Thought Triggers

“When you are first coming out of denial, the anxiety spills over. Denial, to some extent, thwarts anxiety about the original issue of concern. But it also causes its own set of secondary anxiety due to all the issues that have remained unaddressed.” Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist 

In a blog post featured on Psychology Today titled “What Are Your Thought Triggers?” Jeffrey S. Nevid Ph.D., ABPP describes the concept of “thought triggers” and how emotions like anxiety and anger impact our thoughts. Nevid writes:

“Feeling your thoughts doesn’t mean that thoughts are felt in the same way you feel a pinprick on your arm or the touch of a feather.  Rather, it means recognizing the interconnections between thoughts and feelings—how behind every emotion lies a thought that triggers it.  Feeling angry?  What’s the thought driving it?  You need to be angry with someone or about something.  You can’t be angry about nothing or while keeping your mind blank.  Underlying the felt experience of anger are thoughts about being treated unfairly and not being able to stand it when people are treated this way…Emotions do not occur in a mental vacuum. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a thought tethered to your emotional responses…”

Read the post including a helpful exercise for identifying triggers here

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