Coping with triggers worksheet


Coping is the way we deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties. It is the way individuals learn to deal with difficult situations.

A trigger, on the other hand, is a stimulus that elicits a painful memory to resurface. It is a reminder of past trauma.

What Are The Theories Behind This Worksheet?

Our senses (e.g., sight) play a significant role in forming memories. Trauma-related triggers are known to be intense because our senses are highly involved.  

When we experience trauma, our brains tend to store the surrounding stimuli in memory. Later in life, when we encounter these sensory triggers, the brain reactivates the feelings associated with the trauma. The more sensory information is stored, the easier a memory is to recall.

How Will This Worksheet Help You?

This worksheet will help you learn to cope with triggers you cannot anticipate or avoid. 

Learning to recognize the physical and emotional signs of a trigger will help you detach yourself from the trigger, recenter, and focus on your coping strategy. 

People who are able to adjust to stressful or traumatic situations through productive coping skills are less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. 

How Should You Use This Worksheet?

This worksheet should be used when you feel triggered/ a painful memory or experience resurfaces.

You can also use this worksheet as a self-evaluating tool for learning to cope with triggers.


Coping with triggers worksheet

  1. Identify your internal triggers (e.g., anxiety).

Internal triggers come from within the person.

  1. Identify your external triggers (e.g., birthday)

External triggers can be a person, a place, or a specific situation.

  1. What are some of your trigger warnings?

Example., physical violence

  1. Identify ways you can challenge your triggers.
  1. Identify self-help techniques that will help you cope with your triggers.
  1. What are some of the connections you have made to help you cope with your triggers?
  1. Identify ways you can develop healthy coping skills for your mental and emotional well-being.




  1. Write down statements you can use to practice self-compassion.
  1. Write down statements you can use to practice self-acceptance.
  1. Identify different mantras you can use to remind yourself you are safe.


Good Therapy. (© 2022). Trigger. Available at: [Accessed November 18, 2022]

PsychCentral. (© 2022). What are Triggers, and How Do They Form? Available at: [Accessed November 18, 2022]

You can download this worksheet here.

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