Triggers – Live Well Centre

A unique project by:


Triggers can be an emotions, a person, place, smell – anything which brings back a memory or feeling. They can feel like they’re forcing us to act on a behaviour, even if we don’t want to. This is called a craving.

Triggers are a learnt behaviour. Sometimes, they come from repeating the behaviour many times over.

Your triggers may be very different to other people’s, and how you respond to a trigger may also be different. For example, some people eat less when they feel stressed, and some people eat more. Some people enjoy dealing with stress and it appears to have no negative effects on them at all.

In this exercise you’ll be exploring what triggers you to drink or use drugs. Think about the times you’ve drank or used previously – are there any patterns?


When my partner is having a drink

Being around mates when they’re using cocaine

How do I handle these
Talk to them, letting them know what my goals are and how they can can help

Restaurants when having a nice meal

Mate’s house

How do I handle these
Swap to a non alcoholic drink for the first course

Try meeting at my house for a bit

“It’s almost the same price for a bottle as it is for 2 glasses”

“I didn’t drink at the weekend, it’s a treat for making it through Monday!”

How do I handle these
Remind myself it’s not about money, it’s about how I feel tomorrow



How do I handle these
Start mindfulness course

When I feel like this, remember to breathe and bring my attention back to the now

Try it yourself

Think about the people, places, thoughts, and feelings which make you want to use.

Don’t forget – this is not about blaming others for being your trigger, it’s about finding ways to deal with triggers. The worksheet is here to get you stated with identifying your triggers so you can’t think of a way of dealing with them right now, it’s something you can focus on and explore with time.

Download the worksheet to help you

Unfortunately the worksheet is not fully accessible, but it can be printed out and filled in by hand, or you can do the exercise with a pen and paper or on your phone’s notes app.

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