioner with a therapist. If you get emotionally flooded, when you’re trying to feel your feelings, work with a therapist, please don’t avoid your feelings.
Figure out a way to be able to feel them. Your triggers are an emotional response and emotions are energy and motion. They need to be moved. So how can you embody those emotions? If that trigger? Has you feeling frustrated? How can you embody frustration? If that trigger, has you feeling angry? How can you embody that?
Anger? All embodiment means is what my friend, Chelsea Horton who’s been on the podcast twice. She just says whatever you’re feeling. If it had a dance or a movement, what would it be? That’s literally what embodiment is. It’s not complicated. So you could shake, you could cry, he could jump up and down. You could hit a pillow.
You could go for a run. You could, curl up in a ball and cry, like whatever you need to do. And that moment you have to listen to your body. You have to be able to follow your body’s cues and just go with it. And it may feel uncomfortable for a few moments, but I promise you it’ll pass because it’s just energy.
Emotions are just energy. What we’re trying to avoid literally will pass anyway. If we just stop avoiding it and just deal with it. But we may need some help doing that. So work with a coach, work with a therapist, like I’m not trying to get you to blood yourself emotionally with triggers, and then figure out how to get yourself out of it.
I want you to work with somebody if that’s what you need. And that brings me to the next point to take your feelings, take your trigger to your real life. Trusted community cannot emphasize the real life part. You need to be able to, co-regulate your nervous system with an actual human being if possible.
So hopefully you have a partner or a best friend or a parent or a sister or brother or someone who you really trust that you can take these triggered activated feelings too. And these are the kinds of people who are invested in your healing. They want you to be well, if you don’t have these kinds of people in your real life.
Turn this episode off and go figure out how to start cultivating these types of relationships. It’s going to require you to put yourself out there. I can promise you, but it’s so worth it because there is a connection that you can experience with other human beings. And co-regulate your nervous system with other human beings in a way that is so beautiful that I don’t know that it can be done on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook.
I have my online community, the trauma healer circle, and certainly I think we might get close to being able to do this co-regulation thing with each other, but we’re still not in physical proximity to each other. We’re still not holding physical space for each other. So take it to your real life trusted community, the people who are invested in your healing with you and who will speak truth to you.
It may not be what you want to hear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not truth. So your partner, your friend, a therapist, a coach, we heal in relationships. That’s where our healing has to happen. So bring in your people, get their perspective, hard conversations need to happen in community. If something is triggering you on the internet, don’t try to figure it out on the internet.
Take it to someone in your real life that you can sit across and have a face-to-face conversation with. Maybe hold their hand, maybe get a hug, maybe go for a walk with them. That’s what we’re going to figure out this hard shit. Okay. Not in the comment section on Instagram, and this leads us into the big one self responsibility.
This may be triggering for you as well. If it is again, I would ask that you notice that notice what you’re feeling in your body. Whenever I bring up you being responsible for your triggers for your own nervous system regulation and for your own healing, notice it breathe into it. If you felt your body construct up, see where you can allow for some expansion, take a deep breath, feel your lungs, expand, watch your chest and your belly.
Expand, breathe into your pelvic floor, breathe into your belly, breathe into your chest. Your throat, allow your exhale to be longer than your inhale. That signals to your nervous system. To switch from a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state, because now we’re going to get into even more meat and potatoes.
And we’ve already been into that. But yeah, your triggers are your responsibility. No one else as responsible for what triggers you. As I said earlier, every trigger is an opportunity to heal. And whether you react from a place of ego and pain and fear, or whether you lean into that discomfort and get curious about it and allow it to heal is your choice avoiding triggers does not heal them.
You will never heal anything by avoiding it, even if you’re not avoiding something. And you’ve had to set a boundary to keep a person out of your life, you will still experience the same feelings that person elicits in you in the future. Even if that person isn’t in your life, even if they’re not near you, even if you haven’t spoken to them in years, even if they’re dead, if you had to set a boundary to keep that person out of your life for your own safety, that’s not the same thing as avoiding it’s avoiding.
Whenever you find yourself in repeated situations in the future where those same feelings, where that wound gets poked, right? That active wound gets poked because you didn’t heal it. So you’ll face it again and again, because again, it’s not about the person who hurt you. I’m sorry that they hurt you.
They shouldn’t have hurt you. It wasn’t fair. And it wasn’t your choice, but your triggers are not about who hurt you. Your triggers are about you again, they’re shining a spotlight on what is in you that needs to heal and only you can heal them. And that’s what makes you responsible for them? That is why self responsibility.
Yes. So important. I would say that second to awareness self-responsibility is the next most important thing that you can do when you’re triggered? I hope with this episode to be able to shift the conversation about triggers from triggers are bad, and I should avoid them too. Triggers can actually be a good thing, believe it or not, because if you’re curious and if you allow it, they will show you exactly what needs to be healed and not as a good thing.
