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emotionally triggered

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It’s nearly impossible to escape childhood without some triggers. Those are the formative years when experiences and things we hear sink deep into our psyche, and can sit with us well into adulthood, without us even realizing it. As a child, you don’t yet have the wisdom to understand that, when something difficult happens, it’s not personal. You don’t yet know that the people who hurt you are generally messed up in their own ways, and it’s not a reflection of you. That’s why so much of what one discusses in therapy pertains to childhood—to get back to the original wound.

Adulthood can bring triggers too, though. Like being cheated on. That can cause a wound that can be triggered and is an experience primarily experienced in adulthood. Any traumatic experience, even experienced as a grownup, can cause triggers. If you feel these triggers are interfering with your ability to have a happy life and healthy relationships, it’s important to speak to a mental health expert about them. It’s also important to understand that that healing takes time, and you may enter a romantic relationship while you still have some unresolved triggers. If that’s the case, it’s important to know how to talk to your partner about your triggers. We spoke with Tiffany Rae’Shan, licensed therapist and life strategist, about how to speak to a partner about emotional triggers. You can follow Rae’Shan on Instagram @tiffanyraeshan for more life guidance.

Tiffany Richards

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Learn your triggers

“The first step would be to identify those emotional triggers for yourself so that you can clearly express them to your significant other,” says Rae’Shan. If you do struggle with general stress, anger control problems, or anxiety to a degree that it impacts your relationships, research has found that cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment for identifying the underlying causes and treating the issue.

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