Trigger worksheets (Our Top 3)

This page provides effective worksheets to help individuals understand and cope with external and internal triggers.

Some of these worksheets have been created by us while others have been curated from reputable third-party websites.

What are trigger worksheets?

Trigger worksheets are worksheets and exercises that can be used in the form of self-help exercises or also in therapeutic and clinical settings under the guidance of a professional mental health practitioner. 

This worksheet has been designed to enable individuals to keep a record of their triggers so as to understand them better, rate their triggers and the feelings that it brings about, as well as identify their triggers. 

These worksheets also encourage people to develop coping skills and apply coping strategies to cope with triggers while also investigating why certain stimuli triggers panic and anxiety in them to explore the root cause and issue. 

What are triggers?

Triggers refer to various internal or external stimuli that remind individuals of past trauma. The term itself is generally used with populations affected by PTSD.

Triggers can be anything- an object, person, feelings, smell, sight, or events that can cause people to develop an association with past trauma leading to overwhelming sadness, anxiety, or panic. 

Triggers can also lead people who are affected by PTSD to have flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and trigger various behaviours as well.

There is no conclusive understanding as to how triggers are formed however, it is speculated that it has something to do with how our brain stores traumatic memories where the brain interprets past events as current events leading to the activation of the fight-or-flight response.

Trigger Record

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to enable individuals to keep a record of their experience with various triggering situations as well as singular triggers. 

The worksheet invites individuals to explore their feelings, behaviours, reactions, and what made the trigger different from the original trauma.

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helps individuals develop a record and understanding of the various trauma related triggers that they come across everyday so as to learn how to cope with it better. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, you must keep track of the triggering events and answer the prompts provided when you come across these triggers. 

You can access this worksheet here

Date, what was your trigger What were your feelings?How did your body react?What did you do?How was the trigger situation different from the original trauma?How difficult was the trigger to handle?
(Write the date and describe the situation) (Use the emotions glossary if you need help)(List any body sensations) (Describe your behavior) (List any differences you noticed)(1= not at all to 10= extremely)

Rating Anxiety Trigger Worksheet

The next thing you can do is to rate your triggers to understand the intensity of what you are feeling, 

What does this worksheet do?

This particular worksheet helps you to identify the intensity of each trigger that causes anxiety. 

By rating your anxiety triggers, you can develop an awareness of what induces anger the most or what situations you fear the most as a way to help you understand your anxious feelings. 

How will this worksheet help?

By rating your anxieties, this worksheet can help you develop awareness of how intensely you are experiencing anxiety so that you can pick and choose what strategy would work best for a particular trigger.

By rating them, you can also develop a hierarchy of what is most maladaptive and what impacts you and your life the most so that you can mindfully work towards doing with these particular triggers first. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, take a moment to sit down and reflect on each trigger that you have identified in the earlier worksheet.

Make a list of them and create a 10 point scale with 10 being the highest intensity of anxiety you feel when confronted by this trigger. 

Next, reflect on any situation where you have confronted this trigger and rate them from a  scale of 1-10. 

Make a mental note of the highest rated trigger and address this trigger in therapy or by yourself using other strategies. 

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Visualising Experience of Triggers 

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to enable individuals to visualise the experience of coming in contact with a trigger. 

The worksheet invites the individual to visualise the trigger as well as come up with coping strategies to manage the triggers and their reaction to it. 

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helsp individuals apply coping skills and strategies to cope with the trigger by helping them practice facing stressful triggers in various situations. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, go through the scenarios provided and explore what skills and strategies that you will use when you face these scenarios. 

You can access this worksheet here.

Objectives: To prepare individuals to face triggering events before real life experiences.

Instructions: For each of the following situations, write down what coping strategy you would use to tackle the triggers.

Situation Coping Strategy 
Your teacher announces a surprise test and you have only 15 minutes to revise for the test (anxiety triggered).
You are left with only $30 from your pocket money and you need to buy something worth $40 urgently (stress triggered).
Your younger sibling dropped your favourite accessory from the window (anger triggered).
You ran out of petrol and you are already getting late for an event (anger triggered).
All of your friends are absent from school and you are sitting alone (loneliness triggered).

Investigating My Triggers

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to enable an individual to explore why a certain trigger affects them as well as what they can do to cope with and tackle the trigger or stimuli. 

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helps to develop awareness in individuals about why certain triggers evoke various emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. 

It also helps individuals take a moment to consider what are the various things that they can do to cope and tackle the triggers. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, you need to complete the table of prompts given in the worksheet and consider each prompt carefully to explore the root cause of your triggers. 

You can access this worksheet here

Objectives: To enable individuals to tackle their triggers by resolving the root cause of the issue.

Instructions: Complete the table below.

Trigger Why it triggers me How do I tackle this trigger?

Identifying Anxiety triggers worksheet

The first worksheet we are going to look at is one that helps you identify the triggers that lead to anxiety. 

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet when done correctly and with mindful attention and reflection allows you to sit down and reflect on your day to day life and identify what triggers anxiety. 

It requires intentional reflection on what creates fear and worry in your mind and listing them down so as to develop an awareness. 

How will this worksheet help?

By intentional reflection to identify these triggers- no matter how small and silly they might seem- these worksheets can help you develop an awareness of these events, situations, people, and objects. 

Developing an awareness of triggers can help you regulate your behaviours, thoughts, and feelings surrounding these triggers so that they are more adaptive than engaging in negative thought spirals about these triggers. 

Awareness also allows you to avoid what can be avoided or engage in mindful behaviours when faced with these triggers. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, the first thing you can do is to find a safe space that allows you to reflect on your day to day life. 

Take a moment to think about when was the last time that you were anxious- it could be right now as you look at the paper before you or it could be going to the store, or sitting for an exam. 

Write it down without any judgement or criticism towards yourself- everyone has some sort of trigger than instil fear in them and identifying them is the first thing you can do for yourself. 

References

Cuncic.A. What Does It Mean to Be ‘Triggered’ VerywellMind. Retrieved on 12th January 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-triggered-4175432#toc-how-triggers-are-formed

Trigger. GoodTherapy. Retrieved on 12th January 2022. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/trigger

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