Let us continue dealing with triggers. In the previous post I tried to explain what to do with memory triggers and annoying things. (And if you're new here - here is the beginning of my self-help steps series).
Today let us face web triggers and sensual triggers.
Web triggers are those sites, blogs or communities which somehow worsen your mood. And if you decided to improve your mood and your state try
- not to visit sites which bring you sad memories (i.e. your ex's blog) - not to visit sites where people share their pain
About the second one: depressed people tend to visit depressive sites and share stories on how bad they feel. However most of the times they feel worse after reading these things. Why? Because consciously or not they try on the others' problems and find correlations with their own. Just like the following way: "John writes that after [some event] he felt so sad. Yeah I usually feel sad after such things too! Like yesterday (...) " - and the damage is done. You read further and further and soak in the depressive environment. Instead visit those pages that either help dealing with problems or where people share success stories.
Different people react differently to various sounds, smells or colors and it may seem difficult to control physical reactions to sudden triggers of this kind. However, even autistic people (who have very delicate senses as well as unstable mood patterns) can learn to deal with loud / unpleasant sounds or dazzle lights. Here are some ways to reduce annoyance from sounds, colors and smells.
Before I start writing about external sounds let me first ask, what kind of music do you usually listen when feeling sad? L-o-t-s of people (including myself) enjoy listening to depressive music when they're sad. The reason is simple: when you're depressed you pity yourself over and over again, and you LOVE the way it feels and can't get enough of your sorrow. BUT if you want to live withou depression and feel happines because of positive emotions you should stop pitying yourself. Means stop listening to depressive music.
Now external stuff. The best way to reduce annoyance from loud or unpleasant sounds is to actually use ipod or mp3-player which will block external sounds. Just be careful when crossing the street etc! And make sure you have backup batteries or charged accumulators (because I know how annoying it is to have your batteries dead in the middle of your favorite track!).
There can be some colors in the street that you hate or you can have some ugly-colored things in your surroundings. The simplest tool that will help you to deal with first ones is sunglasses. You can find tons of sunglasses of different styles and colors. Choose whichever you like and make them a part of your image! Have as many sunglasses as you want. Not only will they protect you from dazzling lights and disturbant colors, but they will also make you feel safer. Just accept a small advice: if it is possible take off the glasses when speaking to people important to you because eye contact is a very important part of communication. It can also work perfectly vice versa: you will feel more confident when speaking to an unpleasant person with your glasses on.
What about things you posess or that you have around at home / work - see previous step. In short: try to get rid of these things or ask the person who posesses them to replace these things if it is possible.
What to do when a gas-helmet is unavailable? Try these tips:
- Bypass the source of unpleasant smell or try to escape it as fast as possible. Hold your breath if needed and if it reminds you something sad - force yourself to think about something else. Or multiply numbers.
- If you cannot bypass the annoying smell but can remove it - do it! The more active you are - the better. The worst thing you can do is to suffer quietly when you can make a positive change.
- If you cannot remove the smell but know that someone can - ask her/him to do so
That's all for this part it seems. And that's all with external disturbants. We dealt with ourselves, people, things and senses. Now it's time for everyday practice. Make changes everyday untill you tick every point in your to-do list. I am sure that you will feel better when have less triggers that worsen your mood.