So in that way, we can be thankful for our triggers. We really can be, if this sounds completely insane to you, I hold space for that. But I also would challenge you. How is it working for you to avoid what triggers you, how is it working for you to expect people in your environment to change themselves in order to help you avoid this?
How is it helping you to lash out at content creators on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter? Because what they’ve said triggers you and pokes at you. It’s not serving you. It’s really not. Triggers are just a sign of where you still have work to do. Triggers are not someone else’s fault. They’re not the Instagrammers fault.
They’re not our partner’s fault. They’re not the movie’s fault. The book’s fault, your kid’s fault. They’re not even your fault. K there, this is not about blaming or trying to hold someone responsible or accountable for what triggers you. This is about you having an awareness and a curiosity, and a willingness to face what you may have spent an entire lifetime avoiding.
Now that’s not to say that people in our lives. Can’t be purposefully abrasive. I am a content creator on Instagram, and I can tell you that nothing is more satisfying to me than when I drop a hot take. That is abrasive. That raises eyebrows because that’s, what’s going to get shared on Instagram the most that’s what’s going to get me new followers.
That’s how it works. You guys. So I definitely can hold space for I love a good mic drop moment. Okay. But I don’t purposefully create content like that in order to trigger people. But I understand that creating content like that may trigger people. I also know that we can have people in our lives who are purposefully abrasive.
Like we just butt heads with them. They challenge us all the time. It may like one of my children is like this for me sometimes, so that’s not to say that people can’t be purposefully, abrasive. Okay. And it is still my responsibility to heal. Whatever is in me that is triggered by their purposeful abrasiveness.
If that makes sense. It is not okay for me or for you to demand that someone change in order to make you more comfortable or to demand that a content creator take down certain content or hold themselves accountable or issue an apology or D platform in order to make you more comfortable in order to not trigger you.
That is the fond response. When we change and modify ourselves to avoid conflict, that is fawning. And if you are a person who’s triggered and you think it’s someone else’s responsibility to take care of your trigger or to change their content, or what are whatever they’re doing in order to make you more comfortable to avoid conflict, then you are expecting someone else to go into a trauma response to keep you comfortable and in perceived safety.
And that’s not okay. It’s absolutely not. Okay. Now in conclusion, I do want to say that I personally believe it is completely within your rights, your sovereignty and your choice to avoid certain forms of media, certain situations, certain places, whatever. That elicits those feelings. For example, Outlander is my favorite show.
I am such an Outlander fan. Love it. I have watched all of it through four times. I cannot wait for season six to come out, hopefully in 20, 22, like I love Outlander, but there are scenes and Outlander that I fast forward through because I don’t want to watch them. The scene where Jamie gets thrashed and flogged at Fort William, I don’t watch that scene.
I don’t need to watch that scene. It may not even be so much that it’s triggering as it just is. I don’t want to see that kind of violence and it’s okay for me to have that kind of. And it’s not really avoidance. It’s just I don’t want to consume this. I don’t want to see this. Once I’ve seen it, I can’t unsee it and I don’t want to go to bed and have that image playing in my mind while I’m trying to fall asleep.
That doesn’t mean I’m avoiding it. And that doesn’t mean I’m not facing the triggers. Like I can still face a trigger and be like, whew. Yeah. It makes me really uncomfortable whenever I see a flogging on a movie or on a TV show. But again, here’s more complexity and nuance, right? Just because we choose not to consume media like that’s either has a lot of violence or a lot of, like rape, like I couldn’t watch game of Thrones.
I watched two episodes and there was enough rape in the first two episodes that I was like, yeah, no thanks. So I don’t watch game of Thrones. I’ve never seen more than the first two episodes. Everyone tells me, oh, if you can just get past the first few episodes, that’s where all the rape is. And then you’ll just love it.
And I’m like no, actually I don’t want to get past that in order to be able to enjoy this show. It’s not that important to me to be able to enjoy this show. And it’s okay for me to know this is not the kind of media I want to consume. That doesn’t mean that I’m avoiding a trigger. It’s not that I find it.
Especially triggering. It’s just, that’s not a hell. Yes, for me, I can choose to watch anything. I don’t want to fill my mind with images of women being raped. Now, if you love game of Thrones, awesome. Like I’m not judging people who love game of Thrones. I’m simply using this as an example of as much as I try to lean into discomfort and face my triggers and be curious about them and breathe through them and work with a coach and all of that. There are still boundaries that I have for myself around the type of media that I’ll consume or the type of people I want to be around. I’m not avoiding a trigger by choosing not to go hang out at bars.
That’s just not my scene. That’s not where I receive like good energy. That’s not where I have fun. It’s about knowing myself and trusting myself enough to be able to make that decision for myself. That’s different than avoiding a trigger. So again, there’s a lot of complexity, a lot of nuance here.
I trust you to know what is best for you. I trust you to know what types of media. Is good for you to consume and what types of media aren’t good for you to consume? I trust you to be able to set boundaries with people in your life who may be toxic or harmful, or who have hurt you or someone you love and really big ways.
