How to Plan Ahead For Triggers in Recovery

Stress happens to everyone, but when you are in recovery, stress can be particularly dangerous, as it is more likely to contribute to a trigger and subsequent relapse. That’s why it’s imperative that you plan ahead for triggers.

Planning ahead for triggers is an essential part of your recovery journey, and Sequoia Recovery Centersss can help you take this crucial step. We are a drug and alcohol detox center in Spokane, WA, with various levels of care to help you transition through your addiction recovery journey. Contact us today to learn how we can help you prepare for triggers in life after treatment.

Keep reading to learn how to plan ahead for triggers in recovery.

Understand Your Triggers

The first way to plan ahead for triggers is to participate in individual and group therapy sessions with qualified mental health professionals who can help you understand what your personal triggers are.

One of the most challenging parts about dealing with a trigger is that it can happen unexpectedly when you are out with friends, watching television, or on the phone.

Triggers might be:

  • Sights
  • Smells
  • Words
  • Locations
  • People 

Invest in yourself by taking the time to discuss contributing factors that may have led to substance abuse and things that negatively impact your mental health so that you can better understand some of your triggers. There will still be triggers that crop up unexpectedly that you might not realize were there, and they might change over time, but the more you can understand and assess what they are, the better prepared you can be.

For example:

Mary knows that she is triggered whenever she goes to New Campton. New Campton is where she would regularly visit friends and abuse drugs and alcohol. During one such visit, she tried to drive herself home even though her friends insisted that she shouldn’t, and in so doing, she got into a very bad car accident, which resulted in her hospitalization and arrest. The subsequent arrest is what led to a court order that she participate in treatment.

In the example above, Mary gets triggered when she goes to that same area because it reminds her of all the times that she would visit friends as well as how scared she was when she got in the accident and was arrested. It wasn’t a happy moment for her, so that location represents a shameful experience for Mary. Similarly, Mary might also have some triggers when it comes to seeing a courthouse, talking to police officers, or driving.

Develop a Plan for Self-Care and Coping Skills

Once you know your triggers, you are in a better position to develop coping mechanisms. Your coping mechanisms are individual ways that you can:

  • Boost your self-esteem so that feelings of shame don’t overwhelm you when triggered
  • Improve your resilience so that small stresses don’t affect you as severely
  • Provide emotional regulation so that difficult emotions can be handled well instead of responding impulsively
  • Have skills to prioritize self-care when triggered

The things that you use for self-care and coping skills are tools you will develop while in treatment. These are things that include:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Healthy sleeping and eating habits
  • Exercise
  • Socialization

Working in individual or group therapy sessions can expose you to holistic treatment like yoga, pilates, meditation, or mindfulness, all of which are effective ways to maintain emotional regulation and mental health in recovery that you can turn to when you are triggered.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is an important way to plan ahead for triggers by way of avoiding them.

Consider Mary again. Mary might know that going to New Campton is not something she’s comfortable with right now and that being in the area where she was in the accident is a severe trigger for her. Mary can establish healthy boundaries by letting her spouse, parents, and friends know this and avoiding any invitation to activities in the area.

Healthy boundaries go a long way toward improving your self-esteem, maintaining relationships, and avoiding triggers that you already know of. Boundaries establish how you allow other people to treat you, and they are often tied to how you view yourself.

When you get the right level of care in a treatment center, you can improve your view of self by shedding baggage you’ve carried related to your past like shame and guilt. You can boost your self-esteem through learning new skills that show you just how much you are worth.

When you take the time to do these things, you’ll be in a much better position to know how you want other people to treat you and to effectively communicate your needs to other people.

Plan Ahead for Triggers with Sequoia Recovery Centersss

At Sequoia Recovery Centersss, clients put themselves in a position to plan ahead for triggers by identifying personal triggers through individual and group therapy. Clients at our inpatient and outpatient rehab in Spokane develop healthy coping skills so that they can prioritize self-care and be prepared to turn to healthy activities when distressed rather than drugs and alcohol.Our team works with each client to empower them so that they can set healthy boundaries and improve their sense of self-worth. Our Washington addiction treatment center can offer you the professional services you need to plan for your triggers. Contact our team today to get started.

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