Triggered Help Guide

If you are here it’s because acting out seems like a good way to solve your problems right now.


     Trust us.  There’s a better way!


If you follow these 4 quick and simple steps, we know it will have you refocused and feeling better.  


Step 1.  BREATHE  


Take 5 Deep Breaths.  Don’t underestimate the power of air 🙂  


Make sure you hold your breath for 3-5 seconds


Breathe in…


Breath out…


Try it 4 more times.


Breathing get’s the part of your brain that’s needed to fight addiction back online and focused.  But, you can’t stop here.  It can take more than 15 minutes before the craving passes.  So, make sure you try Step 2.   


Step 2.  GO  


Change your scenery.  Walk.  If you are inside, go outside.


Sometimes acting out can feel like a trance.  Break the trance through movement.   


Step 3.  REFLECT


Now, that your higher brain functions are getting back online, it’s time to figure out what happened. Spend a few minutes reflecting on these three questions.  Understanding the answers will help in the long run.


  • On a scale of 1 to 5 of feeling triggered, with 5 being about to act out, how triggered are you currently?
  • When did you first notice you were triggered?
  • Were you feeling any of these?
      • Bored
      • Lonely
      • Angry
      • Hungry
      • Stressed
      • Tired
      • Excited Sexually
      • Down or Depressed

Now that you know what your triggers are, how can you ACT to meet your needs in a way that’s going to leave you feeling good about your actions?   


Step 4.  ACT

Here’s what to do based on your triggers:

  • Bored?   Think of something fun or interesting to do, even making a plan to do something in the near future can help.
  • Lonely?   Message a friend and make plans to meetup. Who would be nice to chat with right now?
  • Angry?  Try going on a walk, or bike ride, for at least 15 minutes and see if you cool down.
  • Stressed?  Write down what’s worrying you and ask yourself if your worry is realistic.  If it is, who can you share your worry with?
  • Tired.  When’s the next moment you can grab a nap.  Even if you can’t sleep this second tell yourself “I will get some rest later, I can make it till then.”
  • Excited Sexually.  Let’s face it sometimes we are just horny.  It’s part of life.  Your brain will tell you that you can’t go on without acting on the urge.  But, that’s just a story you are telling yourself.  People go without all the time, and so can you.  
  • Down or Depressed?  Here it’s all about faking it till you make it.  We can change our mood by our behavior.  For example, try smiling and notice that something in you starts to feel slightly better.  Or, try standing in a victory pose and notice the subtle change in mood.  Our behavior literally changes our brain chemistry.  If you can’t pinpoint what you are sad about do something physically active and see what happens.  Journaling or praying can also be good options.   

Sometimes it can take 30 minutes for a craving to pass.  Ride the wave…ride the wave.  Remember: It will pass.



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