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This clever graphic will help you to identify your emotional triggers in relationships

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Lauren Geall
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Emotional Triggers

Identifying your emotional triggers is an important thing to do for your mental health – and this handy graphic will help you to do just that. 

More than ever before, we’re becoming aware of how to take care of our mental health. Whether we’re able to identify when we’re in need of a bit of self-care, or becoming more emotionally-intelligent when it comes to navigating the stresses of the workplace, many of us are taking the time to acquaint ourselves with how our mind works.

And a big part of understanding how our brain works is understanding our emotional triggers. Emotional triggers are needs or expectations which, when they’re not met, can make us feel certain emotions, including anger and sadness. For example, if you find yourself feeling sad or upset when a friend tells you they can’t meet you for coffee, that might be because the idea of feeling ‘unneeded’ is your trigger.

While those triggers may shape the ways we react to situations on a day to day basis – for example, we felt like something was unfair in the workplace, and therefore reacted to the situation with frustration – they’re even more important in your close relationships, where emotions are already heightened to begin with.

Woman stressed
Emotional triggers: knowing where your emotions come from is important for your mental health.

Understanding your emotional triggers will not only help you to rationalise the way you’re feeling and deal with it accordingly, but it can also help you to improve communication in your relationship, because it’ll be easier for you to vocalise where your feelings are coming from, and what you need from a relationship.

And this graphic by artist and mental health advocate Dominee Wyrick is a great place to start if you want to identify what your emotional triggers are. Inspired by a post she saw on social media from the Gottman Institute, Wyrick created a graphic she titled “What Triggered Me”, which lists a number of triggers which might help you identify what you’re feeling in your relationship. The phrases that feature on the graphic include “I felt a lack of affection,” “I felt I couldn’t speak up,” and “I felt trapped”.

“Recognising your triggers is such an important act for your overall mental health,” she writes in the caption on her Instagram. “Learning to recognise why you feel the way you do in reaction to words and situations is an important skill to have.

“This image perfectly illustrates what we feel when we have strong reactions but may not be able to pinpoint the cause,” she continues. “The next time you’re feeling angry/sad/upset/pissed off think about the why behind it.”

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Wyrick’s triggers graphic isn’t the only gem you’ll find on her account – her feed is full of beautiful illustrated self-care reminders and interactive guides which will help you to tackle grief, anxiety and body image.

It’s a beautiful and informative reminder that getting to know your brain and how it reacts in certain situations is an extremely valuable and important thing to do – especially if you’re feeling confused and out of control when it comes to your emotions.

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Images: Getty

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Lauren Geall

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