What is a list of triggers? (+What are they?)

This article will discuss what are triggers, how they impact people emotionally, and now people can discover what their triggers are. Aside from that, the article will show what are ways people can deal with when their triggers are activated.

What are triggers? 

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr... x
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

A trigger is an external event that can cause a person to feel uncomfortable, and even have an emotional or psychiatric reaction. A trigger can cause people to experience anxiety, a panic attack, feel despair, cry, or feel intense sadness. 

Commonly, people feel triggered by events in their lives, which can lead them to have negative thoughts. What is important, if you notice that pattern, is to try and identify what is causing it, so you can try to come up with it before it turns into something more serious like a mental illness.

What does it mean to be triggered? 

Being triggered has nothing to do with being too sensitive. When you are exposed to something that gives you an intensely negative reaction, you can say you have been triggered.  Let’s show what are the most common triggers. 

What are the most common triggers? 

There are as many triggers as there are people in the world. There can be triggers that generate different types of emotions. Let’s discuss what are some of the most common types of triggers.

  • Anniversary of a loss
  • Anniversary of a traumatic experience
  • Going through new events that make you scared
  • Feeling overwhelmed emotionally
  • Feeling like you have got too much to do
  • Family problems
  • The end of a relationship
  • Feeling alone
  • Being judged
  • Being bullied
  • Going through an illness
  • Experiencing sexual harassment
  • People screaming or being rude at you
  • Being around people that treat you badly
  • Certain smells, sounds, or places that remind you of a negative experience 
  • Military combat
  • Misuse of substance
  • Frustration
  • Being blamed for something
  • Experience aggression and hostility
  • Guilt
  • Betrayal
  • Rejection
  • Loss of control
  • Feeling excluded
  • Criticism
  • Feeling smothered
  • Insecurity
  • Loss of independence

How can I identify my triggers?

If you notice your triggers are getting the best of you, meaning, the reaction you are having of them is becoming more and more intense, you should try to identify them. The first thing you can do, when trying to identify your triggers, is to start a journal. You can write every day about how you feel.

And when you don’t feel well, try to write down what you felt like, what happened before, and how you came to feel better. With time, you can begin to identify your patterns. For example, you may notice that you always have a panic attack every time you hear someone scream. 

With that, you might have realized what is your trigger. Once you know that, you turn to another point. Now the question is how can you cope with the feelings your trigger brings you, and why screaming has become a trigger to you. 

To understand the root of your trigger, you might need to look for therapy. In the therapy process, which usually takes some time, through talking about your feelings, and your life story, you might be able to discover that information.

But since you are experiencing the reactions to your triggers too often, let’s discuss what ways you can cope with it so it doesn’t bring too much suffering in your life.

How can I cope with my triggers?

Once you identify your triggers and are still working on the root of them, it is important to find ways to cope with them. Here are some good ways to cope with your triggers.


When you feel triggered, a good way to not let it take the best of you is by getting in touch with people you feel supported by. Talking to them about what you are feeling can help you calm yourself down. 

And if you feel like you were triggered by something someone close to you did, you should try to explain to them how their action triggered something in you. While you are communicating try to use “I” sentences. 

You may say, for example, “when you scream I feel anxious”. This will allow them to change their behavior and show their support to you.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are a great way for you to center yourself when you feel like you are losing your grip. You may want to sit somewhere and do an exercise such as the 4-7-8 breathing exercise.

In this exercise, you will place your tongue against the back of your teeth. First, you should breathe out through your mouth. Close your mouth and breathe in counting to four. Then hold your breath until you count to 7. And let the air out counting to 8. 

Do that four times. It will help you center yourself and To lower your discomfort brought by your triggers.


Exercising can help you focus on something else besides your triggers and the feelings they generate. You don’t need to do a long workout, but sometimes even just going for a short walk can help you get a different perspective.

