Do you know your triggers? We all have them, but it’s how aware we are, how tuned in with our bodies and our minds, that makes the triggers super useful information. They are the Cliffs Notes to healing yourself.
Take a look and see if you can’t discover some of yours. Once you know your triggers, you have the keys to be able to disarm them and free yourself of the stress it brings on your body, taking its toll on you, fueling your burnout.
PART 1: Food Triggers
The cornerstone of healing mind, body, and spirit is knowing your triggers. I mean that in a couple of ways: let’s start with the body. Our food system is BROKEN people. It’s a whole different ecosystem of food than our parents grew up with. In addition, there’s been a few larger agendas that don’t work in our favor, all created in the name of progress. That progress is starting to rear its ugly head. This is the reason we’re seeing so many allergies, so many sick, so many obese, and doctors who are confused on what it could be and just throw whatever new pills they have at it. Our bodies are doing their damned best to keep things running. When we feed ourselves food that doesn’t help build healthy cells, it has diminishing returns. Then, we might be eating something our bodies actually don’t like and have an issue with, but we can’t discern the signs or symptoms and end up ignoring them. This shows up as lethargy, fatigue, depression, skin issues, hair thinning and loss, aches, pains, confusion, and irritation. It shows up as stubborn weight that won’t go away. Puffiness and feeling thick, even when we’re eating “really good.” The last thing we suspect is that a food sensitivity could be causing this. ⠀
The very first part of my healing journey started with food. I had a GOOD diet by anyone’s standards. I ate 900-1200 calories a day (far too little, but I was always on a diet because I’ve always been heavy.) I didn’t eat sugar. I never ate pre-packaged foods. And I was 60lbs overweight. I wrote it off as stress and genes. I wrote it off as this is my lot in life and accepted my fate. ⠀
Turns out I have a lot of sensitivities and full-blown allergies that were keeping the weight on. The weight was mostly inflammation. Inflammation that led to a whole host of issues, including turning on my immune system all the time. After a true elimination diet and reintegration of foods, all done scientifically and individually, I figured out very specifically what foods were/are the issue. Since then, I’ve been able to reintroduce many more foods and keep my symptoms at bay. When I get lazy and slip, the inflammation comes right back.
If you’re feeling any unexplained symptoms and are writing it off as “normal aging”, it might be something else.
I’m going to be running an elimination diet support group if you’re interested in joining. There’s a number of people who want to do this but are finding they need support. Let me be that for you and join us. DM me for details.
PART 2: Stress Triggers
When I first hit the wall, I was looking for any help to pick myself back up. I discovered I had autoimmune issues and that there was something called the AIP, or Autoimmune Protocol (sometimes called the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol) all in the same week – I read everything and anything I could find on the subject. The protocol is focused on food, stress, sleep, and movement. I got on the food train pretty quick and saw immediate results. Within a week I could make a fist again. I could get out of a chair easily. I could sleep a bit more. My brain fog was lifting. But then there were the other aspects of the protocol I needed to look at. I knew that it wasn’t going to be one-and-done fix and I needed to look at all the components of healing.⠀
I co-owned a business and we had multiple employees. It was taking off and we were at a crossroads on where to evolve it and had different ideas on what that could be. We were talking about moving spaces and a build-out. We were discussing changing our focus in terms of deliverables. Then there was some personal stuff: My mother-in-law was had terminal brain cancer. We had just moved into a house that needed significant upgrades. My commute went from 8 minutes to 1.5 hours. There were a number of “things” that were pulling at me. I was red-lining in every area of my life. The idea of “getting rid of stress” was going to be more than what a few Ohms and downward dogs could handle. I got very still. Very quiet. And I asked myself, what was the biggest source of stress? Where could I make the most significant impact on my life? The answer, much to my chagrin, was leaving the business that I had just poured years of blood, sweat, and tears into building. ⠀
Stress triggers are significant. They’re more important than looking at food or any other piece of the healing puzzle, especially for A-Types. Our incessant need to be always on, always be great, always excel, excel, excel means we’re constantly hitting that cortisol and adrenaline rush. For every 15 minutes of stress it takes 8 hours to recover. If you’re not a mathmagician, assume you’re running a deficit.
It’s time to get real with yourself. You know what your biggest trigger for stress is. The real question is, are you willing to answer the call to change it? Change doesn’t always mean you have to ditch it. But significant re-tooling is necessary to make it work for you. .
If you’d like support, go discover your triggers with my North Star Framework worksheet and video training on my website. Totally free, totally worth the time for yourself and your family.
Part 3: Mindset triggers
The same month I left my agency is the month I started a transformational journey. At the time a then business acquaintance—now turned bestie— recommended I take a leadership course. She pitched it as “become a better leader, get out of your own way, and step into the power that is already you.” All that sounded awesome, so I signed up. It was, and is, the most profound aspect in my healing journey because it got to the root cause of everything: my Mindset.
Through this training, I discovered a lot about myself and the world I had created for myself. It became so abundantly clear the reason I was sick and burned out was related to the lens that I looked at the world through. I knew things that *bothered me* or upset me. I knew the things that I upheld as desirable behaviors and which made me feel like I was cut and bleeding out. But I didn’t associate where they had come from and how they had been formed and evolved over my lifetime. I had been intentionally and subconsciously putting myself in circumstances to confirm those triggers over and over again my whole life!
Now I had a few tools in my toolbox: I knew my food triggers that caused my crippling inflammation. I was mitigating the stress that was eroding away at my stamina and psyche. I had uncovered a whole new world of awareness of self: my place in the world and how I moved through it. All the invisible boxes I put myself into. All the relationships I kept finding myself in regardless of feeling they were wrong. All the times I said yes, when I really meant no, or vice versa.
I now had the option to make better choices. Become the person I wanted to be. It’s so much easier said than done! But every I work at it. Somedays I soar. I am magic. Some days are a struggle and I know I can do better. But the person I was 24 months ago is radically different and yet more me than I have ever been.
How are you going about discovering your triggers? And then what do you do with that information? I’d love to know.