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Identifying and Managing Your Emotional Triggers

One of the most effective methods of protecting your mental health is by learning how to identify and manage your emotional triggers. We all have instances where things people do, or say, rub us the wrong way and leave us emotionally upset. Emotional triggers can be any experience, event, person, or action, basically anything that causes a reaction in mind or body. If you are experiencing daily emotional triggers, that can be very stressful and challenging to cope with. The key to protecting your mental health is learning how to identify your emotional triggers, and how to manage your response to those triggers.

We all have our own distinctive emotional triggers, because of our unique past experiences. If you are dealing with current mental health symptoms or substance use issues, your reactions to emotional triggers can be more severe. How we react to emotional triggers is different for everyone because of the past experiences and the memories and feelings that are triggered. Developing an understanding of your emotional triggers and how to manage your reactions to those triggers is crucial for your mental health.

Common Situations that Trigger Emotions

  • Loud noises
  • Abuse
  • Social gatherings
  • Criticism, disapproval
  • Challenged beliefs
  • Grief
  • Poor sleep
  • Chronic pain
  • Rejection
  • Betrayal
  • Unjust treatment
  • Relationship troubles
  • Loss of control, helplessness
  • Being ignored or excluded
  • Feeling unwanted or unneeded
  • Feeling smothered, too needed
  • Insecurity
  • Unexpected events
  • Loss of independence

Severe Responses to Emotional Triggers

  • Anxiety
  • Heart pounding
  • Shallow breathing
  • Anger
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Hyperventilating

For people who are experiencing emotional triggers that are causing severe emotional responses, it is recommended to seek professional mental health treatment to help you learn to recognize and cope with your emotional triggers. Aspire Counseling Services helps people to determine whether there are underlying mental health conditions that are making their reactions to emotional triggers more severe, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, phobias, mood disorders, and other conditions. Counseling can help you to trace the roots of your emotional triggers back to the past experiences that may be triggering these severe reactions. Once you know the cause you can begin to cope with the reactions.

The first step to controlling your reactions to emotional triggers is to consciously acknowledge the emotions you are experiencing. Aspire Counseling Services teaches mindfulness practices to their patients to help them recognize and react safely to their emotional triggers. Your five senses can lead to your emotional or behavioral response, so tune in to what you are feeling, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching to determine what exactly is causing your emotional response.

Once you recognize the emotional trigger and implement some mindfulness practice techniques, then you can begin to control the moment and your reactions. For example, hearing a loud noise may transport you emotionally back to an incident when you were near an explosion. Once you begin using some mindfulness techniques that can get you calm and “in the moment”, you can begin to realize you are not in that same situation and begin controlling your reaction.

Another key to controlling your reactions to emotional triggers is by using communication techniques. Someone may say something that unintentionally brings back bad memories. Realizing that person probably did not intentionally mean to do that is important. Communicating to that person how those statements make you feel can help avoid repeat situations. Even if you feel somebody is being sarcastic, and that is a trigger for you, you can simply respond with a simple “What are you trying to say?”, that will make most people pause and think about their comments.

Emotional triggers can also cause some people to resort to drug and alcohol abuse, to attempt to mentally take them out of those situations. Other behavioral problems can also be caused by emotional triggers, anger and dangerous behaviors included. The experts at Aspire Counseling Services can help individuals struggling with their reactions to emotional triggers, whatever those reactions may be.

Controlling your reaction to emotional triggers becomes much more difficult with someone who has underlying mental health conditions. That is why seeking mental health treatment is essential for those individuals, to help them deal with those conditions. Aspire Counseling Services provides individualized treatment programs for people struggling with mental and behavioral health conditions.

Planting Seeds, Saving Lives

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Planting Seeds, Saving Lives

Available 24/7 (888) 585-7373




Privacy Practices
Copyright © 2023 Aspire Counseling Services®
Powered & Designed by Citryn, LLC

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