The expression “trigger” recently became a psychological buzzword and refers to certain words, phrases, or actions that might create highly negative reactions by tripping a memory or internal tape loop that would transport a person back to a previous stressful memory or personal trauma.

But I would like to hijack the term “trigger,” steal it from the dark side of psychology, and rebuild it with a much more positive connotation.  

What if you could identify what hereafter we will call your “Pamper Triggers?”

We all have those certain, special activities or objects that make us feel comforted, soothed, and taken care of. Typically, we partake of these rarely, sparingly, and often, quite guiltily.  For some, it might be putting away a little mad money at the end of the month for a mani-pedi. For others, it might be having breakfast in bed or splurging on the gourmet Hazelnut-flavored coffee.

​For still others, it might overly-soft towels or a thick bathrobe with foofy slippers that you ease your tootsies into after a hot shower or luxurious bubble bath. The next group might enjoy one of Mom’s special home-cooked meals–her lasagna or enchiladas or turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce or pot roast, for example–that she has lovingly spent the afternoon preparing just for you.  

If hearing one or more of those examples of what it means to be pampered caused you to travel back to a specific personal memory, or if you felt a physical memory of what it was like to be comforted and soothed, congratulations, you just discovered one of your “Pamper Triggers.”

Everyone likes to be pampered. Everyone likes to feel comforted and soothed and warm and dry and taken care of. Why wouldn’t we? It’s an awesome feeling! But given the chaos and obligation and white noise of our current culture, most of us carve out very little time to pamper ourselves.  For most of us, then, pampering becomes a rare, random, and serendipitous way to take care of ourselves and bring ourselves joy.

We tell ourselves we don’t have the time. We tell ourselves that’s it’s just plain selfish or self-indulgent, we tell ourselves that we’re tough, we’ll make it through, and that we don’t need to be pampered, that being pampered is for “sissies.”  

This is tragic.

Being pampered is a gift we need to learn to give ourselves and, with practice, we must learn to graciously accept the gift.

But how?

First off, by learning our Pamper Triggers.

Start by asking what type of pampering do you particularly enjoy? What memories do you have of a time or situation where you were feeling particularly soothed, comforted, warmed, or taken care of?  What were your doing? Who was there?

These are your “Pamper Triggers.”

Finding your Pamper Triggers is the art of going back.
Some of my Pamper Triggers include:

  • Hot, buttered popcorn
  • Slippers
  • Classic Rock
  • My mother’s eggrolls and ground beef tacos
  • Slow afternoons reading for pleasure

Each of these spring from remembering what I loved when I was younger, when I was happy, when I was engaged in an activity or a behavior that made me feel soothed and comforted.

Finding your Pamper Triggers is reunion with a more relaxed, soothed part of yourself. 

It is, in essence, a type of reunion and an act of recovery. TZT

What are YOUR Pamper Triggers?  Please leave them in the comments section. Let us know what makes you feel soothed and comforted. . .

(And stay tuned for my next VERY SPECIAL POST about how one teacher started a PAMPER RITUAL at her school. A GUEST POST by educator Shari Krapels–A Zen Teacher Blog FIRST!)