Creating Healthy Triggers

Photo credit: Diana Simumpande

Slowly, slowly, I’ve learnt to become conscious of my triggers. What things pull me into depression and what things shoot me into the sky. But I’ve also started creating my own triggers. Healthier ones. More empowering ones.

Because I don’t always have to be at the beck and call of something outside of me.

Sure, it’s important to know your triggers when you’re living with a disorder like bipolar, but sometimes focusing on the disorder makes me feel a little helpless – like knowing that my upcoming travels are almost definitely going to knock my cycles for a loop.

But then, one day, an inner voice quietly urged me to create my own triggers . Things that I could build into my life that would channel the beginnings of an inner healing. So that not all of it would be a series of negative habits and destructive behaviours.

Most of my consciously created triggers are designed around elevating my emotions to pull myself out of darker spaces, and some of them may seem a little silly, but I spent so long digging myself out of a dark hole that I found it was the silly little things that stuck.

Gratitude … opening my eyes when my alarm goes off in the mornings is my trigger to practice gratitude as I slowly pull myself out of my dreams and merge with the waking world. The darker I feel, the longer I spend in gratitude, and I only get up when I feel a little lighter, even if it’s only a tiny bit.

Release … opening my curtains to my beautiful garden and the majestic mountains beyond is my cue to consciously release the things that no longer serve me.

Self-love … a bowl of rose quartz crystals in our bedroom’s alcove reminds me to be gentle with myself, to be patient with myself, to be kinder to myself, and to bless myself from my own well of love.

The get-out-of-jail-free-card meditation … the three minutes I spend brushing my teeth in the morning is my time for a quickie meditation. So even if I skip my other deeper meditations, I know I have connected to spirit at least just a little.

The free mind … I’ve always used my morning walks to let my mind roam wherever she wants, to play, to create, but now I consciously set my intentions during my warm up with a question I need an answer to or a creative problem I want to solve. And I always find something. It’s quite a beautiful process.

More gratitude … there’s a bench that I pass on my morning walks, perched on a sand dune, overlooking the ocean, and over time, it’s become my gratitude bench. I stop there every time for a few minutes of quiet gratitude, even if it’s raining. Even my dogs automatically veer off the path for our ritualistic pit stop.

And yeah, even more gratitude … because I found gratitude to be the most powerful way to transform and elevate my own emotions and deepen my inner healing, I started looking for more ways to bring more gratitude into everyday existence. And my household and garden chores are the perfect way to do that. Instead of being mind-numbingly dull things that ‘must get done’, all these chores have now actually become little rituals for transformation.

These are some of the tiny things I’ve built into my ‘everyday’ days so that when things fall apart, I don’t completely fall to pieces.

Because, as always, it’s a work in progress. Read next: Gratitude Is A Powerful Healer