How To Identify When Your (Or Someone Else’s) Trauma Has Been Triggered

trauma triggers

If you have experienced trauma in your life, you may find yourself having a range of strange reactions to certain events. When you have experienced trauma, it is important to remember your brain has been sensitized to certain stimuli and that you should be gentle with yourself as you unpack, process, and alchemize your trauma. The path of healing the wounds of trauma imprinted on your subconscious is not a linear journey and takes a variable amount of time for everyone. As you go about your life, you may find yourself easily triggered at times.

Sometimes it is hard to recognize that feeling or acting a certain way is caused by feelings from a past trauma surfacing. By learning the signs of feeling triggered by a precipitating event, you can be on your way to pacifying yourself and de-escalating your response in sensitive situations. Not to mention, when you have a good understanding of the signs and symptoms of trauma-related triggers, you can react with compassion and empathy to create a safe space when you are experiencing anxiety from those stirred-up emotions. See below for common signs that you or someone else may be reacting to a trauma-related trigger.

Potential Signs Your (Or Someone Else’s) Trauma Was Triggered

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Difficulty maintaining eye contact
  • Displaying a big overreaction to something warranting a small reaction
  • Avoiding physical touch
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Difficulty displaying emotions or connecting with others
  • Feeling a lack of control and not feeling safe
  • Acting hypervigilant and on guard
  • Self-destructive or reckless behavior
  • Hyperventilating or shortness of breath
  • Going silent
  • Needing to move to a low stimulation environment

When you have trauma in your past, you can be feeling fine one moment and then, after just one seemingly innocuous event, become overwhelmed with anxiety and fear in the next. Learning your triggers and how you usually respond to them helps build self-awareness and better manage your reactions to stressful stimuli. Although not an easy task, addressing underlying trauma will help get you back to living a life of joy, happiness, and freedom. Avalon Malibu is one of the only residential treatment centers in California that treats both mental health disorders and substance use addiction. At Avalon, we offer a continuum of high-quality, integrated care that meets the many needs of our clients. Contact us as soon as you are ready to begin your recovery at (844) 857-5992.

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