My triggers are not real. This is something my teacher said on her podcast a few weeks ago, and I find myself circling back to it regularly.

At first I found it triggering in itself. ‘Of course my triggers are real! I felt them. I didn’t like how I felt. That’s how I knew it was a trigger!’.

Then I realised it spoke to something deeper. When I recognise my triggers aren’t real, I’m recognising that my feelings come from the judgements and opinions I’m having about whatever is happening. The thing that’s happening is completely neutral until I choose what meaning I will give to it.

Please know, this isn’t me telling you that you’re making up a trauma response. If you’ve been triggered, you’ve been triggered and the feelings are very real. What I am saying is that it’s not the thing that’s triggering you, but your thoughts about the thing. This is important because you might not be in control of the thing, but you can learn to take control of your thoughts.