Those of us with C-PTSD are all too aware of the bad triggers. They remind us of traumatic & painful events, sometimes even to the point of having flashbacks. They can be a good thing in the sense they show what areas need more healing, but they sure don’t feel so good when they happen!
There is another kind of trigger too, which is much more pleasant & much less talked about. Good triggers are just as important, yet sadly there isn’t much information available on them.
Good triggers are things that can trigger joy, comfort, pleasant memories or nostalgia. For me, the smell of Old Spice cologne always reminds me of my Granddad, who I adored. The song “You’re My Best Friend” by the band Queen always reminds me of my husband since that is our song. The scent of a fireplace burning on a cool autumn day reminds me of my favorite time of year & triggers a sense of coziness.
Please think about what good triggers you have, & write them down. If you are unsure, I can offer you some ideas…
- Some things that can trigger joy might be being kind to someone else, spending time with someone you love, or accomplishing a task you’ve been postponing.
- Some things that can trigger comfort might be enjoying clean sheets on your bed, wearing an especially soft pair of pajamas or lighting your favorite scented candle.
- Some things that can trigger pleasant memories or nostalgia could be listening to music you enjoyed at a particularly good time of your life, baking something your favorite relative baked or journaling about some good experience such as when you first fell in love with your spouse.
Another thing I am in the process of learning about to bring joy into my life is the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Hygge is about creating a cozy, comfortable & relaxed lifestyle that leaves you with a feeling of well being & contentment.
There are no hard & fast rules to living this lifestyle, other than what makes you feel cozy & comfortable. I have come to realize that less stuff is an important aspect of hygge to me. Less stuff means less to clean & maintain, & less clutter in my home, all of which help me to be more relaxed. This also means my home is easier to clean, because of having less stuff which also helps to contribute to a more relaxed state.
Learning about hygge also inspired me to simplify every aspect of my life. For example, each week I have most of our bills paid automatically by going on a credit card that gives cash back. I pay this credit card bill weekly, so it doesn’t get out of control, & sometimes I also use the cash back to help pay the balance.
Focusing on your good triggers, creating new ones as well as living a more relaxed & comfortable lifestyle are all very good for bringing more joy into your life. I hope you are inspired to make some healthy changes in your life!