Dealing with triggering situations
It can be hard to understand and deal with triggers and triggering situations and you may need help to do this. There are some things that you can do alone, or with a friend who can support you.
- Making a list of experiences you’ve had that have been triggering (for example, having a certain part of you touched). This can help you come up with specific things that should be avoided and re-establish a sense of control.
- Come up with a trigger plan that you can share with friends or family. For example, you can ask them to hold your hand and take a few minutes counting breathes with you. Try out a few different options to find something that works for you.
- When you get into new relationships, you need to find a way of making sure your partner understands that there are certain things that are hard for you, and you need to give consent for participating in these things. Both of you need to know that it’s okay to say “no” if something makes you feel triggered. This can help you to feel more in control of your relationship and intimacy.
- You might also wish to try techniques that help you focus on the sights, sounds, smells, textures and/or tastes of the present environment.
Disclaimer: This guide has not been put together by mental health professionals. It is not intended to be medical advice. It has been crowdsourced by survivors and volunteers of Chayn. Care has been taken in reflecting the experiences and knowledge of people around the world, including therapists but information in this guide should be taken instead of certified medical advice. Please seek professional support.
Getting better & moving on: A guide for mental healing after abuse and trauma by CHAYN is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.