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Managing and understanding your triggers is a large part of recovery and maintaining your overall well-being. When you were attending treatment, you probably began the process of understanding what your triggers are and how they affected the choices you were making. As you journey through recovery and maintain your sobriety, you will need to continue learning about your triggers and how to manage them.

Your triggers can change over time. What triggers you right after you complete treatment will probably differ from what triggers you five years later. As you grow and change, so will your triggers. Being able to acknowledge what triggers you will be important as your triggers change, and you need to learn new skills to manage them.

Seek Out the Cause

An essential part of managing your triggers is to understand their cause or root issue. Where does this trigger come from? It can be challenging to understand the cause of mental health struggles. Often trauma or situations from the past may not seem connected to current-day struggles. You may not even think a connection would be possible or likely. Your therapist will help you to figure out and understand those connections.

The goal is to work on your triggers so that you can respond to them in a healthy way. By not learning the causes of your triggers, it could be more challenging to work through them. Take time to think about your triggers, when they occur, and whether anyone else is involved. Then try to figure out when you first remember being affected by this trigger.

Establish Goals

What are your goals pertaining to your triggers? How do you hope to be able to respond to them in the future? Do you hope to learn to simply avoid them? Do you want to learn how not to be affected by them? By establishing specific goals for your triggers, it will help your therapist to better understand how to help you achieve those goals.

You probably began to think about goals while in treatment. Now that you are back in society and living your life, you may realize that some of those goals need to be changed. As you experience triggers, it is perfectly understandable to change your goals or change your approach to your goals. Work with your therapist to talk through these changes or what may not be working.

Create a Plan

Once you have some goals set, you can create a plan for how you want to handle your triggers. When you determine a plan ahead of time, you can ensure that you respond to stressful situations in a healthy manner. Talk through different scenarios with your therapist or someone else you trust about how you would want to respond in those triggering situations. Think about all of the different results and consequences that can result from handling situations in different ways.

Talk with your loved ones and other members of your support system about your plans. That way, it will be easier for them to be there for you and help you work through situations when they are happening. Having other people know how you want to respond to your triggers helps to ensure that you will respond in a way that is healthy for you. They will be there to point out if you are not responding in the way you had stated you wanted to.

Avoid Fighting Your Inner Voice

Your inner critic can be extremely harsh. It is probably the harshest voice that you hear. Learn not to listen to that voice. That voice can tell you that you are not worthy of sobriety, that you are not strong enough to say no, that you are not destined for a sober lifestyle. Learning to ignore that voice when faced with triggers is a powerful skill.

Lean on Support

Learning to manage your triggers is a learning process. It will take time for you to work through core issues and understand why you are responding the way that you do. As you put all of your skills and knowledge into practice and face your triggers, it can take time to feel comfortable and secure. Triggers are scary because they can easily lead to relapse. For most people in recovery, especially early recovery, the idea of relapse can be terrifying. You worked so hard to get sober that the very thought of relapse can be debilitating.

Utilizing your support is a great thing to do in recovery. Whether you are one day out of treatment or ten years sober, having support is crucial. As triggers change, you will come face to face with different challenges that test your sobriety and willpower. Your support system is in place for precisely this reason. Lean on them and let them support you through the challenging and difficult days.

Managing your triggers is a critical part of recovery. You will need to understand your triggers to successfully maintain your sobriety and well-being. Seek out the cause of your triggers and learn why you are responding and reacting as you are. Work on creating goals and a plan to manage your triggers. How do you want to respond in certain situations? Lean on your support as you learn how to manage and navigate your triggers. Continue working with a mental health professional as you face new challenges. You do not need to face these challenges and the inevitable changes you will encounter alone. Here at The Guest House, we are trained to help you continue to learn about your mental health issues and the best ways to manage your triggers. Call us today to learn more about our treatment options and how we can further support your recovery journey at (855) 483-7800.