‘You mf right I’m triggered!!’ – @jheneaiko
Do you recognize your triggers? What makes you feel emotionally triggered?
Triggers can be internal or external, including smells, sights, sounds, and emotions. Triggers point to where we are not free. Where we are not healed. It reminds us of our past trauma or similar experiences. It reveals where your pain is… but triggers do not equate truth.
The most common internal triggering events:
A racing heart
Feeling out of control
External common triggering events:
Going to a specific location that reminds them of a traumatic event
An anniversary date
A violent movie
A particular smell that is connected to a past trauma (e.g., incense)
Seeing an overly thin celebrity (in the case of anorexia)
Loud noises (e.g., a motorbike in the case of a war veteran)
A particular interaction (e.g., an argument)
Seeing someone else use drugs (for substance abuse)
New stories about bad events
The ending of a relationship
Being alone too much
A particular time of day (e.g., sunset)
Being in a crowded place
Healing requires getting to the root of the trigger, feeling what you feel, and moving through it.
Practice relaxation techniques
Avoid unhealthy behaviors
Become aware of your triggers
Anticipate and plan a coping strategy for triggers
Call someone you trust
Keep a journal
Engage in regular exercise
Read self-help books to add new coping strategies
Practice deep breathing
When you feel triggered, ask yourself – am I reacting to what’s happening right now? – or what happened in the past that I am projecting onto this current situation.
What are some ways you deal with your triggers?