A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma that can show up in our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual process and elicit overwhelming sadness, irritation, internal shutdown, emotional charge, anxiety, or panic. Emotional triggers are automatic responses that can show up as people, places, things, sounds, smells, words, or colors. A trigger affects your ability to remain in the present moment. It can initiate or precipitate an emotional or psychological process. Within the context of mental health, a trigger refers to something that affects your emotional state, often significantly, by causing extreme overwhelm or distress.

If you feel triggered, that’s your body telling you that there’s work to be explored. We’ve assembled resources to help you understand your triggers instead of running from them and develop practices to aid in healing.

See below for our recommended resources.

Seek Support

The healing process is different for everyone. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call one of the hotlines listed below. In case of an immediate emergency, dial 9-1-1.


National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 24/7 hotline, staffed by trained individuals, for those in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Crisis hotline (English) : 800-273-8255 ; (en español) : 888-628-9454

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (organized by RAINN): The hotline is a referral service that can put you in contact with your local rape crisis center: 1-800-656-4673, or access their online chat here.

Trevor Project Hotline, Chat, Support Center: The Trevor Project offers trained counselors and 24/7 support to LGBTQ+ young people “In crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk.” TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386.

1in6 National Helpline for Men Who Were Sexually Abused or Assaulted: 24/7 chat with a trained advocate.

Strong Hearts Native Helpline: Culturally appropriate, anonymous, confidential, and free service dedicated to serving Native American and Alaska Native survivors, and concerned family members and friends affected by domestic, dating, and sexual violence. 24/7 line to advocates that help connect survivors to tools and immediate support resources: 1-844-762-8483

National Street Harassment Hotline: Operated by RAINN, this is a resource for individuals affected by gender-based street harassment ranging from catcalls and unwanted sexualized and homophobic comments to illegal acts like following, flashing, groping, and sexual assault. Hotline: 1-855-897-5910

US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division online report filing: Link to online report and information

U.S Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Complaint Line: Hotline concerned citizens can call to report suspected human trafficking or worker exploitation and contact the FBI field office nearest to them. They offer foreign language translation services. Hotline: 1-888-428-7581

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