I read an article* about triggers — events that trigger an emotion in you.  These could be positive things or negative ones, but triggers, like most everything else, are largely things where we can consciously control our response to them.

The first step in adjusting our attitude is to consciously acknowledge the negative things that spark our fury.  Maybe it is sitting in rush hour traffic — so you could go to work earlier or take a different route.  Maybe it is a committee that is unproductive — that you could try to bow out of or disband.  Perhaps it is people who are late — so begin to find ways to compensate for them so you are not further inconvenienced.

For me, one of my most annoying triggers is the city bill that comes every month.  I truly do not mind paying it per se, but it irritates me to no end that they say the meter was read on X date, but 100% of the time the bill arrives before the alleged reading date.  I am lied to every month and the act of dishonesty is a big trigger for me.

I suppose I could move or ask them continue the direct payment without ever sending a bill or a receipt, but in reality I am likely faced with my monthly untruth for the foreseeable future.  My choice is to consciously adjust my attitude and focus on a positive trigger instead.  Maybe I could get flowers on that date each month so my emotions are diverted in a healthier way?

What are negative triggers for you?  Try to be aware of things that trip your switch and see if you can’t rewire your attitude circuitry for the better.

— beth triplett

*Attitude triggers by Matt Booth, 365ink Magazine, Issue #222, September 24-October 8, 2014, p. 31

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