Madhu Einsiedler

How To Override ‘Trigger-happy’ Habits – Part I

You know my motto: No right. No wrong. Simply growth. Interested in to find out how to override ‘trigger-happy’ habits? 

Ahead of you is a 7-minute read – part 1 of a two-step quick guide about habits – that will spark your growth, if you let it. 

The Definition: What is a ‘trigger-happy’ habit?

Let’s clarify this from the start: it is any habit that automatically takes control over your existing mood, prompted by an unexpected occurrence, most times, quote insignificant.

For example, it is the quick moment of ‘losing it’ when someone cuts you off while driving. You might have had the best day of your life, be in the most delightful mood, and yet, in a blink of an eye, you make a 180-degree, to utter anger. It’s like someone just pressed a button, isn’t it? – hence ‘automatism.’

Habits and automatisms are characterized by slipping through our conscious mind, it’s not a conscious aware decision we take. Suddenly, we find ourselves being sort of a victim of our emotions, which control us. 

So, how can we gain back control?

Before learning how to re-gain our inner peace, let’s first look at understanding ourselves. In Part 2, we will look at solutions and tips:

  1. Recognize what habits are trigger-happy. Notice where/when your emotions shift so bluntly. Is it always when driving? Or maybe having a “serious talk” with a parent, or certain family members, most times ends with your head spinning? Sometimes we cannot even understand by ourselves what ‘ticks us off.’ Feel free to ask someone you trust for a perspective. Maybe your best friend knows you, and never pushes that button, but you are unaware of what the button is?
  2. Identify the triggers. The trigger from the aforementioned example was the car cutting in. It kicked off an emotion: fear of a potential accident, then anger, then possible resentment at our own incapacity of controlling these emotions.

A perfect loop! Established and ingrained over time, the conscious mind has no say in it and the loop of emotions and thoughts stand at the steering wheel of our behavior.

All of our habits have served a purpose once, they were our best try to solve a situation. And they have worked, otherwise they wouldn’t have become a habit. And then they slipped our conscious mind, we sort of forgot them and they started to take over, still trying to protect us.

Yet our environment has changed and those habit simply might not work anymore. We have grown up and need now different sorts of actions.

Read this blog, twice, even three times if needed, and make a list of triggers that you are aware of. They are different for each of us, and can range from something like a dresser shelf left slightly unopened, to someone perceived as offending (although that might not be the case, but only your perception). And don’t be afraid to ask loved ones to add to the list, whether you agree with their feedback or not; at least think about it. 

Eager to learn how to gain control back? I’ll address that in my following blog.

Stay tuned!