What is the best way to deal with a situation when you find yourself triggered?
Last Updated: 01/18/2021 at 8:44am
Hannah Caradonna, MSW, RCSW (RCC #11330)
I offer a warm and non-judgmental space for you to work through your problems. I can help you with anxiety, disordered eating, depression, relationship problems and more.
Top Rated Answers
The answer will be purely based on personal experience. It may or may not help you, but it's worth a try, I promise. So, what helps me when I am triggered is distraction. Firstly, leave the triggering place/situation/person right at the moment. Some feel guilty to have left someone in need, some feel they shouldn't leave it due to many reasons, however, what I insist is- leave. Doesn't matter if you are needed or not, doesn't matter what your brain tells you to, just leave. Nothing is as important as your health: mental or physical. Nothing is as important as you. Secondly, once you have left, try few distracting techniques. Anything that distracts your brain. Be it 54321 grounding technique, drawing, painting, colouring anything. An excellent trick is colouring. Take few ready made drawings and try to fill colour in them. Why it helps best is because it reminds you of the happiest memories of your childhood, relieves stress and distracts you brain all at the same time. Other than these, you can also try meditation, breathing techniques, listening to playlists you like or something similar. If nothing works, you can try the one thing that's your safe place. Read a book, do something that had already helped/rescued you from such situations in the past.
If possible, it would probably be best to try to remove yourself from the situation and go somewhere where you can calm down and practice any of your positive coping methods. If it's not possible to get away, you can try to do some more internal, un-noticeable practices like mindful breathing to try to get past the trigger.
The best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation that is triggering you. After you did, doing some self care is a great idea. Some things you can do is, read, take a bath, something you enjoy. I, myself have been in a situation that as triggered me and I stepped back did some self care. After my self care I went back to talk to the other people in the situation to talk things out. I recommend you do your self care then go back to the people who were involved in the situation to talk things out.
Focus on your breathing, distract yourself, if you can get out of the room, turn off your laptop etc, excuse yourself from a conversation
You can always talk to someone close to you for help, they will help you deal with the triggers and talk you through it. Otherwise, we are always here on 7cups if you need us, so pop into teen support or consider connect on a 1-1 with a listener :)
take a breath. try not to think about it. think positive. think about you don't want to be triggered and you want to be happy.
Practicing grounding techniques - so focusing on your senses and things you can see, smell, hear, taste and feel to be inn the present moment. Pause and concentrate on breathing slow deep breaths. Remind yourself it is a temporary feeling that will wash over you like a wave if you let it. You are safe and in control.
If you are talking about real life, you can ask for the theme of the conversation to be changed or just back out. If you are talking about being a 7 Cups listener, you can refer the member/guest to another listener. For doing that, go to a Listener room and ask if anyone is availiable to chat. If they are, show the member to that listener. If no one is availiable, you can ask the member/guest to go onto the 'Browse Listeners' page and find a new listener. Politely, of course. Good luck!
Once again there is no clear answer because everyone is different and different methods work better or worse for other people. One thing that should help in some way is distraction. See friends, do some sports, cook a nice meal, Watch a movie, paint, create something, write, whatever works for you. Distraction is always a good method to clear your head for a moment.
If it is possible, find a way to excuse yourself from the situation. If you can excuse yourself, take a moment to relax, get your thoughts away from the situation. Maybe you can listen to music, take a brief walk outside, watch a video that makes you laugh.
I used to be a self harmer for years...But then I stopped because of my husband who had forced me to quit but that doesn't mean I don't have triggers or urges now and then...How I personally deal with it is I tell myself that everything is okay that this too shall pass and that I can let myself just relapse after all of these years..and that I have to be here for my husband. Someone I love made it so that I could quit and it's what keeps me from going back to my old ways...
To think positive, calm down and breathe and to keep going. Walk away fr0m what got you triggered if you can.
Take a deep breath, step out of the situation mentally, and think! Think about all the positives that would come if you managed to deal with the trigger. Either way, make sure you praise yourself as you can notice your own personal triggers!
When triggered, you should remind yourself to take care of yourself. You know what's best for you. Try to get yourself calm by focusing on your breathing, lying down or sitting down and only focus on your breathing pattern. Maybe drink some water and tell yourself that it is gonna be okay, because it will be. If you can't seem to get yourself calmed down, maybe try to ask for help from someone near you. For example a friend, a parent, brother/sister or anyone you feel comfortable with.
According to my experience is the best to recognize and validate your feelings and emotions (I feel angry, sad, disappointed, etc. for example, and these feelings are all ok, normal and valid. Then you can try to find which were your thoughts which triggered your feelings and emotions (our thoughts are triggering our feelings and emotions, not situations). Then find out which thinking fallacy triggered your thinking and then do cognitive restructuring. Try to find less extreme, less intense, less provocative thoughts about situation which will enable you to feel less triggered and to calm yourself down. Ask yourself which proofs do you have that your thinking is 100 % correct, which proofs are against your thinking, etc. You can add also breathing exercises to help you calm down.
Excuse yourself from the situation. Most people will understand if you explain and the mental stress is not worth sticking it out, so please, if at all possible, take a break for a few minutes. I also keep things like scent sticks and fidget toys on my person in case there is a situation where I can’t leave. Scent sticks and essential oils are actually quite helpful, I’ve found, just buy a handkerchief and rub one of the two on it. If you find yourself in a triggering situation, you can take the handkerchief out and pretend you’re blowing your nose. Often those scents are quite useful in temporarily calming me down if I need to stay in a stressful situation for longer than I’d like
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