Triggers aren’t always a bad thing…


Triggers have a bad reputation in the substance abuse and mental health fields. But the news about triggers isn’t all bad. There are positive as well as negative triggers and every person has certain triggers that make them feel better or worse. Let’s focus on positive triggers in this post. It is important for people to know that they can do small things throughout the day that lift their mood.

Think about those things that make you feel better, things that you enjoy. These could include listening to certain kinds of music, being around people who have a positive attitude and value your company, going on a walk in nature or through a part of town that you find interesting or participating in some type of exercise.

I’ll give you some examples. I’m going to a funeral today in a town about 30 miles from where I live. I purposely arrived in the town early because I know that outside of town there are beautiful vineyards with a mountain ridge of redwoods in the distance. This view gives me a sense of pleasure and peace. I sit comfortably in my car on this country road before the ceremony. This experience lifts my mood and, consequently, I can go to the funeral with a more positive attitude. This will also result in me being more able to relate to other people there. In the end, a possibly difficult situation is transformed into something meaningful and rewarding.

Music is another way that you can manage your mood. Music can be used to energize, inspire or decrease stress. Certain music can also be very agitating. Keep track of the effect of different types of music on your mood. Listening to the right kind of music at the right time will make a difference.

Your social circle is a third example. Who do you enjoy being with? Who do you want to spend more time with? Who do you think has a positive influence on you? Make an effort to have contact with these people regularly. They could be family, friends or someone you would like to get to know better.

These are examples of people, places and things that can affect your mood in positive ways. Feel free to share what works for you.

Here’s to feeling better!

This information is for educational purposes only and should not in any way be considered a substitute for professional help. If you feel that you need immediate assistance please call your local psychiatric emergency services or the SAMSHA Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990.