[Februrary 2017 Update: I now have a minimalist version of this bullet journal layout available]
Recently someone in a BuJo (Bullet Journal) group I follow asked if there was a bujo layout to track mental health triggers. When her query had no response, I decided to draw on my own experience long-format journaling about my own triggers and develop a bullet journal style layout for tracking triggers.
One element that can make trauma triggers overwhelming to manage, particularly early in recovery, is that it takes time practicing self-awareness to learn to recognize and name that what you are experiencing is actually a trauma response. (PsychCentral has a great explanation of what a trigger is.) “Being triggered” can look and feel different for different individuals. This layout assumes you have some growing awareness of what the experience of being triggered feels like in your body.
I designed this layout to help a bullet journal user begin to track themes and notice patterns. Keeping a journal to build awareness of your mental health and the experiences that affect your mental health can help your recovery and help your mental health provider know how to help you deal with triggers.
Below, I’ve explained 3 less-obvious ways to use this layout to improve self-awareness and better identify patterns.
All that said, here are 3 ways to use this layout that might be less than obvious just by looking:
- Add a full month calendar at the beginning of your page or pages of your trigger tracking layout. For every day you need to fill out a box for being triggered, circle the date on the calendar. This may help you identify time-based triggers. (i.e. Fridays, first of the month, etc)
- Bullet six things you did during the day. If you think you know what the event/stimuli was that triggered you, highlight it.
- At the bottom, use three feeling-words to describe how you experienced the trigger. (Different triggers may have a very different impact on your mind and body and this knowledge is really helpful in recovery) Color code your feeling words later so you can use color to visually spot patterns and themes.
View the updated 2017 Version of this Trigger Tracking bullet journal layout: