Identifying and Managing Emotional Triggers

Trauma and suffering are something that happens to everyone at some point in their lives. Living with the long-term impacts of this suffering is something that can feel overwhelming and affect daily life. While pain and suffering associated with trauma and other mental health issues are not rare, some things can make them worse – emotional triggers. Emotional triggers are situations that can lead to symptoms of emotional trauma worsening, leading to an emotional crisis. So, it’s important for people living with mood disorders like PTSD, depression, and others to be able to identify emotional triggers in their lives and also determine methods of managing these triggers when they eventually come into contact with them.

Determining What Emotional Triggers Are

What exactly are emotional triggers? An emotional trigger is something that can provoke negative emotions in someone who already struggles with mental health issues like mood disorders including PTSD. These negative emotions can result in a crisis situation in which a person reverts to unhealthy behaviors like self-destructive decision-making, self-harm, etc. This is why it’s important for people who may react negatively to various scenarios to pinpoint these scenarios and their present mental state in order to overcome emotional triggers.

Being Able to Identify Emotional Triggers Yourself

When you understand your personal emotional triggers, you can better understand how to avoid them. And, if they’re not avoidable, you can better develop ways to overcome these emotional triggers by managing their effects. Some ways to identify emotional triggers that affect your mental state include:

Concentrate on Taking a Step Back: When it comes to being emotionally affected by things around you, taking a step back and considering why you are emotionally charged can help you identify what triggered these emotions. This can include spotting patterns of behaviors or stressors that you’ve come into contact with that trigger an emotional response.

Identify Underlying Reasons for Emotional Responses: When you’re triggered by something that elicits an emotional response, it can be helpful to assess what the underlying reasons for this response are. Consider what resulted in the emotional response and how it made you feel. For example, did it make you feel shameful? Did it make you feel think of past traumatic experiences? When we consider underlying reasons, like how the things that trigger an emotional response make us feel, we can better identify the emotional triggers in our lives.

Determine How Your Body Reacts: Sometimes, when you run into an emotional trigger, your body will react as well. This can mean sweating, shaking, and balling your fists. If you can recognize how your body reacts to emotional triggers, you can also learn how to identify the emotional triggers that result in these physical reactions.

How to Manage Emotional Triggers

Once you’ve identified what triggers you emotionally, you can start implementing management techniques. Some of the ways you can manage an emotional trigger include:

  • utilize meditation and breathing techniques to keep you grounded
  • write out how you’re feeling in a journal
  • get out into nature to help practice being in the present
  • remove yourself from situations that you know may be emotionally triggering

Getting Help for Managing Emotional Triggers

Do you feel that you’re often triggered emotionally and you need to learn how to manage these triggers? This may be a sign that you are living with a mental health issue like depression, anxiety, or PTSD. And, that treatment may be a good tool for you to utilize in order to better manage symptoms of emotional triggers.

Delray Center for Healing is an outpatient mental health treatment center located in Delray Beach that helps people living with mood disorders and the emotional symptoms of these conditions. Find out more about our services and programs from our website.