4 Steps, How To Disarm Internal Triggers and Improve Focus

4 Steps, How To Disarm Internal Triggers and Improve Focus

Use This Four-Step  To Deal With Focus Ideas.

4 Steps, How To Disarm Internal Triggers and Improve Focus

While we cannot control the sensations and ideas that arise in our minds, we can control how we respond to them. Dr. Jonathan Bricker of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted research on smoking cessation programs, which implies that we shouldn’t continually be telling ourselves to stop thinking about a desire; instead, we should acquire better strategies to manage it. The same is true for other distractions such as excessive phone use, junk food consumption, and excessive shopping. Rather than fighting the impulse, we need new ways to deal with distracting ideas.

STEP – 1

(Look for the discomfort that comes before the distraction, concentrating on the internal trigger)

The need to Googling something is a typical issue for me when writing. It’s easy to justify this unhealthy habit as “research,” but I know deep down that it’s frequently simply a detour from difficult tasks. Bricker recommends concentrating on the internal trigger that precedes the unpleasant action, such as “feeling uncomfortable, having a desire, feeling restless, or feeling inept.”

STEP – 2

(Write Down the Trigger)

Dr. Bricker recommends noting down the trigger, whether or not you submit to the distraction. He suggests writing down the time of day and what you were doing. Furthermore, it’s critical to recall how you felt when you noticed the internal trigger that led to the distracting action “as soon as you are aware of the behavior,” since it’s simpler to remember how you felt at that time.

While people can easily identify the external trigger, “it takes some time and trials to begin noticing those all-important inside triggers,” according to Bricker. He suggests discussing the urge as if you were an observer, telling yourself something like, “I’m feeling that tension in my chest right now.” And there I am, reaching for my iPhone.” The better we notice the habit, the better we will be able to manage it over time. “The tension fades, the idea weakens, or is replaced by another thought.”

STEP – 3

(Explore Your Sensations)

Bricker then suggests becoming interested in that experience. Do your fingers quiver when you’re going to get distracted, for example? Do you feel butterflies in your tummy when you think about the job when you’re with your children? What does it feel like when your emotions rise and then fall? Bricker advises lingering with the sensation before acting on it.

In smoking cessation research, individuals who learned to accept and explore their desires stopped smoking at double the rate of those in the American Lung Association’s best-performing cessation program.

The “leaves on a stream” approach is one of Bricker’s favorites. “Imagine you are sitting alongside a softly running stream,” he explains, when you feel the unpleasant internal prompting to do something you’d rather not. “Now envision leaves flowing down that stream. ” Put one of your thoughts on each leaf. It might be a recollection, a phrase, a fear, or a picture. And while you sit and observe, let each of those leaves glide down that stream, twirling away. ”

STEP – 4

(Beware of Liminal Moments)

Liminal moments are transitions from one item to another in our daily lives. Have you ever picked up your phone while waiting for a traffic light to change and then found yourself driving while still looking at your phone? Or have you ever opened a tab in your computer browser, been frustrated by how long it took to load, and then opened another website while you waited? Or have you ever checked a social networking app on your way from one appointment to the next, just to continue scrolling when you got back to your desk? There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these activities. What’s problematic is that by doing them “for just a second,” we’re more likely to do things we later regret, such as getting lost for half an hour or getting into a vehicle accident.

The “ten-minute rule” is a tactic I’ve found especially useful for coping with this attention trap. If I find myself wanting to check my phone as a pacifier, I remind myself that it’s okay to give in, but not right now; I only have 10 minutes. This strategy has helped me cope with a variety of possible distractions, such as Googling something instead of writing, eating something unhealthy when bored, or watching another episode of Netflix when I’m “too exhausted to go to bed.”

This regulation provides time for what some behavioral psychologists refer to as “surfing the desire.” When an impulse arises, we may manage them by observing the sensations and riding them like a wave, neither pushing them away nor acting on them.

Surfing the desire, along with other ways to draw attention to the demand, has been demonstrated to lower the number of cigarettes smoked by smokers when compared to a control group that did not apply the strategy. We are allowed to undertake the activity if we still desire to after ten minutes of urge surfing. However, this is rarely the case. The liminal period has ended, and we can now do what we wanted to do.

Techniques like “surfing the desire” and seeing our appetites as “leaves on a stream” are mental skill-building exercises that may help us resist succumbing to distractions on the spur of the moment. They train our thoughts to seek solace from internal causes via reflection rather than reaction. “It’s a funny reality that when you gently pay attention to unpleasant feelings, they tend to evaporate—while good ones increase,” wrote Oliver Burkeman in the Guardian.


I am sure that after reading this article, you will not need to read any other article on how to increase your focus. If you found this blog informative, then share it with your friends. And if there is any query regarding it, then tell us in the comments. Thank you very much for staying with us.


Q. How do you focus when triggered?

  • Ans. Consume something.
  • Eat the frog.
  • Listen to the same song on repeat.
  • Choose a not-too-comfortable location.
  • Write something in a physical notebook.
  • Start the day with a passion project.
  • Suspend distraction.

Q. How do you desensitize a trigger?

  • Familiarize yourself with relaxation techniques.
  • List at least two items for each level of fear in your hierarchy.
  • Practice exposing yourself to your fear each day.
  • Remember to stop and use a relaxation exercise when you feel anxious.

Q. What are internal and external triggers?
Ans. Other people may use drugs when they feel angry, lonely, depressed, sad, or bored—but any feeling can become an internal trigger. External triggers are the people, places, and things associated with drinking or using drugs.

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