Do you ever find that your emotions get so "big" that you say things or behave in ways that you later regret? Do you struggle with “Anger Management” issues, social anxiety, panic attacks or other overwhelming emotions?  If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're probably dealing with unconscious "triggers."

To learn more about triggers, please click here...

By definition, triggers automatically cause us to lose control of our emotions and behaviour. To reclaim a sense of control, we must find practices that interrupt the brain’s automatic response to triggers and slow the nervous system down. The following 4-step process is deceptively simple, but it provides a powerful strategy to accomplish both tasks.​​

When you start to feel strong emotions coming on:


Check to see if your emotional response is appropriate to your CURRENT situation. For example, if you're feeling anger, does the intensity of your anger and the emotion itself feel like an appropriate response to whatever is happening in the present moment? Or does your anger and the level of it's intensity feel like it might be more related to something from the past?

If your emotional reaction is out of proportion to what's happening in the present moment, you are most likely triggered and it might be a good idea to move to step 4.

CHANGE IT - If you're current situation is making it difficult for you to manage your emotions and/or behavior, you might want to change your situation by:

  • removing yourself
  • distracting yourself
  • asking for help
  • telling somebody you trust about how you're feeling
  • taking a time out to calm down.

By doing this process, you're providing your brain with an opportunity to slow down and consciously RESPOND to present moment experience instead of REACTING to it based on past experience. Please feel free to contact me here if you have any questions.


4 Steps to Emotion Management: 

Interrupting Automatic Emotional Responses

By Dario Martinez
1.  STOP!


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Copyright © 2020 Dario Martinez. All rights reserved.

STOP -  pause whatever you’re doing!

CATCH IT - notice what emotions are starting to emerge. Is it anxiety or anger? Is it fear or rage? Name whatever emotion(s) you’re feeling.