1. Stay in the Moment
One of the first steps you can take toward managing your triggers is to acknowledge what is happening. You may be tempted to distract yourself or avoid the feeling as much as possible. This can be helpful if you are not in a position to evaluate your surroundings, but there is benefit to be had from staying in the moment. If you can, take the time to consider how you are feeling. What sorts of physical responses do you observe as a result of the trigger? Take note of them, so that you can be better prepared to cope with them next time.
As you become more aware of your reaction to the trigger, you can build in some techniques to diffuse the anxiety or stress. Mindfulness is a good way to start. Breathe in and out slowly, taking 3-4 seconds for each stage. Notice your heartbeat and other factors of your physical presence. When you start to relax a little, you can shift to looking at an object that is nonthreatening but interesting enough to keep your attention for a few minutes. Take advantage of your senses to ground yourself to your surroundings. Go outside to smell the fresh air, hold a favorite item, listen to comforting music or watch the latest viral cat video. Talk to a trusted friend, to allow you to vent without feeling judged. Knowing that you are not alone can make you feel less isolated in your concerns.
3. Plan to Handle Future Triggers
Triggers themselves are all over the media lately. People who do not understand the effects that triggers can have sometimes argue against trigger warnings, under the assumption that triggers can only lose their power with exposure. However, managing your triggers through exposure is something that should be done under the careful advisement of a qualified therapist. It is often far easier and less stressful simply to avoid triggers when you are not in a position to confront them. When you watch television, stick with channels and shows you know to be fairly safe. If a few of your friends on social media like to post content with triggering words and descriptions, unfollow them so that you do not have to see it personally.
When people in the media spend so much of their time talking about triggers, you know that it is an important issue for consumers today. Fortunately, you do not have to be sucked into the torrent of clickbait and shocking stories. By acknowledging your feelings, using mindfulness and grounding to release tension and minimizing your exposure, you can rise above the storm and keep your calm.