Two Effective Ways To Use Mindfulness For Trauma During A Trigger Episode

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Trauma lives in the entire being. When you start to feel triggered in your trauma, your mind is one of the least affected places you experience it. From head to toe, heart to soul, your trauma can feel like a cellular panic attack. Increased heart rate, sweating, anxiety, an upset stomach, a dry throat, pressure in the chest- all kinds of physical manifestations can take place. Your soul becomes uneasy and your mind either takes off racing or shuts down completely. Making it through a triggered episode of trauma takes time and practice as you build the tools to effectively cope. Trauma does not ever fully go away- there is simply no way to erase memories and forget parts of your life. However, the strength of the memories will fade and the way in which you relate to them will transform. Through treatment and therapy, you will be able to cope with the trauma you have experienced in your life and survive episodes of triggers with tremendous self-care, self-love, and self-compassion.

Mindful Breathing Practices

When the heart rate is soaring and you begin hyperventilating, it is important to bring your focus to your breath and regulate your body. We breath rapidly when we are afraid, quickly pumping blood and adrenaline through our bodies. In order to calm down, we need to slow the breath and send that calming oxygen throughout our system. Place a hand on your stomach and place a hand on your heart. To your best ability begin taking deep breaths, as deep as you can. Mindfully notice the rise and fall of your chest and the way your stomach expands and deflates with each breath. As your breaths become deeper and longer, start to notice your physical stress. Continue focusing on your breathing while you simultaneously focus on releasing tension in your body. Once your physical self is calm, your mental and spiritual self will also start to calm down. You can start to look at what triggered you, what that trigger brought up, and how you were able to bring yourself back to a regulated state.

Mindful Senses Practices

Trauma can feel like you have been locked into your body and cannot get out. Unable to think or feel, you have minimal responses. Try to notice 5 things about each of your sense in your immediate environment. Focusing on tangible things, sensations, and experiences in the present moment can help your mind come out of its hyperfocus on the past. You might find that as you start to become more present, your breathing slows, your thinking slows, and your body releases tension.


With care, compassion, and long term treatment, trauma can be healed. At Avalon By The Sea, we provide trusted residential treatment programs for primary mental health and primary substance use disorders, allowing us to give each client excellence in care for dual diagnosis issues. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call us today at 888-958-7511.

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