How to Manage Trauma Triggers

What is a Trauma Trigger?

A trauma trigger is a psychological stimulus that prompts recall of a previous traumatic experience. The stimulus itself need not be frightening or traumatic and may be only indirectly or superficially reminiscent of an earlier traumatic incident, such as a scent or a piece of clothing. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate.

Steps to Managing Triggers

  • Cognitive Realignment
  • Identify Coping Strategies
  • Journaling / Self Monitoring
  • Observation of Coping

Observations Coping Strategy

  • Observe what is happening
  • Focus on you breathing
  • Name the situation that initiated your response
  • Remember that emotions come and go
  • Recognize that this situation does not define you or your future
  • Validate your experience
  • Ask for help
  • This too shall pass
  • I can handle this
  • Keep and open mind
  • Name strategies that have worked before

Working with your triggers to help manage the effect can result in a decrease in the stress related to your trauma response.

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