How to Manage Emotional Triggers Effectively in Sobriety

How to Manage Emotional Triggers Effectively in Sobriety

December 5, 2022 By 0 Comments

Sobriety is a challenging practise that carries a heavy emotional burden. What are you meant to do with it all? It is not feasible to carry it about forever.

In sobriety, you can discover that you’re sensitive. You’re tired of feeling like a teenager who didn’t get their way because everything appears to elicit strong emotional reactions.

Someone eating the last packet of Oreos in the pantry makes you unhappy one minute and want to hit a wall the next.

It’s draining.

You don’t have to continue in this manner, which is fantastic news!

Let’s discuss the situation as it actually is and what you can do to deal with it.

Emotional triggers and alcoholic

Those of us who misused alcohol eventually developed the ability to numb our feelings with booze.

Any of the following emotions—anger, fear, resentment, shame, humiliation, loss, stress, or overwhelming joy—can make you want to binge drink. The more you drink, the more justifications you’ll find to continue.

Things that before wouldn’t have been a big concern or controllable become excuses to become drunk.

After years of using alcohol as your go-to emotional stabiliser, you might discover that you don’t have any healthy coping mechanisms for the spectrum of feelings that come with being a person.

The load becomes very heavy when you add in other past traumas or abuse.

Emotional repercussions while sober

Early sobriety is a time when feeling like an emotional baby is normal. You are in a lot of ways.

How do you deal with having a controlling mother when you’re sober? How would you handle the pressures of both a full-time job and raising children? Or that jerk who parked in your spot and gave you the need to scream in anger?

Alcoholism is rough.

You have to learn how to function as an adult without a safety net after having your go-to coping strategy taken away.

That is a lot.

But it is controllable.

Managing Triggers in Sobriety

1. Recognize what’s happening.

A crucial first step is learning how to take a step back when faced with an emotional trigger. There is a problem when you suddenly go from 0 to 100.

I’ll give you an example.

Let’s say you have a rude supervisor who makes you uncomfortable. She drops by as you’re working furiously on a project at your desk.

She decides on a whim that she wants you to make a change to the project that will need you to redo a sizable amount of the work you’ve already done.

She also seems a little too casual about it.

You feel a rush of rage come over you as soon as she walks away. Your heart begins to race, your cheeks flush, and the hairs on your arms spring up. You’re perspiring. You suddenly feel compelled to throw your PC out of a window. or strike someone. perhaps both.

Instantaneous thought?

I want a beverage.

Is it acceptable for you to be upset when your supervisor interfered with your project and added extra work for you? Sure.

Does it deserve the Hulk’s full-on rage? No.

Recognizing when you’re overreacting is the first step to handle life as the sober hero you were meant to be.

It is vitally necessary to be able to stop right now before your brain starts whipping you into a frenzy.

You decide to deal with it after that.

not to drink on it. Or feel sorry for yourself because your boss is so awful. And especially not going to Nathan’s desk in accounting because you already know how much he despises her and you want to have a big rant fest there.


You’re going to have to handle it.

2. Acquire wholesome coping mechanisms for emotional stressors.

Both short-term and long-term coping mechanisms are necessary for you.

The first step after being hit with a strong emotion is to acknowledge it. Avoid becoming sucked into it. As you see it, call it.

Then, you must put some rapid techniques into action to calm your body and mind so that you can effectively address whatever is happening.

Here are a few quick ways you can relax that won’t take more than a few minutes.

  • Breathe – Shut your eyes. Take four deep breaths. Take a four-second hold. Spend eight seconds exhaling. Try it a few times (or at least until you feel halfway sane again.)
  • Walk the talk – Depending on the demands of your job, go for a five-minute walk outside, down the hall, to the restroom, etc. Find a means to physically go away from where you are so that you can refresh.
  • Publish it – If you have a diary with you, use the time after you use the restroom to write down all you’re thinking and feeling.

3. Deal with emotional triggers proactively.

An effective offence is the best defence. Make preparations to succeed. Alcoholism is quite good at pointing up the problematic areas. Take advantage of that.

If you are aware of a problem with your supervisor, it is your obligation to control the variables in the scenario. The only things you can control, assuming you’re not quitting your job, are your own work and how you respond to what she says to you.

I’m done now.

You must be prepared if you anticipate seeing her.

You can say, “Okay, here she comes,” once you put in a little time and effort (see numbers 1 and 2). My best work has been done. It is not a value judgement on me or my worth as an employee if she asks me to modify something.

You will be able to communicate with her in ways that are beneficial to your shared objectives—to complete whatever project you are working on—if you can step back from your usual overreaction to her. That’s the key, right?

And if you are unable to (perhaps because she truly IS a bad boss), you should begin looking for employment elsewhere.

In either case, you have some control over how this circumstance affects you emotionally.

Even if your natural tendency is to start a five-alarm fire in your head, you still have the capacity to put a stop to it before it spreads and handle it in a different way.

4. Constantly ask WHY.

You’ve allowed emotions to strike you in the face and then drink them away for however many years at this point. We continue to employ this strategy while sober for some reason.

We treat emotions like insects and swat them away. Alternately, we bury them in new foods like cookies and cake.

We NEED to recognise them and control them.

It’s not the most enjoyable work, but it works. Try to understand emotional triggers rather than avoiding, denying, or dismissing them.

Both journaling and talk therapy are fantastic tools for achieving this.

5. Address the main issue.

You can begin to heal your emotional triggers once you begin to comprehend what causes them.

Knowing the cause of an emotional meltdown is a great weapon for destroying it, whether it’s a seated notion that you’re not deserving, loving, or good or a fear of failing.

Once more, this is the sort of thing where a lot of counselling and recovery programmes are helpful. The majority of people require support and direction to navigate this unfamiliar terrain.

Possessing the Ability to Control Emotional Triggers

I want to reassure you that you DO have the power to solve your difficulties, despite the story that is now playing in your head.

They might not suit you. It will undoubtedly be a painful procedure. But you’re going to adore where it takes you, I promise.

Even if my suggestions don’t work for you, there are other options available.

Just make an honest effort.

Because I know what’s on the other side of this tall, ugly hill and I have faith in your capacity to get there, I’m happy for you.

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