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9 Types of Emotional Triggers

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Feeling discounted, vulnerable, and self-conscious are just three common categories of emotional triggers.

Not all strong emotional responses are trigger reactions. If you receive news about the sudden death of a friend or relative, it is sane and sensitive to react with shock and grief. Your body experiences an automatic change in heart rate, breathing, pulse, brain synapses. This is not something to be avoided, nor is it healthy to try to control it.

When we react this strongly to a less significant event, though, it’s likely that the past is invading the present and hijacking our nervous system. In my work as a psychotherapist, I see nine categories of triggers:

  1. Feeling self-conscious, such as when we’re alone in a group or comparing ourselves
  2. Being discounted, such as when someone stands us up or ignores our calls
  3. Feeling we are controlled, such as when someone is making decisions for us or is telling us what to do or feel
  4. Feeling taken advantage of, such as when someone fails to pay us back on a loan
  5. Feeling vulnerable, such as when we’re in a situation in which we feel exposed
  6. Relationship experiences, such as when we’re lonely or feeling smothered
  7. Boundary concerns, such as when someone is coming at us while drunk or disrespecting our space
  8. Feeling uncomfortable about what is happening, such as when we witness someone being hurt or when someone’s words or actions disagree with our values
  9. Fearing what might happen, such as when a threat appears imminent

This article originally appeared as “Trigger Origins” in “Reactive Remedies” in the October 2020 issue of Experience Life.


David Richo, PhD
is a psychotherapist, teacher, and writer. This article is adapted from Triggers: How We Can Stop Reacting and Start Healing by David Richo © 2019. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boulder, Colo.

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Plant-Based Black Bean Enchiladas – Experience Life

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a saucepan over medium heat and warm the avocado oil. Add the flour, cumin, and chili powder, and stir to make a paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant, about a minute. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and tomato paste and stir to combine, then gradually add the stock, whisking constantly to break up lumps.

Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about eight to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice.

In a 9-x-13-inch baking dish, combine the onion, zucchini, and pepper. Add the avocado oil, the remaining salt, and the oregano, and stir until coated. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 20 minutes, then uncover and roast for 20 minutes longer. Let the vegetables cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl; wipe out and set aside the baking dish. Add the drained beans to the veggies and mix.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for 10 minutes, or use a steamer basket.

Pour 3/4 cup of the sauce into a wide, low bowl. Place a tortilla in the bowl, and flip it to lightly coat each side with sauce. Place about 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture in each tortilla, then roll it tightly and place it in the baking dish. Repeat until you have a row of enchiladas down the center of the pan, pressed tightly together. Pour remaining sauce over the rolled tortillas, covering them completely. Sprinkle with pepitas.

Cover the pan with foil and bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

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