Know Your Stress Triggers and Know How to Manage Your Triggers

Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Applied Psychology)

Last updated date : March 16, 2023

People feel a variety of emotions on daily basis. One can be feeling excitement, joy, fear, anger or sadness. These are linked to activities, such as meeting with your supervisor or talking to a friend. Your reaction to these incidents will depend on your mental state and the circumstances that led the event. Any memory or an incident that evokes a negative emotion, despite of your mental state at present is a stress trigger. Thus know your stress triggers and how you can manage your triggers as it is important for mental health.


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Chapter 1:

Identify Your Stress Triggers

People face stressful situations from time time in their lives. For some people it is not a big deal to face stress. It is a normal phenomena. However, for some people it can be difficult to deal with stress.

Examples of some of the common stress triggers can be

  • Someone’s ill treatment
  • Infidelity
  • Refusal
  • Helplessness
  • Feeling of unneeded
  • Feeling of undue neediness
  • Insecurity

Memories of painful events, sensitive topics or someone’s words or actions can be stressful.

So here are some ways to know your stress triggers.

Pay Attention to Your Mind and Body

Paying attention to the things which evoke a strong emotional reaction is an important step in learning to know your stress triggers.

You may also have physical signs of stress as well to your strong feelings, such as:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Upset stomach

Be aware when you notice these symptoms and know your stress triggers. When you are aware of them you will be able to manage your triggers.

Take a Step Back

When you notice any signs of stress in your body, stop and think about what just happened and the emotion that it triggered.

Look for the Cause

Try connecting your feelings back to its source by recalling past events that made you feel the way you do now. For example you may feel stressful before giving a presentation because your boss said you will be evaluated.

Be Curious

You may need to do a little more investigation if the connection is not clear. When strong feelings come, do not try to push them away or deny them. Rather engage them with interest to learn more about what provoked them.

Chapter 2:

Manage Your Stress Triggers

You may think that once you know your stress triggers then you can manage your triggers. But it is not the case. Avoiding stressful situations is a common response by people. But it is not a productive thing to do. As every stressful situation in life can not be avoided. And it is sure that negative feelings will come at some point. Simply, you should better learn how to manage your triggers rather than avoiding them. Here are some ways to manage your triggers.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Firstly, tell yourself that it is fine to feel what you are feeling at the present. Stress triggers can evoke a wide range of feelings, which is natural. It might be beneficial for you to recall past memories. Pay attention and recognize your feelings in that memory but do it with compassion rather than judging yourself.

Make Some Room for Yourself

If you frequently escape stressful emotions by avoiding a situation. Allow yourself to take a little rest if possible. This will help you refrain from making a quick decision that you regret later. When you are free, try some deep breathing exercise or grounding techniques to relax and calm down.

The idea is not to fully avoid the situations that made you feel upset. You are simply allowing yourself to relax so you can deal with the problem properly. You may come back to the problem with a clearer mind once you are calm down.

Be Positive!

Most individuals in your life are not purposely trying to make you feel bad. Some of their acts or comments that bother you may be a result of their emotional triggers or other unknown reasons. Everyone has their own set of feelings simmering beneath the surface. You may not have any idea that what the other person is going through. By looking at the positive in any stressful situation you can minimize the overthinking to manage your stress.


If someone’s actions or words bothered you. Then talk to them that this is hurtful so that they might refrain from doing it in the future. You need to take a moment to regain your calm before trying to resolve the matter with someone.

Use healthy communication such as talk politely. Active communication to solve the matter will help you to manage your triggers in future as well.

Practice Mindfulness

It will teach you to pay more attention to your current feelings and sensations. It can help in better understanding of your feelings as they arise during the day. Being more aware of your emotions might help you to know your stress triggers and then manage your triggers.

Recognize Unhealthy Relationship Habits

Much of the task to manage your stress triggers depends on you. Your responses are not the responsibility of others. Others, on the other hand, are responsible for their acts, which may bother you. However some people may never stop bothering you. It is known as a unhealthy relationship. In an unhealthy relationship the other person may be ignoring your emotional needs, they may be demanding which will frequently make you more upset.

For healthy relationship, you both need to mutually cooperate and understand each other. So recognize which relationship habits are unhealthy for you, talk with them and be assertive.

Keep a Mood Diary

Keeping a record of your emotions might help you notice patterns. Such as stress triggers and times when you are more sensitive.

This will help you to make better decisions. It can be harmful to not know your stress triggers. Instead, by keeping a record of your mood in times of stress, you can monitor which thing bothered you so that you can look for a rational solution.

Talk to a Professional

Management of emotions can be difficult for some people. You might need a professional hand to mange your triggers. Identifying triggers on your own is sometimes not simple. Hence if you are having difficulty to implement above mentioned tips then you can talk to a professional mental health therapist to know your stress triggers and manage them.

Therapy offers a safe and compassionate environment in which you can know your stress triggers and mange your triggers.

Chapter 3:

Call to Action

You can be on your path towards healing once you know your stress triggers and know how to manage your triggers. You can visit Epsychonline and read article on “Job Stress: Coping with Work Related Stress” or “Not Coping? Feeling Overwhelmed? Here are Some Tips” for more reading and learning about stress to better understand the link between stress and its triggering. Further you can get enrolled in courses “DBT for Anger” or DBT for Social Anxiety so that you can better manage your emotions.

"Structured and engaging course" Joan

69 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount