How to cope with ‘triggering’ national issues

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Published: May. 4, 2022 at 5:09 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - No matter which side of the aisle you stand on, abortion is a sensitive issue. For those who may be personally affected by abortion or know someone who is, the national conversation right now could be triggering.

The word “triggered” has become a popular term to describe anything that causes emotional discomfort or trauma. According to health officials, trauma is known to have long-lasting and repetitive effects on our minds.

Licensed Clinical Professional Laura Alderman said there are different ways you can cope. She said the first step you should take if you find yourself triggers is to get to a calm state of mind. She said the goal is to quiet the fight or flight response.

Next, you can try meditation. Alderman said this could help you in staying present and not focusing on past experiences. This should be coupled with slow, deep breaths.

Alderman said emotional triggers can have a long lasting effect on the body if they’re not addressed.

“Our bodies are really only able to withstand that stress response for about 20 minutes, anything more than that can have a corrosive effect on our physical health as well as our emotional health. So, we know a lot about the impact of trauma on our physical bodies as well as emotional well-being and it’s all connected. I would go so far as to state our physical health is dependent on our emotional well-being,” she said.

If you feel you are unable to cope with emotional triggers on your own, Alderman said it might be best to speak with a mental health professional.

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