259: Triggers + Responses: How Did You End Up Here?


So often we want to jump right past difficult emotions or get a three-step plan to fix them…but what if sitting in those emotions is the key to allowing God to heal them? Join me today as we discuss how God-centered mindfulness can help us address our emotional triggers and break the patterns underneath our emotional responses.

Looking for a mental refresh this summer? Check out the Christian Mindset Refresh Bundle for Christ-centered meditations, affirmations and Bible study that restore your heart with peace and calm.


  • [02:00] What is God-Centered Mindfulness?
  • [07:01] Mindfulness Gives Us The Ability to Accept What is
  • [13:09] Mindfulness Does Not Keep Us Stuck in Self-Pity
  • [15:33] What Are The Deeper Patterns Under Your Emotional Triggers?
  • [20:15] Making Space with Intentional Practices to Step Into The Presence of God

[02:00] What is God-Centered Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has become a loaded word for many people because there is a big push to use it in a lot of new-age practices that do not reflect God. The mindfulness I am speaking of today allows us to focus our minds on Christ, to be aware of what we are thinking, and to let God speak to us. If you want to learn more about this concept of mindfulness, check out these previous episodes:  

116: Mindset Matters: What Is Mindfulness and Is Mindfulness Appropriate for Christians?

220: How Can Christian Meditation Help You Better Manage Stress?
222: How to Manage Emotional Overwhelm with Christian Meditation

Mindfulness is the simple practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment with the Lord – without judgment. It allows us to sit in a space before God where we are not expecting any answers but instead, to give ourselves a space to reflect on what we are responding to. It is a practice of being still enough to listen. 

I know that it is not always easy to stay still and quiet. Many times the inner critic comes up saying what we should and should not do. We can all go down this cycle but what I am talking about here is sitting before God and asking for help in seeing what is causing us to feel stuck in burnout or the cycle of being a human “doing”.

Being able to sit these emotions is a lost art, especially in the church. We are all quick to want to jump to joy or fix it, but sometimes there is no three-step plan to fix it. Sometimes we just need to let God bring it to our awareness and then let Him heal it. 

One of the greatest blessings of mindfulness is the ability to get to know yourself and the world around you better. As you begin to slow down, God will start to reveal little snippets of what is really behind parts of your life. 

In Sara Hagerty’s book “The Gift of Limitations” she shares this powerful quote, “Many days, our minds drive us without our agreement or even awareness. We assess situations, make decisions, and interact with friends and field news, mostly unthinkingly. Except we’re always thinking. 6,000 thoughts a day pass through our minds and yet when we feel overwhelmed, we run to tweak our schedules or attempt to duck a paralyzing situation. I ignore that my sense of overwhelm may come from within my thoughts rather than my circumstances.”

This means that we are often living in reaction, not understanding. When we can instead live in a state of mindfulness and slow down to listen and notice the connections underneath, we begin to realize the situation in our minds might not be the real issue. It is so powerful when we can address the real issue and dissolve these patterns.

[07:01] Mindfulness Gives Us The Ability to Accept What Is

Another gift of mindfulness is that we can sit in the present moment and accept what is. God accepts us as we are and does not ask for us to clean our thoughts and ideas before we come to Him. He sees what is going on in our heads and wants to sit with us and love us through it. We do not have to be in a rush to fix, solve, or push it down. We can ask Him to bring healing and acceptance.

For example, if someone has surgery on their knee, the surgeon has to do his part to fix the knee and, after the surgery, the patient would be encouraged to do some physical therapy to restrengthen the muscles. But the actual healing has to come from God. 

We do not have to have the answer of how to fix something right away. There is a part that only God can fix, heal, and reveal. He is going to do it in the right place and timing for us – this is where beautiful healing can happen. 

Another important aspect of mindfulness is that it allows us to recognize His place in the world. He is present in all that we are doing and we need to remember that. We are often so caught up in the next thing and checking all of the boxes – but when we can slow down and notice Him everywhere, we can remember how amazing He is. We can be mindful of God when we are eating an amazing meal or sitting outside with a friend and a glass of lemonade. There are so many things we are missing out on because we are a human “doing”. Mindfulness allows us to reopen our eyes to the incredible tiny beauties hidden in everyday life.

Where have you seen God show up in the last 24-48 hours? What are the little things that have happened? Maybe your baby took an extra long nap or maybe your boss said you could leave early. There is so much joy we are missing out on because we are caught up in the “doing” and are not allowing space for God to reveal Himself. Mindfulness is just showing up, making space, and being aware of what He does in the space. 

[13:09] Mindfulness Does Not Keep Us Stuck in Self-Pity

Now that we know what mindfulness is, I want to share a few things about what mindfulness is not. It is not a new age concept. Mindfulness  is something that we have seen all throughout the Bible. Mindfulness is also not an excuse for us to not take action. It is also not a path to fear. We may think “If I open the door and I see all of the things that God is trying to speak to me – I will be overwhelmed.” 

Mindfulness is not a gateway to inner turmoil. If you are not familiar with processing and managing your emotions, then you know how easy it is to get stuck spiraling down and letting the emotions take over. That is something I struggled with and I either sat in self-pity or disregarded what God was trying to tell me to do because it did not sound exciting. But mindfulness is the ability to see it, move through it, and then respond. Mindfulness is the first skill that helps us understand what we are responding to that is keeping us stuck. 

[15:33] What Are The Deeper Patterns Under Your Emotional Triggers?

The second tool is understanding our triggers. People use the word “triggered” all of the time in a non-clinical way and for the sake of this conversation, I am going to use it that way so we are speaking the same language. Mindfulness also helps us make deeper connections to patterns and triggers that might be happening. Triggers are everyday stressors that disrupt our emotional balance. If you live with a teenager, you have heard about triggers quite often.

Triggers are signal points where we begin to see the cycle inside of ourselves that needs to be addressed. We can say “She triggered me” but we need to look at the feeling that caused the trigger. In my upcoming book “Emotional Confidence” I talk about the surface-level emotions and the emotions that are “underneath the iceberg.” The “above the surface” emotions, like anger, overwhelm, shame, and exhaustion – are the first signals that something is wrong. As we ask ourselves “What is under this emotion?” we begin to see the hidden emotional layers. This is where mindfulness can be helpful because then we can understand what is triggering those emotions. We can begin to unravel this through the process of understanding what we are responding to. As we make this space with mindfulness, we can also ask God where these patterns are coming from. 

I am sure you have heard me talk about the Christian Mindset Makeover and throughout this program, we figure out how to deal with these patterns. This is important because even if we are not necessarily identifying all the patterns, we are outwardly saying, “Hey, I am noticing that at this time of day, I am feeling this emotion and this situation is triggering it.” Then we can see that underneath that emotion, there is a deeper pattern. Mindfulness is the key that helps us get to that point.

[20:15] Making Space with Intentional Practices to Step Into The Presence of God

In order for mindfulness to become more than a theoretical concept, we need to make space to apply it to everyday living. 

Making space could be many different things. For me, I feel like God speaks through me when I am driving without the radio, when I am journaling as part of my Bible time, or when I am having a cup of coffee by myself on the back deck. I know that some people need very intentional tools and practices that can help them discover what this can look like in their lives. This is where my Christian Mindset Refresh Bundle comes in. This bundle includes three different products that are meant to help you hear from God, slow down, and find space. 

The first product is the Christian Affirmations, which are statements that are based on scripture about who we are in Christ and our identity. The second resource is Christian Meditations for Daily Calm which includes a video and audio based on a specific scripture and a visualization of what that scripture could mean in terms of us interacting with Christ. The third part is the “I Am Loved” Bible Study which is based on the spiritual growth rhythm and it is a great way to rediscover God’s love for you. This bundle is a powerful tool to help you cultivate this practice of mindfulness and let it center on God and His word and truth for you. 
Make sure to share this episode with a friend! And if you haven’t already, please remember to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Then take a screenshot of the review and send it to hello@vibrantchristianliving.com and we will send you 50 “I am” statements that you can listen to or read that are about your identity in Christ – for free!


Are you constantly stressed, like life’s demands steal your peace + purpose? If so, check out the Christian Mindset Refresh Bundle — your brain-science and Bible-based mindset toolkit designed to guide you back to Christ-centered peace, godly self-worth, and the heart of God’s unfailing love. 

Discover how God’s love radically changes your identity, your perspective and your ability to find peace in the “I Am Loved” Bible Study!

Ready for a step-by-step plan based on the Bible + brain science to identify + rewire subconscious thoughts so they line up with your true identity in Christ? Join us in the Christian Mindset Makeover!


116: Mindset Matters: What Is Mindfulness and Is Mindfulness Appropriate for Christians?

220: How Can Christian Meditation Help You Better Manage Stress?

222: How to Manage Emotional Overwhelm with Christian Meditation

258: When You’re a Human “Doing” Instead of a Human Being


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