Emotional triggers can quickly derail your thoughts and influence the way you think, act, and feel, and they can also lead to intense anxiety. Understanding this and practicing mindfulness goes a long way toward helping you on your mental health journey. The more efficiently you can identify a mental health trigger, and the easier it will be for you to handle or avoid triggers in the future.

How Triggers Work

Triggers vary from person to person, and they can manifest in different ways. It’s not uncommon for someone to have a physical reaction to triggers. Physical reactions can come in the form of sweating and elevated heart rate. Another individual might have a strong emotional response to their mental health triggers. Within seconds, their mood could go from content to highly distressed. It’s imperative to recognize when triggers occur instead of dismissing the incident as overreacting or being too sensitive; otherwise, you may never get to the root of the issue.

Recognizing Mental Health Trigger Types

There are multiple trigger types, and understanding these types can substantially improve your mental health.

Trauma Triggers

As the name implies, these triggers are associated with traumatic events and arise when experiences or memories remind you of the occurrence. You might have been involved in a car accident on a specific street, and the incident could have been so traumatic that even driving down that same street triggers you.

Internal Triggers

Internal triggers happen when your feelings overtake your thoughts and influence your actions.

External Triggers

In contrast to internal triggers, external triggers manifest when you witness traumatic events; this is true even if you watch videos of these scenarios, such as if you watch the news and see footage of the intense carnage that resulted from war or a natural disaster.

While everyone processes content like this differently, there’s a chance it could lead to mental health triggers. Avoiding external triggers is the best way to handle them.

Symptom Triggers

Symptom triggers involve situations where symptoms of other conditions can cause mental health triggers. One of the most common symptom triggers is having difficulty sleeping. When your mind is preoccupied with intense feelings, it can be hard to fall asleep on time. If you experience symptom triggers, seeking treatment as soon as possible is imperative. Symptom triggers are unlikely to resolve on their own and could lead to numerous complications.

Using the example above, a continuous lack of sleep can cause health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

How You Can Cope

Understanding how to cope with mental health triggers is easier than it seems. A few simple techniques can vastly improve your ability to manage your condition.

Problem-Focused Coping

Problem-focused coping involves confronting the issue directly instead of accommodating its effects. For example, you might have a strained relationship with a coworker at your office.
Your manager recently assembled teams of employees and put the two of you in a situation where you will work closely together. You could request a transfer to another team to prevent complications from arising.

Emotion-Focused Coping

If you can’t eliminate or avoid a trigger, you must try your best to control your emotions. Meditation is a great way to maintain mental clarity and practice mindfulness. Medication can also help you focus on the positive attributes of your situation or find the silver lining. While emotion-focused coping won’t eliminate the stressor, it can substantially reduce its impact.

Communicate Clearly

If someone else says or does something that triggers you, communicate with them and tell them how you feel. It’s essential to minimize aggression when doing so. Otherwise, this can lead to additional conflicts. Instead, remain calm while clearly explaining how their behavior impacts you.

Many people who are responsible for mental health triggers are unaware of the situation. Educating them could be all it takes to eliminate this problem. Remember, though, that not everyone will be receptive to this type of communication.

Finding a Professional

When searching for professional mental health treatment, it’s crucial to consider the facility and the individual. See what other people say about their experiences to gain valuable insight into what you can expect.

Prioritize Your Mental Health

Learning how to recognize a mental health trigger can substantially improve your well-being. Comprehensive Wellness Centers prides itself on offering our patients and their families premier care and support. We strive to help clients achieve lasting recovery through inpatient and outpatient programs. You’ll learn more about the care and benefits we provide when you verify your insurance.