Sometimes the term triggers suggest that it’s limited to people trapped in addictions. However, anyone can experience triggers
But those of us who have experienced trauma especially childhood trauma can identify with experiencing triggers. It is vital that you understand what they are and what to do to ensure you are in control.
The memory of traumatic experiences can act as a trigger for many. Sometimes when we remember the event that occurs, it can affect mood and change the way you feel about yourself and your day.
Some things that might be a trigger
- Negative words that you hear from people in authority.
- Threatening words said to you as a means of control. As a child, you were not able to reason through certain situations or see them as empty threats. As a result conflict or someone else’s anger can be a trigger for you.
Exposure to domestic violence can influence feelings of fear and situations that stir up anger or anxiety can be re-traumatising for this individual. It could be traumatic for a child being exposed to domestic abuse as much as it is for the person who experienced the abuse.
How do we manage triggers?
What: Know what triggers you. Identify what is happening; chances are you will have the same response in similar circumstances.
Notice your patterns of behaviour especially in certain circumstances.
When: identify when you are most likely to be triggered. Are you most like to be triggered at certain times of day, around specific situations, when you are alone or when you are with others.
How: identify your reactions when you are triggered. For example, how do you react? Do you shut down or do you become angry?
It is vital to know how you react so that you can have a strategy to deal with stressful situations.