Managing Triggers on Bad Days in Recovery

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Managing Triggers on Bad Days in Recovery

When you are in recovery from addiction, it is vital that you have an understanding of your triggers. Learning how to cope with triggers can feel challenging on a good day, let alone a difficult one. Ultimately, one goal for your time in treatment can include assistance in learning about your triggers and how to cope healthily without falling back into bad habits. Managing triggers can become easier over time. However, it is key that you are prepared to cope with triggers on bad days. 

Why You Should Prepare for Triggers on Bad Days

Planning for a bad day may sound a bit strange, but it could be helpful. The ability to function and cope healthily with triggers on bad days can be valuable skills. Coping with triggers on good days can feel overwhelming, so on bad days, it could be important to know what skills to use. We know everyone has bad days, and unfortunately, there are many factors in life we don’t have control over. With this in mind, it could benefit your recovery from addiction to know what to do when you get triggered on a bad day.

Bad days can not necessarily be seen ahead of time, but there are many different ways you can plan for an unexpected bad day and triggers that could follow. Learning in treatment what your triggers are can be extremely important to your recovery. Identifying when you could potentially need to utilize a coping skill is crucial. When you can pinpoint what causes you to crave unhealthy coping skills, you can implement what you learned in treatment to your life in recovery.

Coping skills can vary from person to person. In treatment for addiction, you will likely be taught a wide variety of what you can do in triggered situations. Practicing new coping skills over time can help you adjust to triggers on bad days. This does not mean you will not ever feel triggered, but to reiterate, you can build on your potential to recognize what skills to use and in what scenarios. Having a variety of low-effort coping skills you can use on bad days could benefit you.

Low-Effort Coping Skills

Coping Mechanisms by Emad B. Algorani and Vikas Gupta defines coping mechanisms as “the thoughts and behaviors mobilized to manage internal and external stressful situations.“ As previously mentioned, there are different ways you can cope on bad days. Having a few ready-to-utilize low-effort skills can be vital. It may take you some time to find what works best for you, but these skills are important. At Avalon Malibu, you would have the opportunity to learn and implement many different types of therapy and methods into your recovery. Some of these methods could be considered low-effort coping skills. The list below includes some examples you may want to try:

  • Writing
  • Movement 
  • Mindfulness
  • Creative expression
  • Communicating your needs

The above list of low-effort coping skills can be broken down by your specific needs. Each person in recovery can have a different set of skills they find helpful. For you, writing in a journal could be a go-to simple coping skill. Someone else may find movement like a walk to be more helpful. Mindfulness is another possible low-effort coping skill that can look different for each individual. Some commonly used pieces of mindfulness could include meditation or breathwork. 

How We Can Help You With Triggers on Bad Days

Avalon Malibu could be a great treatment option for you. We know how to effectively help our clients learn in treatment how to cope with triggers in healthy ways. We can also help prepare you to cope outside of treatment, as it could feel very different between the two. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine explains relapse prevention in four main stages below: 

“There are four main ideas in relapse prevention. First, relapse is a gradual process with distinct stages. The goal of treatment is to help individuals recognize the early stages, in which the chances of success are greatest. Second, recovery is a process of personal growth with developmental milestones. Each stage of recovery has its own risks of relapse. Third, the main tools of relapse prevention are cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation, which are used to develop healthy coping skills. Fourth, most relapses can be explained in terms of a few basic rules.”

With the four stages of relapse prevention in mind, we think knowing how to cope with triggers on difficult days is crucial. We want to assure you treatment with us can help you heal from addiction and teach you how to cope with triggers on good and bad days. We believe treatment is a way you can recover from addiction and learn how to best create the life you desire and deserve without falling into unhealthy coping. 

Learning how to cope with triggers is an important part of recovery. Triggers can be planned for, but Avalon Malibu understands coping with triggers is not always going to be simple, especially on bad days. We believe treatment can teach you how to cope with triggers effectively. With all of this in mind, it is important that you have some low-effort coping skills ready to use when a difficult day comes up in your recovery. We also believe that knowing which skills to cope with triggers work for you can be a big piece of relapse prevention. Please call (844) 857-5992 for more information on how we can help you today.

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