So now that you’ve finished the 7 steps of the Taming Triggers Solution Process, as well as knowing what to do if — despite your best efforts — triggers don’t go away, what now?
First, I want to assure you that triggers DO go away!
The speed at which your triggers will become more manageable or disappear depends on a number of factors including:
- How often you’re exposed to the trigger;
- How highly you rated the trigger in Step 2; and
- Your ability to take action — either around triggers you have the power to reduce or eliminate, or taming triggers through making requests.
The ultimate goal is to reduce triggers to near-zero.
But in the meantime, here are 5 best practices for the ongoing “care and maintenance” of your triggers:
- If and when a new trigger arises, add it to your list of triggers in Step 1, especially if you rate the new trigger as a 5 (out of 10) or higher, and it’s a trigger you’ll be exposed to occasionally or encounter from time to time. If the trigger has a very low rating for you (say, less than 3), and it’s a situation you don’t expect to encounter in the future, don’t give it any more power by spending time processing it, unless you feel it would be helpful for you to do so.
- Work the 7 steps of the Taming Triggers Solution process (starting with Step 1 here) on the new trigger to gain insight, as well as to identify tools and strategies for managing or eliminating it.
- If the tools you chose to tame triggers aren’t working, be willing to try new tools and strategies, even if they’re outside your comfort zone. The more you take action for your self-care and empowerment, the more confident you’ll feel, and the quicker you’ll move through situations that used to feel stressful or overwhelming.
- Periodically (every 2-3 months) review your triggers, and cross off any triggers that are no longer a problem for you. This is a sign of your progress, healing, and growth — time for celebration!
- If you continue to have ongoing, intense reactions to triggers, see my post when triggers don’t stop for more resources.
I hope this Triggers series of posts have been helpful to you. I’d love to hear from you — thumbs up or thumbs down — in the comments below.
If you’d like to receive blog posts just as soon as they happen, enter your email address now in the Subscribe to Blog via Email form on the right of this page.
© Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW (2016)
All submitted comments are subject to editing to protect confidentiality and maintain anonymity.