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The Difference Between Strong Feelings And Being Triggered

The latest buzzword/phrase is to say that you’re “triggered” when in reality you're just having strong (usually negative) feelings about something. A lot of times, it's used tongue-in-cheek and not the actual trauma response.

A New Jersey-based psychologist, Anton Shcherbakov told HuffPost, quote, “In everyday language, being ‘triggered’ tends to mean having a strong negative reaction in response to an event or situation, like feeling angry or upset — but this isn’t how psychologists think about the term.”

Originally it was used to understand trauma frame for symptoms of PTSD- an example is a vet panicking when they hear a noise that reminds them of war. Noël Hunter, director of MindClear Integrative Psychotherapy says quote, “Being triggered in this sense literally means something in the present has triggered a past traumatic memory that’s led the body’s fight-flight-freeze system to take over. The person is no longer fully in the present, but rather, their mind is back in the trauma.”

Here's how you can tell the difference between being triggered and having strong feelings. From HuffPost:

Triggers reactivate painful, traumatic memories or cravings for unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors you’re trying to change, whereas strong feelings are mostly uncomfortable or upsetting in relation to the moment that precipitated them.

Read more about the difference HERE. It's a really interesting read.


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