At its simplest, a trigger is just something that sets another thing off. When it comes to addiction and mental health, a trigger can be something that makes whatever problem we’re dealing with come to the surface.
Triggers are Personalized
One of the challenges with triggers are that they are unique to each of us. Maria might find her stomach tightening when the phone rings because it reminds her of a call from a debt collector while Javier might crave a drink in the afternoons because he used to always drink after work. Triggers are often miscategorized as personality quirks or things we don’t like when really are something much bigger.
What To Do With Your Triggers
The first step is identifying the trigger. If you know you have a trigger, you’re way ahead of many people (not that it’s any sort of race!). Pay attention to what your urges are and when you have them. Also notice when you want to avoid certain things and when these feelings come up as well.
It helps to keep a journal to help you go back and spot patterns. This is also where talk therapy comes in handy. A trained and experienced professional might help you spot patterns you were unaware of. They can then help you find new tools and build new coping mechanisms that help you either avoid triggers or manage your reaction to them.
One thing you can do if you’re experiencing a trigger is to pay attention to your body’s responses. What do you feel physically? Does your hand feel empty like it’s missing the drink or cigarette that should be there? Do you have a headache or tightening of the chest when you think of something or a certain person enters the room? Whatever you’re experiencing, try to breathe in slowly, count to five in your mind, and then exhale. Do this as many times as you need to until the moment’s passed.
Finding Help For Your Triggers
There are many people who want to help you overcome your challenges and help you lead a healthy life. Whether you need gambling addiction treatment services, mental health rehab, or medical detox there are a lot of options available. Call us today to learn more about your options: (855) 441-2449.