Write about your feelings 

In the same way, you are journaling to discover what your triggers are. After you discover them you can keep writing. This will allow you to have a place to vent about how you feel. Externalizing your thoughts can be a great way to prevent them from taking over you in a negative way.


Meditation, especially mindfulness, is a great way for you to center yourself when you feel triggered. Mindfulness can help you focus more on the moment, and how your body is responding to it. So you can let it go little by little. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are the most common triggers? 

What are emotional triggers? 

Emotional triggers are the emotional stimulus that causes a response in you. For example, you may feel like seeing someone crying can cause you to feel discomfort. In that case, it is possible to say that your emotional trigger is crying.

Your emotional trigger is usually related to something in your personal life story. It can be that seeing people cry was something you usually experienced in your life, and with time it brought you a huge sense of discomfort.

In the same way as other triggers, you may want to pay attention to how you react to things. And you might identify your patterns through writing your feelings out, or even talking to someone.

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety is something common, everyone feels it at some point. It can be a reaction to an unknown event, such as a job interview. But to some people, it can be more intense, and it can cause them to constantly worry or feel fear.

This inability to relax, even when there is no concrete reason to be anxious about it, can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. It can cause the person to experience a fear of impending doom. There are many forms of anxiety disorders, but they all usually bring many physical and emotional symptoms to those who suffer from them.

The main physical symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Nausea, and stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Headache or migraine
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Numbness in arms and legs
  • Fast breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tension

These are the most common emotional symptoms of anxiety:

  • Feeling nervous
  • More irritable
  • Having a sense of impending doom
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Needing to avoid things that make you anxious

Does anxiety have a cure? 

No, anxiety doesn’t have a cure. Since it has a genetic factor to it, and those are impossible to change, one can only improve from their anxiety. But you should know that through treatment and lifestyle changes a person can regain control of their lives, and emotions.

Managing anxiety is extremely possible. It takes some work identifying your triggers, and the root of your anxiety, but once you understand those, it allows you to react to things differently.

What are the types of anxiety disorders? 

There are many types of anxiety disorders, and they usually differ on what causes it, and how people react to it. Firstly, there is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, in this anxiety disorder, a person feels an intense fear or worries even about unrealistic things. 

A panic attack is another form of anxiety disorder that happens when a person experiences intense anxiety, and it starts to manifest in their bodies by shaking fast heartbeat, and even dizziness. 

There is also social anxiety, in which a person feels extremely anxious around others in fear that they might be judged. People that suffer from social anxiety can find it extremely difficult to take part in events such as a party.

Another form of anxiety disorder is phobias, in which the person has an intense fear, beyond the appropriate amount, about one particular thing, for example, flying. 

There is a form of anxiety that is called separation anxiety, usually common in kids. It causes them to be scared that something bad will happen to their loved ones. Some teens and adults can still present separation anxiety, which can lead to a fear of abandonment.

Anxiety can also be caused by the use of some medications, which is known as medication-induced anxiety.

Is medication needed to treat anxiety?

Medication is not always needed to treat anxiety. It will depend on each case, and how the person has been experiencing it. Sometimes your symptoms might not feel so intense, and you can get a handle on it just by making some lifestyle changes.

You can feel it improving by doing some exercise, meditation, or even by doing therapy. In it, you will be able to talk about your feelings, understand why you are feeling anxious, and you might even discover the root of your anxiety disorder.

But to some other people, the feelings of anxiety can be crippling, and medication can be necessary to help you get a handle on your emotions. Although there is a huge stigma around taking medication, know that if you start to take it, you will be followed by a psychiatrist, a doctor that specializes in mental health.

That professional will be able to determine when to start and when to stop the medication since you should never stop it by yourself, just as soon as you start to feel better.


This article discussed what are the most common triggers. For that, the article explained what triggers are, how people can identify their triggers, and how they affect people’s mental health. Aside from that, the article explained are ways people can cope with being triggered.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the space below.



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