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Kunoichi

Dealing with Triggers

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Definition: Anything that brings about a symptom of PTSD. For example, a news story about the Iraq War may cause a veteran with PTSD to have thoughts and memories about the war. Triggers may include people, places, sounds, words, and/or smells

Some tips to deal with triggers:

Coping with Triggers

Now, the best way of coping with triggers is to avoid them altogether. However, this is almost impossible to do. Why? Well, you cannot really avoid your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Much of these are out of our control. In regard to external triggers, we can take some steps to manage our environment (for example, not going to certain places that we know will trigger us), but we cannot control everything that happens to us. For example, you might inadvertently come into contact with a news story or conversation that reminds you of your traumatic event.

Because we often cannot avoid triggers, it is important to learn ways of coping with triggers. Effective, healthy coping strategies for lessening the impact of triggers include:

* Mindfulness

* Relaxation

* Self-soothing

* Grounding

* Expressive writing

* Social support

* Deep breathing

The more strategies you have available to you, the better off you will be in managing your triggers. In addition, the more coping strategies you have, the more likely you will be able to prevent the development of unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol and drug use.

Further, simply being more aware of your triggers can be beneficial. As a result of this increased awareness, your emotional reactions may begin to feel more understandable, valid, predictable, and less out of control. This can definitely positively impact your mood and overall well-being.

Some Final Important Information About Triggers

Although it is important to increase your awareness of your triggers, doing so can cause some distress. Some people might actually become triggered by trying to identify their triggers. Therefore, before you take steps to identify your triggers, make sure you have a safety plan in place in case you experience some distress.

http://ptsd.about.com/od/selfhelp/a/CopingTriggers.htm

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