Neutralizing Your Valentine’s Day Triggers

Neutralizing Your Valentine’s Day Triggers

Categories: AACC BLOG

by Ashley Elliott, MS, LMHCA, and Chuck Elliott, MOL, MAE

Thump, thump, thump. Your heart begins to race. You just remembered that Valentine’s Day is approaching. Whether you’re single or married, the pressure brought on by upcoming holidays can feel a bit overwhelming. We want to help you work to lower that heart rate and work toward neutralizing those holiday triggers!

We will use the Three A’s to Change in order to explore some tips to work toward neutralizing triggers. It’s important to note that not every trigger can be neutralized, but we’ve found that we can work in the direction of neutralizing any trigger. How do we do this? The first step is to become AWARE. When your heart began to increase, what were some of the causes? Did you worry about feeling alone? Or perhaps you forgot to purchase a gift for a loved one. Either way, you felt triggered for a reason. 

After you have identified at least one of the reasons for the trigger, you can move to the next step. Step 2 is to ASSESS. Examine what you’ve tried in the past and what you could try in the future to prevent being triggered. For example, if you were triggered by a fear that you’d spend the holiday alone, you can consider ways you have fought fear in other areas of your life, on past holidays, and/or brainstorm solutions for this year. If you chose to make a list of possible solutions, perhaps one of these make the list: find a few single friends to spend time with, send a gift to a loved one, or text a prayer or appreciation to a teacher, pastor, or coach. 

The third step is to ACT. Do something. Do it imperfectly but with great intention. Pick an item on your list and take action. Invest in relationships. Show people that you love them. You can decide what Valentine’s Day means to you; it’s a great opportunity to show others how much you love them. Decide how you want to think about Valentine’s Day and begin to transform your thinking. 

If you found the Three A’s to Change helpful, try using it in other areas where you want to make a change. From goal-setting to overcoming grief, the Three A’s to Change provides a simple framework to strengthen your life. We use it in counseling, in our writing, and in our personal lives to help strengthen our relationships. 

We want to wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chuck and Ashley Elliott are authors and content creators who have partnered with YouVersion, RightNow Media, and other international organizations to equip people to build spiritual and relational success. Chuck, as a pastor, and Ashley, as a counselor, have devoted their lives to helping people fight negativity and leave a legacy. They are advisory board members for the AACC’s International Christian Coaching Association (ICCA) and have earned master’s degrees in counseling, education, and organizational leadership. Chuck and Ashley live in Indiana with their three sons.