If I Feel That a Situation May be Triggering, How Should I Handle it?


Stop on hand

Triggers are a huge part of recovery because they can lead to relapse if not easily managed. Triggers can be people, places, situations, thoughts, sensations and feelings, and many people unfortunately employ the wrong coping mechanisms for stressful situations, such as self-medicating through substance use, exhibiting aggressiveness, and more. Fortunately, the right treatment center will provide you with the tools you need to overcome triggers you may face at any point in your life.

Grounding techniques such as mindfulness can be helpful in situations that you feel could escalate. Focus on your breathing and how it feels as you inhale and exhale. Place your feet on the ground and imagine yourself as a tree, standing tall. Feel the energy from your body plant itself into the ground as you become more strong and stable. This is a great meditative tool for you to use; numerous studies have reported the benefits of mindfulness, such as reduced rumination, stress reduction, increased memory and focus, reduced emotional reactivity, boosted cognitive flexibility, higher relationship satisfaction, and more.

Finding the truth in the situation is necessary to overcoming the thoughts and feelings associated with it. If you’re able to confirm that your anxiety and fear over a situation aren’t real, you can stop yourself before reacting to those fears. However, if your concerns are of real concern, you can plan to move forward: to leave the situation or to not go at all, to reconstruct your perception of the situation, to find support, and more.

Social support is an incredibly useful tool when triggers are involved. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatry confirms that positive social support can lead to enhanced resilience against stress, can help protect against trauma-related psychological concerns, can decrease the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and can reduce morbidity and mortality. If you’ve attended a treatment program, you should have several people whom you can rely on.

Grounding techniques, finding the truth behind the situation to make an informed decision for how to proceed, and utilizing social support are three excellent tools to use when faced with a potentially triggering situation. Always have a back-up plan or an “exit” strategy for situations you are unsure of and avoid any places or people that may have a high influence over your sobriety.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re seeking a treatment center that focuses primarily on mental health, call our parent property, New Vista Behavioral Health, at 855-398-7959. If you’re seeking treatment for either substance abuse or dual diagnosis, call us at 888-743-0490. There are many people that can help you develop the tools you need to succeed.