Shift Your Worst Triggers

Shift Your Worst Triggers

It’s not necessarily fun to think about your worst triggers, but I’m sharing this Shift (with minor updates) because it’s a useful Shift to repeat from time to time…


How are you?

Are you feeling present?

Is 100% of your attention focused right here, right now?

Let's take a long deep breath together.

Come fully into this moment with intention.

Listening to life.

All of our attention right here.

Notice how you feel right now.

Now take 5 seconds to invite your attention 100% to listen to the present moment.




Can you pick up a difference in how you feel after 5 seconds of intentional listening?

I notice a difference inside my body.

As you consistently do little exercises like that you develop a more nuanced capacity to notice the difference in how where you place your attention impacts how you feel.

Inner shifts can happen fast.

When you grasp how tight the relationship is between where your attention is and how you feel, it helps with all sorts of choices that you make about how you place your attention throughout the day.

Getting clear about the relationship between where your attention is and how you feel helps shape where you place your attention and why you place your attention as you do.

Let’s take another deep breath.

You’ll often notice yourself experiencing a ‘negative shift’ — a shift characterized by a felt deviation away from peace — as you get pulled away from your awareness that you can ride the wave of presence even when challenging ‘things’ happen.

Negative shift = losing your connection to peace or presence.

We often characterize the challenging ‘things’ that provoke our negative shifts into a bucket that we call ‘stress.’

If you notice your inner experience in the moments when stress is arising you can dial in on what produced your negative shift — which helps you avoid repeating the same negative shift in the future.

You’ll notice that your negative shifts typically begin when you start thinking about something that upsets you.

It could be a family member.

It could be someone close to you who you’re having conflict with.

It could be your issues with health.

It could be your issues with work.

It could be your issues with money.

It could be the re-emergence of your historical view of yourself as flawed somehow.

Or, maybe you’ve been reminded that your view of the future is not what you want it to be and thoughts come into your mind and change your physiology.

Your worst triggers always increase your stress levels and usually create negative shifts.

So, what’s your worst trigger?

Notice what arises as you pose that question in your inner world.

What’s your worst trigger?

What shifts you negatively most often?


It’s a good exercise just to pose the question and notice what arises.

The reason I'm going into detail about all this is that the more you can recognize those very specific negative thoughts that occur and shift you — your worst triggers — the better off you’ll be.

Consistently noticing the first thought that shifts you out of connection with the present moment is an incredibly powerful practice.

When you notice a trigger, rather than being shifted negatively you can instead be triggered to think to yourself, “Oh yeah, I have to deal with that. That's negative. That could spiral me. That’s going to separate me from living in presence.”

Noticing triggers in real time is part of the nuance I referred to at the beginning of today’s Shift.

When you can notice that nuance in real time, you can shift away from it.

It might be that you have something that you need to deal with, so you also notice that as you notice the trigger.

If you recognize the trigger consciously, instead of experiencing an immediate negative shift, you're reminded to make an intentional positive shift.

Then you can deal with whatever you need to deal with from a feeling of presence.

You don't need to go on an unpleasant emotional ride first.

Notice the trigger event, make a note to yourself if you need to do something, and then reinforce your intention to remain fully connected to life at this moment.

When you consistently address your life challenges that way, the way you end up addressing issues is much less likely to encourage the issue to repeat in the future with the same intensity.

That's the true power of living (and coping) from presence throughout your life.

Let's take another long deep breath.

Come fully into the present moment again.

100% of our attention right here.

Feel the inner change — notice it again.

Notice how your body changes after listening to ideas for a while, and shifting by listening to life for a little while.

Do you notice the difference?

For most of us, it's a lot easier to notice when other people get triggered.

You might say to yourself, “Oh, that person is having a hard time today because they always lose their connection with their peace when x, y, or z happens”.

You intuit that life is beating them down and they've succumbed to a negative shift based on some trigger that arose inside them.

The closer you are to the person the better you may recognize their patterns — and the more obvious their triggers may be to you.

However, real personal growth and development comes when you notice those things about yourself AND THEN you shift in real time.

Shifts are super-valuable to complete consistently because they help you improve your ability to notice your worst triggers.

In future Shifts, you can strategically provoke your most persistent triggers and then practice dealing with them (i.e., shifting) in real time.

For today, let's take 30 more seconds quietly in presence.

Listen for 30 seconds and then we'll intend our presence for the rest of today.



Listen to and hear all those sounds that you wouldn't otherwise notice if you didn’t set that intention.


white cat with yellow eyes
Photo by Banesa on Unsplash

All right, have an incredible day being fully present.

Set that intention now.

Set the intention to shift whenever you need to for the rest of your day.

Notice when your presence is threatened by anything that could produce a negative shift.

You do that by noticing your triggers in real time to bring them into conscious awareness.

If you happen to miss noticing your trigger, shift back into presence anytime you notice you’ve become disconnected from presence.


Did you set your intention to shift whenever you need to for the rest of today?

Feel that intention settling inside your body.


Nice Shift.

Have a present day.




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OnePerfect Shift is an audio letter from a psychologist that shifts you into a better state of mind anytime. Each post gives you a fresh look at your relationship to your mind and reminds you how much control you can have over your life experience.