shopify analytics tool

ACEs Healing: Mind

On This Page:

What are your Triggers? 

We have identified the history of what happened and the physiological signs our body sends us when our moods are low or high. Next, we can identify what triggers our brains and bodies to react to outside stimuli in the way that it does.

Name triggers you currently face daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

  • Daily - Everyday at 4:00pm
  • Weekly - Passing by your childhood church
  • Monthly - The 3rd of every month
  • Yearly - Anniversary

How are the triggers you listed related to what happened?

Daily - Everyday at 4:00pm

  • The time your father returned home each day; abusive, violent, yelling

Weekly - Passing by your childhood church

  • The place you were sexually abused by a member or leader

Monthly - The 3rd of every month

  • The day the electricity goes off due to your alcoholic mother not paying the bill again

Yearly - Anniversary

  • The day your child, sibling, or other loved one died

Name triggers you currently face through your senses.

Eyes - sight - things that can be seen

  • Red shirt, yellow dress, an outfit, public discipline, a specific color, car, food

Ears - sound - things we hear

  • Loud noises, car door slam, footsteps on stairs, yelling, cussing, bullying

Smell - things we smell have a direct connection to the brain

  • Gas, food, burning rubber, soil

Taste - things we eat, textures - also have a direct connection to the brain

  • Boiled okra, moldy food, stale bread, freezer burned ice cream, cottage cheese

Touch - touching or being touched, textures - first sense to develop, last to leave

  • Some one touching you from behind without you seeing them, light feathery touch

Insight - intuition - sixth sense - a feeling

  • Sleeping with an open bedroom door, neighbor watching you from their window

How are the sensory triggers you listed related to what happened?

Eyes - sight - things that can be seen

  • The first time you had a seizure you wore a blue shirt/yellow pants

Ears - sound - things we hear

  • Yelling, cussing, and broken items are all sounds heard from your bedroom at night

Smell - things we smell have a direct connection to the brain

  • The soil your parents worked in on the farm, who later died

Taste - things we eat, textures - also have a direct connection to the brain

  • Forced to eat food that repulsed my taste buds, with texture, smell, and taste

Touch - touching or being touched, textures - first sense to develop, last to lose

  • Growing up with a narcissistic parent, never knowing what is coming next

Insight - intuition - sixth sense - a feeling

  • Knowing that someone will come visit you in your sleep for their pleasure

What physiological signs occur before/during/after you have been triggered?

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sweaty palms
  • Fearful
  • Anxious
  • Explode in anger
  • Become violent
  • Shut down emotionally
  • Insomnia - Trouble getting out of bed
  • Tight muscles - Freeze response
  • Pupils dilate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Sadness

Mindfulness - How to Respond Mindfully in Any Situation

Mindfulness is more than yoga and meditation on the beach. It is about being present in the moment, aware of your emotions, and surrounding environment. It may be difficult at first to focus on staying in the moment, but it is possible. Start practicing with small tasks, such as washing the dishes. Focus on washing each dish and not allowing your mind to wander off to think about other things, like what happened at work today or how everything will go when family comes over this weekend.

Bring your mind back from wandering, by using your senses and thinking of:

  • The smell/color of the soap
  • The temperature of the water
  • The type of dish you are washing (silverware, plate, cup, pot)
  • The sound that each dish makes in the sink

Be mindful of the triggers you identified, how they relate to what happened, and what type of emotional response happens with each one. In reality you are not thinking that your actions are because of your history, but that you are just reacting. Before each action, ask yourself, am I responding to this situation, or reacting to something traumatic that has happened to me in the past?

This is how you can prevent your triggers from affecting you in the future. You are mindful of each situation and can assess what is happening in real time. Instead of blowing up at your partner because they did not take the trash out again. Stop and ask yourself, is this about the trash not going out or something that has to do with my past and triggers? If not, have you clearly communicated your expectations?

Change the lens of your life from what is wrong with me to what happened to me? We cannot go back and change what happened, but we can start from where we are and change the future. Once you can make the connection to how what happened to you continues to show up in your life, you can then begin to take control.

Why you Need Sleep and How you Can Get More of It

Sleep allows our bodies time for rest and restoration. It also allows our minds to make connections and transfer events into memories. If you are sleeping but waking up not rested or having trouble falling and staying asleep, go back to the basics.

Are you...?

  • Hydrated throughout the day
  • Making healthy eating choices
  • Taking your medication/vitamins
  • Exercising three times per week, for at least 30 minutes
  • Mindful of the signs your body may be sending you

If these basics are under control, take the next steps and review what is going on in your life that could be triggering you.

Are you being triggered by...?

  • Stress
  • Work
  • School
  • Relationship
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Life in General
  • Your Past

If you are being triggered, identify how you can prepare your mind and body for a good night's rest by using your senses:

Eyes - sight - things that can be seen

  • Reduce technology use at least 2 hours before bedtime

Ears - sound - things we hear

  • Play soothing, relaxing music

Smell - things we smell have a direct connection to the brain

  • Light a candle or incense

Taste - things we eat, textures - also have a direct connection to the brain

  • Eat protein before bedtime

Touch - touching or being touched, textures - first sense to develop, last to leave

  • Something that feels good on your skin - i.e. soft lamb's wool, take a hot bath

Insight - intuition - sixth sense - a feeling

  • Prayer, adult coloring books, puzzles, doodling

What Q-TIP Stands for and the Healing Power of Touch

No one can make you act or say anything you do not want to. With self-regulation,  careful attention to our triggers, and being mindful of whether we are responding or reacting, you are in control. Gone are the days that you blame others for you calling them out of their name or made you late for work because they did not wake you up on time. Take control of your life, by taking control of yourself.

Q-TIP stands for:

  • Quit Taking It Personal

When someone offends you, let them know you were offended and let it go. Do not be afraid their feelings will be hurt. Offense is taken, not given, maybe they are unaware they offended you. In a calm, firm tone, there is no need to be ugly, sarcastic, or condescending about it. Remember to Q-TIP to avoid confusion.

Quit Taking It Personal

Do not hold grudges or collect resentment because the person did not react the way you would have, or you wanted them to. Forgive and move on. Life is too short to keep a score board of who did what to whom and when did it happen as well as how.

Once you have addressed the issue, do not keep bringing up old stuff. ”You do this every time”, “I can’t stand when you...”, or “The last time you did this...”. Be clear, concise, and conscious of how you treat others and the words/actions you use to express your feelings. When you focus on being your best self, you are taking control of what you can and acting accordingly to those things that you cannot.

Just like you are adjusting the lens of your life, make an adjustment to the lens in which you see others. Every person has something they are dealing with at any moment in life, whether past or present. Just say to yourself, I wonder what happened to them?

The Power of Touch - Releases "feel good" hormones dopamine, oxytocin - makes us happy, relax; reduces cortisol/catecholamines - hormones that help the body respond to stress and prepare for "fight-or-flight" reactions; lamb's wool has shown to have a therapeutic touch when used in the NICU; also used to treat auto-immune diseases - lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, anxiety, aggression, violence, ADD/ADHD

Other Resources

<ACEs How to Heal: Body                                                   ACEs How to Heal: Spirit>