Triggering & How to Get Back in Control

30 November 2015


I did a group therapy class awhile back through Addo Recovery.  It's a program geared for those who have suffered betrayal trauma.  It was amazing.  Just the support and voices that I needed to hear.  Recently, I have been affected by my betrayal trauma again, so I accessed Addo's online courses.  I just finished a course by Dr. Skinner again about what to do when you are flooded with all those emotions.  Below are my notes:

Dr. Skinner -

When triggered, we have an emergency response. We flood with emotions, and we either run away, freeze up, or we aggressively fight back.  Chemicals are released into our bloodstream, and we are surging with fear.

In the moment you are aware that you are flooded, you need to take a timeout.  The heart, brain, and body need to slow down in order to think clearly.  Think, "I've been triggered, slooooow down."

Reaction sequence allows you to slow down and have more awareness.  Then, you can send a clear message and communicate with more compassion.  You can have more control over your beliefs and behaviors.

It's a process of learning to respond intentionally rather than reactively.  Difference - thinking before saying things.  Know how to communicate with the most intent and clear message that you can.

In order to slow down and gain control again:

(1)  Deep breaths.

(2) Then say STOP.  (Trying to get the thinking part of their brain engaged, away from the amygdala).

(3)  Find a safe place.

(4)  Evaluate - ask questions without judgment.  What am I feeling?

(5)  Where are these feelings coming from?

(6)  What can I do about them?

(7)  How should I respond?

(8)  What am I afraid of?

Once you have evaluated, get in the present with control and action. Take an action step.  Read a book.  Call a friend.  Make dinner.
Always have 5 things on hand that you can do to get in control.

Upward and onward,

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