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Negative News Cycles: Handling Triggers

Handling triggers when it comes to negative news can seem like an impossible task, especially for those in recovery. Some people may even be re-traumatized by frightening images, fear, and anxious feelings. However, protecting your mental health and recovery is possible when you learn how to handle negative news triggers in an empowering way.

A Constant Cycle of Doom and Gloom

Thanks to social media and the 24-hour broadcast cycle, people are consuming news at a wider rate than ever before. According to a 2021 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the impulse to consume negative news “can be difficult to resist.” Many people want to stay on top of current events, but there’s a fine line between consuming the news and letting it consume you. Negative headlines can easily trigger feelings of anger, sadness, and fear. People often get stuck in patterns of frequent news monitoring that only exacerbate these feelings.

Negative News Can Affect Your Recovery

Seeing frightening images from war-torn countries or hearing horrific stories about topics like murder or sexual assault can easily trigger past memories. Repeated news exposure can even jog repressed trauma without warning. This is especially harmful when you’re trying to navigate recovery in a gentle way. Negative news may cause you to question yourself, your confidence, and the control you have over your life. For example, endless coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of people to feel extreme fear and loss of control.

Negative News Is Everywhere

Sometimes, it may be impossible to avoid the news altogether, especially when it’s woven into daily public life. Headlines will glare back at you from city newsstands or magazine racks on the check-out line. Gas stations, restaurants, and even nail salons may also have the news running on their TVs. According to the Wiley British Journal of Psychology, daily news exposure can have a strong influence on emotional states. This daily exposure now includes social media, which can be extremely difficult to avoid.

Handling Triggers in the News

If negative news affects you, that doesn’t mean you’re a weak person. Learning how to handle these triggers can actually make you stronger than ever before. The first step to handling triggers in the news is to be conscious of their existence. Instead of just trying to “deal with it,” you can take a proactive approach to protect your recovery.

Limit Your News Intake

A great way to begin handling triggers is to limit your news intake, especially in certain situations. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) suggests limiting “the amount and type of news you are viewing” if it’s making you feel anxious or stressed. They also suggest limiting your news intake if you feel like you can’t turn off the TV, partake in outside activities, or have trouble sleeping. You may want to set a boundary around the type of news you consume, especially if it brings up traumatic memories. You can also create a new wellness routine that will take the place of watching the news. Feel this out to see what works best for you.

Handling Triggers to Avoid Re-Traumatization and Relapse

According to SAMHSA, re-traumatization is “reliving stress reactions experienced as a result of a traumatic event when faced with a new, similar incident.” These similar incidents could include exposure to traumatic news. Many people may not even realize that the stress they feel is related to an earlier trauma in their life. SAMHSA says the current experience is “subconsciously associated with the original trauma.” This can re-awaken memories and reactions, leading to great discomfort, distress, and confusion.

Seek Out Trauma-Specifc Care

Re-traumatization can feel debilitating, especially if you’re not sure how to move through it. The best idea is to always have a professional by your side who is specially trained in trauma-specific care. Trauma recovery centers, like The Guest House, will help you work through your trauma one step at a time. It’s important to remember that trauma recovery is not a sprint. Instead, it is a delicate journey with many layers to move through. Trauma-specific professionals can work with you to find the best methods to heal your trauma in a safe and supportive environment.

Handling Triggers at The Guest House

Handling triggers may seem like an impossible journey when you’re on your own. However, finding support in a trauma-specific recovery center like The Guest House can help you finally heal. Our goal at The Guest House is to help you uncover and process the source of your trauma so you can get back to leading the fulfilling and happy life you deserve.

Structure and Support

When you’ve experienced trauma, it can affect every area of your life. In order to begin healing, it’s important to have good structure and strong support. While you’re at The Guest House, you can begin replacing stressful moments and triggering situations with a daily schedule that supports your personal growth. Our trauma-specific staff will work with you on a completely individualized basis to find the tools and processes that suit you best. Many of our staff also deeply understand your journey because they have had similar experiences.

Modalities for Healing

At The Guest House, we take pride in our wide range of cutting-edge therapies to help you overcome trauma as you heal your mind, body, and soul. Talk therapy is still one of the most powerful tools for recovery success. Here, you will find both individual and group sessions to help you process your thoughts through the spoken word.

To complement these traditional therapies, we offer holistic modalities to help you re-discover your sense of self. Meditation, yoga, conscious-connected breathwork, and art therapy are just a few of the many programs and tools you can explore. At The Guest House, you will learn how to handle triggers as you heal trauma and grow into the version of yourself that you deserve to be.

Negative news is more prevalent than ever, especially as social media and 24-hour broadcasts continue to grow. For those who have experienced trauma, the news can be even more devastating. Handling triggers is crucial in order to prevent re-traumatization. At The Guest House, you will find unwavering support and a strong daily structure to help you take your mind off the news. Our trauma-specific clinicians and staff will help you create your own individualized plan for recovery. We offer a special blend of traditional therapies combined with cutting-edge holistic modalities. Here, you will be sure to find the right methods that work best for you. For more information, call us at (855) 483-7800.