Dealing with Trauma Triggers

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The news has been full recently of stories about sexual assault.  Watching the news can bring back  difficult memories and make you feel overwhelmed. Understanding that traumatic triggers can come  at any time is a good reminder of the importance of practicing consistent self-care.   I have made a list to help you with self care when you’re feeling triggered.

  1. Have a self care plan  for when unexpected trauma reminders happen.  It’s a good idea to  write down some strategies that have helped you in the past when you were feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  Save a copy of the strategies on your phone so they’re easily accessible to you.
  2. If you are feeling triggered, look around the space where you are and remind yourself that you’re safe at that moment.   Repeat to yourself, “I am safe right now.”  Say this over and over again in your mind until you feel calm.
  3. Use grounding techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises. to regulate strong emotions under stress. This will help you connect with your body and your five senses.  Grounding is very helpful with trauma because it helps you stay in the moment  in order to help you separate from past trauma.
  4. Seek out feelings of safety.  Try to   find spaces that make you feel safe.  This  can be found with people you trust or a comfortable environment.
  5. Slowly and gently confront trauma reminders.  When reminders happen,  try to take them in small doses.  You can take breaks, get support, and take deep breaths,
  6. Know that trauma symptoms will pass.    Remember you are strong enough to survive reminders of past trauma.
  7. Go to Therapy. A therapist can teach you skills for managing trauma symptoms, and offer you comfort when you feel overwhelmed.    I know therapy can be expensive however Open Path Collective has a comprehensive list of therapists who offer therapy for lower cost.
  8. If you feel triggered and need to talk to someone right away, call 1800-656-HOPE for support and linkage to local resources.

Remember to take care of yourself and it’s not your fault.

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