Mental Health Triggers

We all have mental health and we'd all like to stay in the healthy zone. Sometimes we have good days and sometimes we have bad days. Our mental health triggers are external events which we know will bring us stress, sadness, anxiety, panic, negative self-talk, or other emotional, mental, and sometimes physical symptoms. Triggers are situations that are difficult for us to cope with. Being aware of what exactly these situations are and planning for them in advance can help us brainstorm better coping strategies and learn how to take care of ourselves better and better.    Make a list of any triggers that you can think of and add to this list as you learn more about yourself and your triggers. Some examples include 
  • spending too much time alone
  • family tension
  • being around someone who has treated you badly 
  • anniversary dates of losses or trauma
  • financial concerns
  • being yelled at, judged, critized, bullied 
  • sexual harrasment 
  • physical illness/injury
  • scary news reports or movies 
As you become more mindful of what your triggers are, notice how they affect you and brainstorm how to change or lessen the effects. Invest time into your own self care based on the triggers you are experiencing. Make a list of self care activities that can help counteract your triggers and add to this list as you discover more about what works for you. For example:
  • write in my journal 
  • stretch and do yoga 
  • walk and talk with a friend 
  • watch funny videos online 
  • take a bath or quick shower
  • sit outside and listen to nature sounds 
  • play with a pet or animal 
When we are in the moment, overwhelmed and stuck because of how our triggers affect us, it's hard to think of what self care activities will help. Having a toolkit of activities that works for you will help you enormously. Just remember to look at your self care list when you are in a rut of negative emotions and thinking patterns. You can also make a daily or weekly self care list and set a goal to accomplish these tasks as part of your regular proactive self care. Trust your list because you made it based on what has worked for you in the past. If you're not sure what works, try a few things and research online for more ideas! Don't hesitate to reach out for professional help if your day to day life is emotionally overwhelming. With the help of a friend or a professional, make a toolkit of self care activities to help you manage every emotion, trigger, and life situation.