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What to Do When the News Is Triggering

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when encountering a negative news story. The news can be full of negative images that fill the mind with triggering thoughts. When the news is triggering, where does your mind go? Is it full of negative thoughts that continue to spiral? Do you start to think about the worst-case scenario?

For many people, it is easy to let the mind wander and end up in a state of despair. When the news is triggering, it can be tempting to use a thought process you are familiar with. These thought processes, however, can create a slippery slope leading to relapse. This blog will discuss how to pinpoint triggers and turn to The Guest House as an excellent starting point for exploring relapse prevention skills.

How Do I Know When I Am Being Triggered?

No matter how long you have been in recovery, triggers are bound to surface at one point or another. Triggers are anything in your life that cause you to crave illicit substances. For example, triggers could be people, places, and/or things in your life. These triggers often surface when someone needs acceptance or control. The triggers you have will be linked to an emotional response that may feel uncomfortable.

It is important to understand that just because a thought trigger occurs does not mean you will physically relapse. Instead, it simply means it is a time to address the emotional responses that come after the thought. The emotions that arise from a trigger are based on life experiences, and because of that, they may weigh heavily on you. However, you can learn to manage those emotions that arise.

Adjust Consumptions When News Is Triggering

When news is triggering, you have many choices. You can adjust how often you attend 12-Step meetings, seek individual counseling, or set time limits on social media and television use. You are in control of your recovery and your emotions, therefore you get to dictate how much you engage with various media.

Perhaps you can set time limits when news is triggering. For example, you can set a limit of ten minutes per evening to watch the news or identify solutions when you receive triggering news.

Triggers can change on a day-to-day basis. You may think that you have it all figured out. Then, out of the blue, the news will trigger you. It is important to understand that you are not alone in this journey. Positive support is available that can lead you to a better mental and emotional state. All you need to do is reach out for help.

Healthy Coping Skills When News Is Triggering

In treatment, you likely explored healthy coping skills and ways you can take charge of your mental and emotional state. Healthy coping skills are readily available when negative emotions arise and when news is triggering. Anything can happen at any given moment and it is up to you as to how you respond. Outside circumstances and events do not need to control your happiness. You have the power to explore positive coping strategies that can lead you toward achieving your greatest potential.

The Guest House focuses on healthy coping skills in recovery and offers an array of programs and therapeutic approaches to meet you where you are at. For example, yoga and meditation are ways to engage in calming bodily movement and breathing. These practices can decrease anxious thought processes and help your mind to focus elsewhere while stress melts away.

Several examples of healthy coping skills can include:

  • Walking
  • Deep breathing
  • Calling a positive support person
  • Stepping away from a situation
  • Journaling
  • Praying
  • Taking at least ten minutes to process an issue before making a decision
  • Attending a 12-Step group

Having a Relapse Prevention Plan

There is a significant difference between thinking about relapse prevention strategies and having a plan in place. This plan can be especially helpful when news is triggering. Unfortunately, you never know the exact moment that you may be triggered by the news. It is important to already have a relapse prevention plan in place so that you know what to do and are not caught off guard.

A relapse prevention plan can help you slow down your thinking process and create a space to identify your stressors. This will ensure that you act in the healthiest manner possible.

According to research that’s summarized in the Yale Journal of Biological Medicine, one of the main tools of relapse prevention is mind-body relaxation. This type of relaxation can be accomplished through connecting to nature, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or even swimming.

How Can The Guest House Help When News Is Triggering?

The Guest House is a great resource when news is triggering. This recovery center offers many benefits to the recovery community. For example, an alumni program can help you build healthy support while in recovery. This type of program is for those who have graduated from treatment and want long-lasting positive support through groups, healthy connections, and events and activities that can reinforce your recovery.

No matter where you are in your journey of recovery, the truth is that news can be triggering. After all, no matter how healthy you feel, it is impossible to predict what you will witness through news sources before it occurs. Taking time to explore your triggers and having a solid relapse prevention plan is important. At The Guest House, we value where you are in your journey and we will do whatever it takes to help you succeed. We what to help you when news is triggering and guide you to be your best self no matter what triggers arise. If you or someone you know is struggling, give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today.