It’s that time of the month again. I notice that I am becoming more sensitive and have a tendency to overreact to “non-life threatening situations.” Reflecting on my past PMS episodes I couldn’t help but wonder, “Are there any hot buttons that trigger our reactions and simply push us over the edge?”
The answer is yes.
An emotional trigger is any event that causes you to respond with reactions much larger than the event calls for. Everyone has emotional triggers, which are generally related to trauma we’ve experienced in the past. But for PMSing women these emotional triggers may be magnified a hundred fold. I call them “PMS Hot Buttons.”
Image that you are experiencing a fresh wound, and someone just put some salt over it. Ouch!
For some reasons, old wounds may be reopened during the premenstrual period, perhaps because you are simply more sensitive during this time. As a result, many events that you are usually able to laugh off effortlessly become super hot buttons for you, triggering you to overreact to seemly small stuff with irrational fear, anger, sadness or shame.
As long as you are unaware you are being triggered, your responses remain outside your conscious control and may result in lost self-esteem and damaged relationships.
But if you pay attention, you can recognize those hot buttons. You may even notice that there are only a couple of hot buttons that trigger most of your PMS episodes, month after month.
So how do you recognize your PMS hot buttons?
The key is to be aware of them when they happen. Any time you have a huge emotional reaction to a non-life threatening situation, you are probably being triggered.
Without judging or condemning yourself, take note and notice the fact that you have been triggered and overreacted. Find a moment to write down your emotional reaction, its intensity, and the situation and people that have triggered your reaction.
Over time, these entries will help you build a bridge to any unresolved traumas from your past. You will be able to respond to situations consciously rather than letting PMS hot buttons push you around.