i borrowed this from another site...thought it might be helpful here...
understanding our triggers is the key to coping with them, grounding ourselves, and working through the issues that trigger us...it is one of the most important steps we take as survivors.
it may also help us to learn more about one another to try to be more aware, more mindful, more sensitive, and more responsive to each other's needs here...
consider the following questions...respond here or on your own....
1. what specifically triggers you? triggers are all unique. some find that phrases the abuser used are triggering, while others find that places, smells or sights provoke a response.
2. how are these triggers affecting you? nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety, anger and intrusive thoughts can all be signs that we are being triggered.
3. which triggers produce the biggest response? which triggers provoke a milder response? it may help to actually rate them.
4. how do these triggers interfere with your life? some people find that they avoid specific places where they are likely to be triggered. others find that they do not go out often (or avoid certain people) to avoid a trigger response.
5. which triggers interfere with your life the most? which ones interfere the least?
6. which triggers are safe to work on? for instance, going out alone at night produces anxiety in some survivors and this may be very unsafe. going to the grocery store might produce the same reaction, but it is probably safe.
7. can you evaluate your trigger? for instance, some people are initially frightened to go to work, but after thinking about the worst that could happen and the likelihood of that happening, they are able to make a more grounded decision. this kind of evaluation process can help with all sorts of triggers.
8. after thinking about your triggers, which ones can you manage to work on at the moment? it is probably not a great idea to work on the most difficult trigger first, but to start with a smaller one to learn how to evaluate and redirect your energy.
9. how can you work on facing the trigger safely? sometimes it helps to actually imagine yourself handling a situation that triggers you, like going to a crowded place, before you actually do it.
10. can you make a plan to keep yourself feeling safe while you do? perhaps it would help to do extra work with your therapist or main support on facing triggers, so that you can feel prepared when you are facing a trigger.
this is a difficult exercise...take it slow...if you can only answer one question, that is a start! i have done this before, but i can come back and answer again if anyone needs help knowing how to begin...