UNDERSTANDING OUR RESPONSE TO STRESSES
Any weakness in defending or standing up for yourself can be used as weapon to manipulate, control and hurt you at the hands of toxic person or narcissist. Learning to stay steadfast in your decisions and setting healthy boundaries requires us unpacking why we are such pushovers.”
Journaling is one of the best ways to identify what triggers us and brings us to fight or flight mode. Sign up for a cloud-based journal app and start documenting situations where you felt you were feeling panicked, afraid, frustrated or bulldozed.
Capture four things in each journal entry:
Really capture what the situation or circumstance was about, the topic, who was involved, where you were, and what you were discussing.
- How did the environment make you feel?
- Was the conversation heated or calm?
- Do you already have a conflict relationship with the person(s) involved?
- Were you discussing a heated or high-conflict topic? Why?
- What were the circumstances that lead you to this precipice moment?
How You Felt
Understand how the situation makes you feel emotionally is a great layer to unpack. As you continue to journal, you will notice consistencies in your emotional response.
- Do you feel safe or threatened?
- Do you feel victimized in this situation? Why?
- Do you feel angry or afraid?
Your Physical Response
Our bodies tell us a lot about how we feel about a situation. Look specifically for physical responses to the situation and log each symptom you experience.
- Can you feel your heart race?
- Are you sweating?
- Do you lose feeling in your limbs?
- Do you have a headache or migraine?
- Do you feel chilly?
- Are your ears ringing?
- Are your fingers cold?
- Is it hard to catch your breath or breathe normally?
Identify the Trigger
A trigger is the tipping point that sets off our flight/fight response. In identifying triggers, we can start to apply counter balance techniques to keep you calm, manage the situation logically, and maintain your stand,
- What was said in the situation?
- Was it the person’s voice?
- Was it the topic?
- Were you pressured to respond immediately?
- Were you threatened physically or verbally?
- Did you perceive a threat (real or imagined)?