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Working Through Triggers

Trigger warning: This blog talks about triggers and childhood trauma.

Sometimes you get triggered and it can take hours or days to calm down and meanwhile you’ve been triggered again. Being triggered causes people to be tense and uptight. It makes people feel tired and exhausted and when you are triggered it means the same event just keeps getting replayed again and again in an overactive mind. This also means you have less energy and focus for doing the things you need to get done.

Being triggered can affect your sleep. It may take hours to get relaxed enough to fall asleep and the next day the cycle continues. Old triggers still going around and then the new triggers start pilling on top.

How much time do you spend ruminating over the past? How much time do you spend going over events that others have probably moved on from, but you are still stuck in? You even try not to think about it, realising it’s futile, but just can’t get those conversations out of your mind.

Whatever you seem to do or look, there’s another trigger.

You feel entangled in past events. Often living in the past can make us feel depressed. We tend to distort our memories and often hold onto the more emotional events. As you accept and heal from painful memories, they often just blend into the other memories. They’re not forgotten, but naturally seem less signifiant and triggering than before.

Some painful events can take a lot more time to process than others. Childhood abuse - whether physical or sexual or emotional often have layers that need attention. I do recommend working with a compassionate qualified practitioner

rather than alone for complex trauma.

When your buttons get pushed, it’s often that something minor can trigger off the unprocessed trauma that lies underneath and the person can’t understand why they are getting so upset about something.

Sometimes the opposite can happen and an individual doesn't get triggered at all, but goes numb. The "freeze" response to a threat. It takes compassion and a safe space to feel safe enough to let emotions into your life.

Be compassionate to yourself. Try and sit back and give yourself some space from the triggers and the feelings. Try not to judge yourself from whatever you are feekling. Just understand there’s a lot more going on that just what’s at the surface.

Here’s some steps that can help. Don’t rush through them. Stay on each step for a few minutes.

Take a few breaths.

Notice whatever you are feeling and name the emotion.

Breathe and notice the oxygen going into any parts of your body that feel tense.

Try and accept this is where you are right now and start thinking about how you want to be.

Journal - write down what you are feeling and your thoughts (more about this in a future post).

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