Anyone who has tuned into the news the past few weeks has heard the term “trigger warning” mentioned. If a book, movie, TV show, or even academic lecture discusses topics that are violent or traumatic, sometimes a trigger warning will be inserted as an attempt to avoid upsetting people. There’s a lot of debate about how effective these warnings are or aren’t, but we can all agree that unpleasant emotions aren’t the only thing that are at risk of triggering. Things that happen to your body can trigger headaches, allergic reactions, pain, and more. We should do what we can to avoid those kinds of triggers.
Stress and Our Body
Stress can be hard on our body, especially if it’s the sustained kind of stress that lingers for days and weeks without a clear end in sight. It’s not uncommon to come down with a cold or flu at the end of a tough week at work, one where you arrived every morning at 7 a.m. and didn’t leave until 7 or 8 p.m. Stress can increase your risk of developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and depression. It may even have an impact on the way we age.
How can we avoid stress when we have so many obligations to meet? Well, we can’t avoid it altogether. Getting away and taking a relaxing vacation is one remedy. To some extent, it doesn’t matter if we spend a three-day weekend in Portland or two weeks taking surfing lessons in Waikiki, HI. A change of scenery and time away from the office gives us more energy to take on our problems once we return to the real world. However, we can only take so many vacations. When our boss tells us we must work late for the fifth Friday in a row, then what do we do? It may be tempting to curse out our boss and leave in a blaze of glory, but that’s not a wonderful idea. Instead, remember to breathe deep and remind yourself that things won’t be like this forever. You can find a new job if you need to. Sure, sending out job applications is annoying, but it’s better than working 70-hour weeks for the rest of your natural life. Remind yourself that you aren’t trapped, and you will get through this, one way or the other.
Migraines and Pain Relief
Migraine sufferers drew the short end of the stick when it comes to environmental triggers. The list of things that can cause a migraine includes stress. However, it also includes things like alcohol, changes in barometric pressure, and bright lights. Eating food that’s processed or salty can do it, but so can skipping a meal altogether. It can be hard to predict every single trigger, but you can at least be ready to respond to a migraine when it strikes. Talk to your doctor and do research on your options for pain relief. Look at everything from over-the-counter medications to more natural remedies like curamin.
When we’re in pain because of exposure to a trigger, it’s common to think that it’s all our fault, and that we shouldn’t have been careless. Sometimes, though, we haven’t been careless, and stuff just happens. Aside from that, scolding ourselves won’t make the pain go away. Take a mental note of what went wrong, and vow to do better next time. Then get to a cool, quiet place and wait for the pain to subside.