When you get triggered, it can be helpful to have coping skills in place to manage the distress and regain a sense of control. Here are some coping strategies that may be beneficial:
1. Deep breathing and grounding techniques: Practice deep, slow breaths to activate your body's relaxation response. Additionally, grounding techniques like focusing on your senses or using grounding objects (e.g., holding a comforting object, noticing textures) can help anchor you in the present moment.
2. Self-soothing activities: Engage in activities that promote self-care and relaxation. This can include taking a warm bath, listening to calming music, practicing mindfulness or meditation, journaling, or engaging in a hobby or creative outlet that brings you joy.
3. Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and release each muscle group in your body to promote relaxation and alleviate physical tension. This technique can help reduce physiological arousal associated with triggers.
4. Reach out for support: Connect with someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or therapist. Talk about your experience, express your feelings, and seek validation and understanding. Sharing your emotions and thoughts can provide relief and perspective.
5. Positive self-talk: Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive, affirming statements. Remind yourself of your strength and resilience. Practice self-compassion and offer yourself kindness and understanding.
6. Engage in physical activity: Exercise can help release tension, reduce stress, and boost endorphins. Find an activity you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, yoga, dancing, or any form of movement that suits your preferences.
7. Distraction techniques: Redirect your attention to other activities or interests that can divert your focus from the triggering stimuli. This could involve reading a book, watching a movie or TV show, playing a game, or engaging in a hobby that captures your attention.
8. Seek professional help: If triggers and associated distress persist or significantly impact your functioning and well-being, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Therapists experienced in trauma-focused therapies, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can provide specialized support.
Remember that coping skills can be highly individual, and it's important to find what works best for you. Experiment with different techniques and strategies to identify the ones that resonate and provide you with the most comfort and relief.