Invisible Injuries- Mental health ambassadors

S01 - Dealing with triggers 2

September 09, 2021

two firefighters training in the firehouse with messaging in text

A trigger is something (e.g. a sight, sound, smell, taste or bodily sensation) that sets off a reaction, taking you back to a particular event or situation. Triggers are highly unpredictable. Fearing and fleeing from triggers doesn’t work. It’s better to face them and deal with them. So instead of going for avoidance, go for acceptance. Dealing with them takes out their stink, and enables us to remain in control.

“this is normal” Another way to gain mastery over a trigger is to train the service user to say quietly and firmly to themselves, “This is normal”. As soon as the trigger is observed to become consciously aware of it; to see it for what it is; and to say to themselves. “This is normal” These experiences occur from time to time. I’m noticing it fully, and it will pass”.

In addition to this statement being so simple and easy to learn, it has great reassurance value.

How to use for best results –“horses for courses” applies. Some might find one tool or technique helpful, others will experiment with another that proves helpful. All are available to try and it’s often about finding “what works”.

*Reprinted with permission 2020
@john henden