How to Stop Reacting in Anger When You’re Triggered

Learning to browse our triggers not just allows us to reclaim control and take pleasure in life more, it has a remarkable trickle-down effect to those around us too. It better links us in our relationships and models for others or our children what it looks like to be with dignity resistant so those in our circles can mimic the exact same.

So then I snap and overreact.

Ive come a long method in my personal growth journey, however Im by no methods best. I still react in anger however to a lower extent and less typically. I get mad, however I dont stay there. I mess up, but I can ask forgiveness with humbleness and forgive myself.

“Flexibility is taking control of the rudder of your life.” ~ Yukito Kishiro

A trigger of mine is being asked to respond to a question when Im already in the middle of something, feeling overwhelmed, mentally tired, or simply fed up with answering concerns.

When were in reaction-mode to lifes difficulties, we arent in control. We react in methods that are not in tune with how we wish to be.

” Whats for supper?” Its an easy sufficient concern. Its one that has actually made me lose my mind at my partner on more than one (or 10 or twenty) celebrations.

Its not the question itself. Its a valid question and one that needs an answer (at least by one of us).

So, what does it look like to react in anger?

Someone in your life is managing or manipulative, so you either get scared and closed down, or feel livid and snap.

And all that leads to feeling guilty for saying things you dont really indicate or making a mountain out of a molehill, or maybe even reworking past occasions.

Your partner asks you to do something when you plainly have your hands full, so you immediately get pissed.

Plans change suddenly, and you panic or get irritated.

Somebody at work slams you and you instantly get defensive.

It can also indicate responding to your own thoughts or actions and getting upset with yourself for “doing it again,” being lazy, or failing.

Someone does something that breaks your core worths like being inconsiderate or mean or lying, and you take off.

And it can leave you feeling misunderstood since you recognize that your reaction stems from something deeper than this one event; a culmination of events, or some underlying worry developed this trigger for you.

It can lead you to beat yourself up again for how you managed things in the past.

Why We Are Reactive in the First Place

We hardly ever feel good about the things we say and do when we react from a location of worry and anger.

When our stress action is activated sending us into freeze, flight, or battle mode, we are reactive or over reactive.

Sometimes our triggers relate to events from the past. You might get set off when someone ignores you due to the fact that your parents often neglected you when you were a kid, triggering you to feel unimportant. Other times, our triggers are events that make us feel out of control.

We respond on auto-pilot. In this space, we arent in complete control, and its difficult to see things clearly and objectively.

One of my triggers utilized to be slow chauffeurs on the highway. I would quickly snap into fight mode and get angry. I d drive too near them or shake my fist (or special finger) at them, honk my horn, or speed past them in a fit of rage.

Sitting here calmly as I reflect back on my past, reactive self, Im a little embarrassed and stunned remembering the actions I took while angry. Thats because Im in a calm location and my fight mode is not initiated, so I have full control at the minute. I would not do any of those things when Im in a healthy psychological space– those options dont reflect the kind of individual I wish to be.

How to Stop Being So Reactive and Respond to Stress More Calmly

Then describe how you normally respond when those triggers occur.

Youll likely feel triggered by even minor annoyances since your default state will be imbalance and agitation if you overextend yourself or routinely neglect your requirements. And youll find it nearly impossible to handle significant concerns because you wont have the self-confidence to handle them. Take excellent care of yourself, psychologically, physically, and mentally, and everything will feel more manageable.

What things lead you to respond in anger or fear? Awareness is essential here! Create a list of things that you understand activate you, and why.

Focus on self-care so youre less likely to feel overloaded, exhausted, or on the brink of snapping.

A trigger of mine has constantly been other people getting upset at little things that I dont believe warrant being mad about.

Set yourself approximately not be reactive by recognizing your tension sets off.

Amusing enough, my response to their anger was anger! I would get mad that they are upset and chew out them to be calm. Clearly, this method didnt work for me.

We dont have to let our fear and anger manage us. At any time, we can decide to respond to life from a calmer location. Heres how.

Ask yourself, “How do I want to react instead”?

My anger stemmed from judging their reactions and wanting to manage how they were behaving and feeling. I have no control over other people.

From there, think about what you are attempting to control that you have no control over.

If traffic activates you, you might be trying to manage your time because being delayed makes you feel distressed. You might be attempting to control your environment to develop a sense of security if turmoil triggers you. If upset people activate you, you may be trying to control how other people react and experience demanding situations.

As I reviewed how I typically responded to my triggers, I understood I would rather stay composed than lose my cool and flip out. It would be for me to stay calm and in control if I might choose any action to other people being upset.

And thats one of the main reasons I recognized I have such a strong response to other peoples anger. I believe that the “right” method to be in this world is to be calm, kind, and caring. When someone reacts in the polar opposite way, it disputes with my values, and paradoxically, I wind up getting upset with them.

This is why this action is so important. We typically react in ways that are not in tune with our worths when feelings are running high, so we need to purposely decide, beforehand, how we wish to react in stressful circumstances.

Now, ask yourself, “What do I have control over?

We all get triggered sometimes, however we do not need to state and do things we are sorry for, which will ultimately harm our relationships and leave us feeling bad about ourselves. With a little self-awareness, we can stop reacting on auto-pilot and begin reacting to life from a calm, neutral place. Perhaps not all the time, however more typically than not, and well feel a lot more serene and in control as a result!

My anger stemmed from evaluating their reactions and wanting to manage how they were feeling and behaving. If traffic triggers you, you might be trying to manage your time due to the fact that being postponed makes you feel anxious. If chaos triggers you, you may be attempting to manage your environment to produce a sense of safety. If mad people trigger you, you might be attempting to manage how other individuals respond and experience stressful situations.

I started to realize that they were typically mimicking me, whether they understood it or not. Obviously, part of it was that I was no longer contributing to the anger and fueling it from my end too. But seeing what it looks like to remain calm and in control is an essential ability to witness. It reveals others what it appears like so they can do the very same.

Given that I do not have control over what other individuals do, and wishing to manage them was developing anger within me, in order to reach my preferred response of staying calm and in control I needed to move my focus to myself. Because the only thing I have control over is what I do.

Other times, our triggers are events that make us feel out of control.

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About Sandy Woznicki.

Sandy is a previous anxiety-riddled, insomniac stress-aholic turned coach. She helps career-driven ladies and working moms master their tension and anxiety, to encourage themselves with compassion rather of criticism, to deal with lifes challenges with Graceful Resilience, and to begin really enjoying life without all that unneeded worry. Her coaching and free resources like the Stress Detox Mini Course help women to take back control of their lives to live more totally and easily.

I started to see that as I stopped reacting to anger with anger, the individuals around me showed less anger over time. And when they did snap, they didnt remain mad as long.


So when another person is mad and I believe theyre overreacting, I can take some deep breaths, step away from the scenario, and ask the other person how I can assist (in an effort to assist calm them), or just sit back and enable them to process the circumstance however they need to in that minute.