When you experience symptoms, it’s natural to search for a trigger. Triggers are sometimes easy to identify, but not always. The search for an illusive trigger can cause a lot of stress and have a negative impact on your health! In most cases, triggers are difficult to pinpoint, because they are inconsistent and sometimes internal (you can not monitor or control them). Cathy was a good example of this. She suffered from arthritic pain and kept an extensive journal tracking her food intake and other variables that she thought affected her symptoms (barometric pressure changes, menstrual cycles, activity levels, and stress). From the journal, she learned that barometric pressure changes were an important trigger. However, her pain sometimes increased, and she could not pinpoint the reason. She became frustrated and spent a lot of mental energy trying to figure it out. The constant analyzing reduced her quality of life more than the pain. Her quality of life improved when she was able to let go of trying to find that illusive trigger. It helped her to understand that there are many triggers that we can not see or monitor, such as body chemical changes.
“Accepting” is a challenging journey. A small step could be, “for the next two weeks, I am not going to analyze my symptoms.” See take a break from unhelpful habits.