I trust you to be able to do all that. I also trust you to know when you’re triggered and to be able to equip yourself with the tools, to deal with those triggers and face them, because you love yourself enough to not want to outsource your power or your safety to the people and the situations outside of yourself.
You want to always be cultivating that safety within yourself so that you have a safe space to come back to no matter what’s happening around you. And even if you are triggered, it’s okay. It’s not bad to be true. It’s not something you have to avoid. It can be something that you lean into. I’m not saying you’re going to welcome it, but it can be something that when it comes up, you can be curious about it.
You can lean into it, you can see it. I shining a spotlight on something in you that needs to heal. And that wants to be well, I think that’s such a beautiful thing about triggers is this is coming up because it feels safe to be felt because it’s ready to heal. We, when we try to suppress it and push it down and avoid it and pretend like it’s not there and expect other people to accommodate us and change themselves to, to accommodate us, like then we’re living from a place of avoidance and it’s not a beautiful place live from a place of avoidance.
It’s very limiting. It’s constructing avoidance has the same energy that trauma has, which is it makes you smaller. It keeps you stuck. Leaning into triggers, being curious about them being thankful when they come up, because they’re shining a light on what needs to be healed and also being thankful that they feel safe enough to be felt to come up for healing is a huge thing.
And that’s where I find myself right now with working with my coach is oh yes, I have this control issue. And yes, it freaks me the fuck out. When I think about not having certainty or not being in control of something or having to trust somebody else. Yes, I don’t like that, but I’m also so thankful that those feelings feel safe to come up so that I can heal them.
They’re just letting me know they’re there because they want to be felt and seen and released and heal. And that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal. And it’s a good thing. So who, okay. I’m just looking at my notes here. I think I’ve said everything that I had noted down to say, and then some I do have another thing to say.
So I have created a free training on how to hack your nervous system with cold plunges. And I feel like it’s very relevant to this episode because I personally believe that doing cold plunges can actually help us face triggers. And the reason why I say that is because I learned how to sit with discomfort and be comfortable being uncomfortable during the summer of 2020, when I was doing daily cold plunges and lake superior.
And what I found was that I was able to override certain nervous system responses with focused intention, awareness, and breathing. And the incredible thing about cold plunges is that they’re fast and they’re free. And you can actually physically put yourself in an uncomfortable environment, like very cold water, and you can learn to breathe through it, to lean into the discomfort, to challenge yourself, to sit with it, or be in it for a little bit longer and incrementally work your way up to being able to tolerating the cold water for longer and longer.
And this directly. Correlates with dealing with triggers because not being able to handle a trigger is not being able to be in the discomfort. And so cold plunges helped me to hack into my nervous system to be able to sit with discomfort and teach my body. I can be okay. I can be in this frigid water and I’m not going to die.
And I have total agency and sovereignty over myself. So when I’m done being uncomfortable in this cold water, I can get out anytime. And that directly translates into dealing with triggers. You can be aware of a trigger, you can breathe into it. You can notice how you feel. You can get curious about it.
You can talk about it with trusted community. You can decide you’re going to heal it. And at any point, if it becomes overwhelming, and if you’re feeling flooded, you can come back to safety within yourself because you have agency and sovereignty. So I do have that free training it’s available for email@example.com forward slash cold plus.
It’s going to be how to do cold plunges specifically for hacking into your nervous system to create more resiliency and flexibility. And I guarantee you, you will see that it translates outside of the cold water as well. You will notice. That you are more able to handle stress and discomfort and your day-to-day life when you practice cold plunges on a regular basis.
Like I promise you will. They’re fantastic. So Lindsay locket.com forward slash cold plunge is where you can find that free training and an exchange. All I get is your email. So check that out. If you think that would be beneficial to you, hint, it will be just trust me. It will be. And yeah, for everything else, you can find me on Instagram at I am Lindsay locket and of course, show notes are firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash podcast.
This is episode 59 and thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart for being here for the first year of the holistic trauma healing podcast, I’m honored to share this space with you. I’m honored to provide this amazing free resource. Please share it with your friends and family. Please share it on social media.
I want this message of holistic trauma healing to get out as far and wide as we can possibly make it go. We’ve got healing stuff to do. We’ve got individual healing work to do, and we’ve got collective healing work to do. And the whole point of this podcast is to try to give you the resources.
To be able to accomplish the individual healing. Because when we heal as individuals, we will heal as a collective. There’s just no other option. Like it will happen. We don’t even have to do anything other than heal ourselves. We will heal ourselves and that will heal the collective. So thank you for being here for this first year of the podcast.
And it is the first of what I hope are many to come. I have no plans of stopping anytime soon. I absolutely love having the show and I love that you’re here. So thank you for being here. Happy anniversary to the holistic trauma healing podcast. And I will talk to you again next week.
📍 did you enjoy the show? I’d really appreciate it. If you took a few moments to rate the podcast,
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community Cast episodes monthly zoom calls a community forum and most importantly you’ll find your people go to lindsay lockett.com forward slash circle to join