Emotional Triggers

It’s early, it’s dark, it’s cold and I’m warm, cozy and almost awake.  What’s the emotional thought process that gets me out of my warm bed on a cold winter before-dawn morning?  It’s more than habit, it’s an, I’ll-feel-so-much-better-afterwards feeling. I do indeed feel better during as well as after my workout or run.  I can’t argue with the facts; I get up and workout…most mornings.

What emotional triggers work for or against us in any given day?  If I don’t work out I know that my body doesn’t function at top energy and that my mental game isn’t as acute.  Yes, the days during the week or weekend that I don’t workout don’t disappear, and I do get tasks accomplished, but…my body and mind know the difference.

At work, are there team members whom you don’t appreciate? Does their every pore make you want to run, or worse, strangle him/her?  But, your heart says to your head to be nice; you tolerate them, maybe even include them in meetings. These emotional triggers of the do’s and don’ts make or break both our personal and professional being. Every person you come in contact with has an emotional trigger; kindness is a way to keep peace.

An argument at home may trigger a heavy weight on your head and heart during the work day, and if someone at the office, or maybe a prospect or client raises your ire for something that wouldn’t normally bother you, you raise your voice.  You might use words that’ll stay with the person long after you’ve gone home. You don’t have a patent on getting upset; everyone gets frustrated, angry, sad, pissed off and ecstatic.

Our likes and dislikes are us.  We were born with them.  If you like red instead of blue, that’s you.  When you stay up to work on the computer, read or watch t.v. until 2 a.m. most nights, that’s you.  Your inner clock works with your emotional triggers.  When you’re well rested your head and heart work in tandem; when you’re exhausted your heart wants to sleep during staff meetings.

Emotions run our lives.  You can be an engineer, a computer software designer, an IT specialist or an artist; emotions rule.

What propels you to complete a task early?  What propels you to work in the yard on a beautiful weekend instead of playing outside?  What propels you play hookey?  What does your heart say to your head to push you forward or backward?  Your passions, likes and dislikes, your desires and dreams will motion you forward in myriad ways.

How many of you are on a diet?  How many of you have “cheated” just a little during the time?  Did that dessert say something to you, or did your heart tug at your head and say, “it’s okay”?  It is okay if you follow what you know to be the right course of action: your goal, losing those 15 pounds.  When you see your “perfect” weight on the scale that glorious day, then you’re allowed to celebrate.

Any time you make a decision your emotional trigger(s) rule.  Be good to yourself when you do something other than what you “know” to be the right thing to do:

1. Stay in bed instead of working out

2. Go to a movie instead of working in the yard

3. Skip a meeting

4. Eat an extra piece of bread

5. Snap at a co-worker

6. Snap at a child or spouse

7. Procrastinate

I could go on.  The above actions are forgivable.  You didn’t physically  hurt anyone or yourself, an apology to someone helps, a go-back-on-the-diet now is advisable.  When you carry guilt or shame around that emotion is lack of self-respect beacon.  We all make mistakes – some of us more than others! –  we’re human and fallible.

Enjoy the journey and know that your emotional triggers dance to your waltz; they’re amazing.  Recognize both the good and the bad.  They’re you.


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