Triggers are a common issue for those who have experienced past trauma. They can come in different forms, such as sights, sounds, smells, or emotions that remind individuals of past traumatic events. For individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), triggers can result in overwhelming emotions, including sadness, anxiety, panic, and flashbacks. However, there are ways to deal with these triggers and regain control over one’s emotions and thoughts. In this article, we will explore how to deal with trauma triggers and offer tips for staying grounded in the present moment.


Understanding Trauma Triggers

Trauma triggers can be internal or external. They are reminders of past traumatic events that cause emotional or psychological distress. Individuals who have experienced trauma may have certain triggers that can bring back the emotions and memories associated with the event. These triggers can be anything from a smell to a specific location or sound. When triggered, individuals may experience emotional and physical responses that can be distressing.


Dealing with Trauma Triggers

Dealing with trauma triggers can be challenging, but there are techniques that can help individuals regain control over their emotions and thoughts. One technique is to engage in mindfulness practices. Cultures from around the world have used mindfulness, movement, rhythms, and action to calm the arousal system. Yoga, Tai Chi, and martial arts, such as Aikido, Judo, Taekwondo, Kendo, and Jujitsu, all involve physical movement, breathing, and meditation that help individuals engage with the present moment, separating themselves from their trauma.


Creating a Trauma Response Game Plan

Creating a trauma response game plan involves finding ways to stay grounded in the present moment. It means engaging with the five senses to bring comfort and peace, which helps form new pathways in the brain. Individuals can create a list of their top five favorite present moments or ways to ground themselves in the present moment. This list can include anything from feeling the fabric of the chair you’re sitting in to smelling the aromas in the air. Engaging in activities that stimulate the senses, such as drinking a cup of tea while focusing on the taste and feel, can help individuals feel relaxed and calm.


Box Breathing

Box breathing is a technique that can help individuals regulate strong emotions. It involves taking slow, deep breaths for three seconds, holding for three counts, and then exhaling for three seconds, holding again for three counts. This process can be repeated three times for a 30-second meditation or seven times for a 90-second meditation. Drawing a box with your hand while breathing can help to trace the breathing pattern. Inhalations and exhalations produce steady rhythmical fluctuations in heart rate, which stimulates the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, allowing individuals to calm their arousal system and return to a state of calm.

Trauma triggers can be challenging to deal with, but there are techniques and practices that individuals can use to regain control over their emotions and thoughts. Mindfulness practices, creating a trauma response game plan, and box breathing are all effective ways of dealing with trauma triggers. Engaging with the present moment and separating oneself from the past trauma can help individuals form new pathways in the brain, allowing them to move forward and regain control over their emotions and thoughts.

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Video One: How to Get Traumatic Images Out of Your Head

Video Two: Can you be Traumatized and Not Know It?

Video Three: Can You Get PTSD from Emotional Abuse?

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