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The aftermath of my triggered mind (and how not to do what I did)

Happiness & Fulfilment, Resilience & Managing Emotions

Yesterday I received an email that triggered me straight into grr mode.

Every time this woman communicates with me, she speaks in an incredibly condescending, micro-managey way that really gets my goat.

I sometimes show Bloody Good Bloke her emails to see if I’m making it up in my head/ just triggered.

Yesterday he responded,

“She’s just a bit of a dick isn’t she… that’s definitely condescending.”

Normally he’s very diplomatic and chill, so that’s really saying something.

By now I know that my nervous system gets triggered just by the sight of her name lighting up my phone. No words need even be exchanged and I’m already in fight or flight mode.

So whenever I have to communicate with her, I try not to take Neville’s ranting too seriously.

Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I accidentally end up having “comeback” email conversations in my head with her for a while. In these mind conversations, I respond equally as condescendingly, and put her in her place with a sassy flourish.

Obviously I never put these thoughts into my actual replies.

Yesterday’s email was about something fairly innocuous.

I read it as I was queueing at Kmart, and when I got to the front of the queue,

I was so busy having a fight with her in my head that I couldn’t even autopilot my way through the purchasing process.

I held out my phone to pay and the shop assistant guy was like “Uh, you have to pass me the items to scan first.”

“Oh shit, sorry, distracted” I laughed as I passed him the items.

Then he asked a question that was too complex for my mind to figure out.

“Do you have Flybuys?” He queried.

I cast my eyes around looking for clues as to what was going on and then stared at him blankly.

It took an inordinate amount of time to complete the checkout process.

As I left the shop and headed to the supermarket,

I could notice that my body was alive from within with the dregs of anger.

Self righteous email responses were writing themselves in my head as I pushed my trolley, and for a long time I couldn’t figure out what I needed to buy, nor what I was doing walking up and down the frozen aisle when I needed to be in the egg aisle.

I was also noticing all the annoying people in the shop.

People cutting me off with their trolleys and giving me a grumpy look.

The person blocking off aisle 6 with their trolley while having a chat with three friends.

The kids whinging to their mum as she tried to pay for groceries.

Everything I saw was filtered through a negativity bias.

Fucking humans and their annoying humanness.

Neville was firmly in a grump.

Today I had an entirely different day.

I popped down to the house that Bloody Good Bloke and I bought last year. We Airbnb it to help pay the mortgage, and by jove Airbnb and owning a house takes a lot of work! Luckily I love all of the above, especially being a handywoman and putting my tools to good use.

I was meeting a handyman called Noel at the house for him to help me fix one of the sliding doors, and to drop back a rug he’d cleaned after the previous guest’s dog had peed on it.

I’ve known Noel for a couple of years since I found him on Airtasker to dry out and clean the carpet after our house flooded.

He is one of the most helpful, generous men I’ve ever met and has helped me with loads of stuff since then.

This morning as I was getting ready to go and meet Noel, I noticed that Neville was singing “Noël Noël, Noël Noël, Born is the King of Israel…”

Nice one Nev. Never too soon for a Noel themed Christmas tune.

When I met up with Noel, he delivered the rug that he’d cleaned, fixed the door, noticed that the watering system was dripping and helped me fix that too, and refused to charge me more than $50 for all of it. I’ve tried paying him more in the past but he just tells me he’ll transfer it back to me. He tells me he just likes helping people.

I’d had another quote for washing the rug — $370 with pick up and delivery!

Noel is a godsend and an absolute legend.

He headed off after I thanked him profusely, and I beelined for my favourite shop, Bunnings.

I was so full of gratitude for Noel’s generosity and helpfulness, I had to stop and send him a text. Then I walked into Bunnings full of delight at how many good people there are in the world.

I asked a guy with shiny red earrings where I could find “one of those hook thingos that goes into a loop thingee to keep a cupboard door shut but not locked”.

He wiggled his eyebrows effusively as he tried to work out what I was referring to.

“Wow, nice eyebrow skills” I laughed.

“Thanks, I’ve been practising” he responded, grinning.

We had a laugh and he sent me off to Aisle 7 in search of a “latch”.

At the checkout a woman with spiky grey hair and bright red lipstick was busy paying while her dog was saying g’day to my leg. I bent down to give him a pat and the owner laughed down at us.

“Ah, always on the lookout for adoration, that one.”

“Aren’t we all!” I laughed.

“Well yes,” She added with a cheeky half smile and flick of her spiky hair, “they do say that owners are often like their dogs so…”

We had a laugh and I headed off for the lift, waving goodbye to my effusive eyebrowed friend.

In the lift, a tradie guy made a dash for it just as the doors started to close.

“Ah sorry” he laughed, “I’m being ne of those annoying people who slow down the lift, don’t you hate it when that happens?”

“Actually you legged it in pretty fast” I laughed, “I don’t even think you delayed me 1 second, nice one!”

We laughed and I headed back to the car with an extra spring in my step,

convinced that humans are the most wonderful creatures.

Our mind and emotions colour what we perceive and how we interact with the world.

And in turn how the world interacts with us.

Before I learnt mindfulness I experienced a hefty amount of “bad days.” It was a near daily occurrence that I was so clouded by thoughts, judgments, and crocodile moods that the outer world seemed to mirror my inner turmoil.

These days it’s far more likely that I see joy and kindness and fun in my world (inner and outer), and I can 100% attribute that to having learnt to regulate my emotions and tame my Neville.

If you’re curious about reigning in your mind and emotions, and wondering if it might be fun to do it with the support and encouragement of a recovering overachieving-control-freak-perfectionist who knows what it’s like to feel like reigning in your mind is impossible… hit me up.

It might be time for us to chat (book in for a free chat on Zoom), or email me to chat about whether I might be able to help.

Ps — To learn more about regulating your emotions like the kind of legend that doesn’t throw coke at me, head over here to check out Bloody Good Life, an unconventional mind-taming program for overthinkers.

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