When negative feelings and thoughts about ourselves get triggered

Can you reach that place where the single life is happy and free on a full time basis? I say, not a chance in hell. There will always be bad days. Days of doubt and when you question yourself and your life.  Days where it feels unfair and like you’ve made zero progress. This obviously doesn’t feel too great and the thoughts that come with it can be very painful. This doesn’t only apply to being single. Any person can relate to having a bad day and feeling inadequate. People simply have their own issues (but same process).

I believe that negative feelings and thoughts about ourselves can be used for personal growth if used in an appropriate way. I know this sucks to hear in the midst of emotional turmoil or while having a pity party. I’m all for letting all emotions out. No positive thinking or denial techniques just uncensored expressions of whatever boils up (as long as no harm is being done). Once the storm has calmed down though, it’s time to get to business! Getting upset and/having thoughts that put you down can actually expose golden information about the self.

What I do is to identify what trigger set off my reaction. When do thoughts and feelings of being less appear? For example, before that time of the month? After a bad date? After dinner with couple uped friends? No matter what situation causes the triggered reaction, being aware of it will give an advantage because now preparations can be made before entering the same or a similar scenario that is likely to yield the same emotional result.

After pinpointing the situation, it’s time to take it a step further and dive into why it’s so triggering. Being aware of the reasons behind the reactions can uncover negative beliefs held unconscious. The core reason for being triggered might not be what you think. I’ll use myself as an example again. One situation that used make me doubt or view myself as less was when I met a group of female friends and they would talk about the respective other. I always felt I had nothing to add to the conversation and it would lead to comparisons, having to do with dating, that were never in my favor.  Since I wouldn’t feel great about myself I initially attributed those negative feelings and thoughts to me being single. You know, “if I just had someone I wouldn’t feel this way” type of logic. After my introspection homework however, it became clear to me that being single actually wasn’t the core issue. What really sparked my reaction was the feeling of not belonging to the group. I wanted to be included too. So what I first that was the issue (singlehood) was only an expression of something deeper. I mean, nobody wants to feel left out. However, in my own evaluation that contributed to the “not belonging” feeling, all relevant variables weren’t taken into consideration. Usually the subject of dating is one of many at gatherings. So how about thinking about all other times when I did have something to say and did feel part of the group? To prevent or at least soothe triggered reactions, I find it so important to remember situations that contradict what the immediate feeling and thoughts are telling us. That way it’s harder to get swept away by a negative self view and hopefully get a balanced picture of ourselves.

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