Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Coping Strategies for Triggered Feelings

The AWARE Strategy

A = Accept the emotions.  Don’t fight them, it only makes it harder.  Accepting means saying, “Yes this reaction is here, and it is not responsible for how I think, feel, and act.” W = Watch your emotions.  Look at them without judgment.  They are neither good nor bad; they just are. A = Act despite the emotion.  Act as if you’re not __________ (whatever the feeling).  Slow down.  Don’t feed the fear. R = Repeat these steps until the emotion is more manageable or fades. E = Expect the best.  Surprise yourself with how well you handle the emotion.  Emotions pop up; expect to handle them well. Remember – Emotions are energy looking for expression.  Despite your knowledge that feelings are alright, at times you may feel overwhelmed or desperate.  Listed below are some things to do to help yourself through that sense. Things to do when desperate: Breathe – deep and slow! Find your foundation to the here and now, the physical reality, notice where you are and what you see, smell, hear and touch. Visualize your “safe place. Listen to relaxing music. Pray/Meditate Talk to someone; talk to someone else! Take a hot bath, a cool shower – whatever works to help you center! Walk slowly around the courtyard. Hug a stuffed animal. Use the AWARE strategy listed above. Thing to avoid during panic attacks: Don’t enter stressful or dangerous situations. Don’t drive – stay off the road. Don’t drink alcohol or use drugs. Avoid making important decisions.