When I get triggered I find that my thoughts get going like a tornado and I find it hard or even impossible to break in and shut it down. Sometimes I find it hard to even recognize I am in tornado mode. I talked to my therapist about this. I am just not finding that deep breathing visualization works for this, the tornado is too strong. )
She does not think doing just one of these things will work for me, I will need to discover a combination to get the tornado under control. Here is what we came up with.
1) Box breathing
2) Distraction by walking (getting moving will help refocus)
3) 1/2 smile, check the mirror and do a 1/2 smile
4) Ice water, put your hands in or splash on your face
5) drink ice cold water - gets rid of lactate acid
6) Use a cold frozen face cloth to put on your forhead
7) Look at a picture you like, and put yourself into the picture. For example a mountain picture, picture yourself exploring the mountain
8) tell yourself over and over again, "I am safe"
9) stand up, pretend to stand on a line, stomp your feet as if you are anchoring yourself there. Look forward and tell yourself the past is behind you.
10) Set an appointment and time to think about this stuff. Example 1 hour at 3pm Thurs I will devote time to the past. Not a minute more. Keep your appoint. Set an alarm to let you know the hour is over.
Some other points
- watch the catastrophic thinking, all or nothing. etc.
- look for moments of joy or happiness you can anchor in your mind and especially your body
- pay attention to how your body feels when you are relaxed and when you are triggered. Notice muscles, heart rate, changes in skin, strength etc. If you can tune into your body feelings you can head off spirals or triggers before they get started. Your body will react before you mind will.
- Cloves are interesting, sucking on cloves and be a very mindful thing and can help relieve triggers. They can be frozen also if you want. NOTE: before reaching for the cloves when triggered, be sure you have used cloves when you are calm and relaxed. The idea here is that you have associated the cloves with a sense of peaceful calm. when you are triggered and use a clove, then you will remember the peace and calm and your mind and body will take you there.