How do I avoid triggers?
Last Updated: 04/21/2020 at 9:05am
Rory Boutilier, Registered Professional Counsellor
I use a client-centered approach to help you reach your goals. You are the expert on you! Particular areas: depression, anxiety, decision-making, change, self-injury.
Top Rated Answers
Great question. In my experience, I do not think we can always avoid triggers. I believe we can have a plan and be proactive for how we will react when we are triggered. Make a plan and leave the situation if at all possible.
From what I have experienced, there is really no way to avoid triggers without leaving your "safe place". The best way to deal with them though is to learn what they are and be careful not to get to exposed to them, but learn to accept them and cope with them as part of your life.
The best way to avoid triggers is to be aware of the triggers and remove any toxic people and/or things from your life. Realize that you are able to beat your triggers, and know that there is help when you need it.
There isn't any way to avoid all of your triggers. You need to learn the best methods for you to cope with them.
Find something to divert yourself. Find things you like to do or people you like to talk to or be around. Hobbies, other interest. If you feel these aren't good enough or work well enough, seek out a help line or chat line like 7cups of Tea to talk with someone who can just listen to you without judgment.
Just wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it to snap out of the state you are in and get back to what you were doing.
For me it has been a lot of self-control. Look at what caused these triggers to be an issues and start to understand the links between the two. Next, identify the triggers. Some are more obvious than others and can be avoided immediately. Some are identified after you are triggered by whatever it was. Let the panic come and go as calmly as possible (I know thats near impossible) but after it happens don't forget what it was. It's definitely been a process but over time it starts to become second nature and takes so much less thought!
Make a list of triggers and every time the same trigger is about to hit you, try to avoid it. Just divert yourself from the activity which acts as a trigger.
I recognize them, manage my reaction, keep breathing and move along. I recognize when my breathing begins to change and I take myself away from the situation.
Avoiding triggers can be difficult, however if you know that something will be triggering to you, already imagine how bad you would be struggling if you went ahead and exposed yourself to that trigger. Remember that this will still shock you and have you feeling uneasy and of course 'triggered'. Keep this in mind and allow this to be motivation to avoid that trigger. It's always good to use distractions too- I've always found that helps. Especially when it is my own thoughts that are triggering me, I start to sing a song in my head and think of my dog- things that make me happy and take my focus away from the trigger. I hope this helps
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