What Makes You Angry? Become Aware of Your Triggers

If Mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy?

I know you have heard that before. Like me you probably have said it a time or two. And you know it’s true. The emotional atmosphere of the house can affect it in a big way. Who cares if the house is clean if no one there is happy to be there?

Let’s talk about the triggers we may have never considered.

For years I was an angry person. The slightest little thing could set me off. I always blamed it on everyone else but especially my mom. Then I gave my life to Christ and learned to take responsibility for my own decisions and actions. For the most part I lived a peaceful life. Then I started getting angry again.

Truth be told I would get angry because I was angry. That’s bad. This time I started looking for the cause of the anger. I quickly decided it must have been my former spouse causing me to be so mad all the time. I settled on that for a while but God didn’t let me linger there long. I began to pray for Him to reveal my heart to me and to expose my inner workings. I began to take note of subtle changes in my body and in my thoughts. I noticed when I was becoming tense and when my heart would start to beat faster. Then I realized this signs were warning me of what was to come if I didn’t fix it.


Matthias has nothing to do with anger triggers but that cupcake sure makes him happy.

When I realized what my triggers were I was dumbfounded. And sad. My triggers were two of my favorite things: rock music and forensic TV.

Don’t stop reading. I know it sounds crazy but hear me out.

I used to love listening to Christian rock bands but I realized that for me it was a bad idea. Rock music has a certain pattern to it. For the majority the music starts out with a melodic flow but then it escalates to a climax and then it just rides it out and stops suddenly. There is no calming down before the next song. It is like a reaction is building up inside your body but you never get to express it. It just stays waiting for the right moment to explode.

Watching shows like CSI was the same for me. Inside of my body I would recognize the tensing as certain clues were found, the anxiety of not knowing yet but trying to figure it out. The rapid heart beat as action scenes took place. Then, when the mystery was revealed I was still left all worked up because of the injustice, loss of life, and lack of morality I’d just seen.

I realize that not everyone has these reactions to music or TV shows. I’m using it as an example to share with you what signs you can look for to find your triggers. We are different people so we will likely have different triggers.

For one of my boys it was video games. He wouldn’t get to the next level in the time he was allotted and it would get him all worked up. For a family member it was speaking to one of his parents. He never got the relief or result he expected and so it would leave him stressed out. I’ve heard others say it is looking at celebrities in magazines or reading DIY blogs. Really, triggers can be anything that cause you anxiety and induce stress.

Our bodies are designed to have certain responses to situations. If a car fell on your child you’d get a rush of adrenaline that would give you greater strength and determination. Some things cause us to have these hormonal rushes but then there was no valid reason for it so we get no relief from a reaction. It has to be exerted somewhere so, for some, it happens in the form of anger or outbursts.

Some times we just have to decide to react differently. Other times we can eliminate that situation. Whatever way you decide to deal with it you will most certainly have a more peaceful home and let’s face it, happiness is contagious! You smiled when you saw Matthias’ picture up there didn’t you?

Have you discovered your triggers? If so would you share your experience? How did you know that was your trigger.


  1. I too get those triggers from TV. I grew up a cops daughter, so I have always watched those types of shows. About a year ago, I started volunteering to serve in children’s ministry at our church on Wednesday eves, so I missed CSI and Criminal Minds. Thank goodness! Just cutting those two shows out alone, has helped somewhat. I also had to stop watching the news before I fall asleep at night, as it gets my mind all worked up and then I can’t sleep.

  2. latoyaedwards says:

    This is great! I’m the same way when it comes to dealing with certain people in my life or when I’m under rested!

  3. So very interesting! I am going to have to analyze myself and my kids for triggers! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Amy I could go for hours about my struggle with anger. Its been going on for years. Basically as a kid, I was taught to stuff it, then as I gave my heart to Jesus & He began to heal me & set me free, I then realized I had all this anger that -since I was not allowed to grow up with it- i never learned what to do with it. So I went around with a ball of unprocessed anger from childhood & current life for awhile…..while the Holy Spirit coached me on what to do when I felt anger. I am not saying that I have arrived but I do handle it better. Yesterday was a good test. At work I was furious because there is one part of my job that is central to my job that never gets any attention, then one of our marketing staff stumbles over an issue, that I had pointed out months ago but had been ignored. Had it been fixed & resolved when I reported it (which is part of my job), she would not have had to deal with (it was escalated up the chain). So basically my work is unimportant & I spin my wheels & get ignored. That makes me angry! And frankly I am not coping well with it although I guarantee you the “old man” (old sin nature) in me would have stuffed it and denied that I even felt anger. Hope this makes sense somehow. I sure missed your blog & am so,glad you are back.

  5. Linda Sue says:

    I have noticed lately that certain things I watch on TV don’t feel right any more. I stopped watching CSI when the coroner wore 5″ heels and a blouse cut so low that you could see everything when she bent over. Come on!! I think the constant bombardment of sex, immorality, sin, etc. in all forms of media lulls us to sleep spiritually. We as Christians need to wake up and take a stand. Would we be watching/doing this if Jesus was sitting there with us? Guess what, He is.

  6. Yes, I smiled when I saw the picture of that cute blonde! All I could think was…he’s eating MY cupcake! LOL!
    Love your honesty and transparency. My triggers seem to be activated when I allow little things to compound, instead of dealing with them properly when they are small. I am learning….making progress. (even if it is IMPERFECT PROGRESS) Thank God for mercy and grace.

  7. I had a lot of problems with anger, and realized that there was a lot of bitterness I was carrying from past relationships that I needed to work through. I carried those triggers with me to other realtionships that weren’t even associated with those original people: work, family, etc. Through a lot of prayer and a lot of counseling, I was able to let go.

  8. I am the same way with tv shows and movies! They take me into a false reality and afterwards I feel as though I have to go thru a detox. So I have cut out particular genres. One thing I also learned about myself last month was that if I haven’t been hydrating myself well, my mood gets more irritable.


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