Do you have things or people that “trigger” negative thinking, emotions or behavior? A safety plan can help you better manage those difficult emotions.

Trauma and stress can alter the way people think and behave. Most of us have experienced trauma or adversity. As a Sanctuary agency, Counseling & Recovery Services of Oklahoma looks at negative behavior as a result of experiencing trauma that compromises our sense of safety.  That behavior often becomes an ineffective way to cope with that event or stress.

Our clients and staff create personal safety plans as a positive way to help regulate emotions and behaviors. A safety plan is an individually created list of activities to choose to avoid engaging in unsafe or toxic behavior that occurs under stress.

A good safety plan identifies activities that can be used anytime, anywhere, without embarrassment. Activities should be safe, effective, and self-soothing. Give yourself options for at least five immediate steps that can be taken when you find yourself in a stressful, challenging, or dangerous situation. Some of the activities can involve others or leaving the space you are in (for example, calling a friend or taking a walk). At least two should be things you can do on your own and without leaving the space you are in (for example, deep breathing or squeezing a stress ball). Write and carry the safety plan so it is always available to use.

At Counseling & Recovery Services every staff member creates and carries a safety plan. As one of the Sanctuary tools, the plan helps each of us do a better job of regulating our own emotions and behaviors. It reminds us, and serves as a visual cue to others, that our behavior needs to adhere to the commitments that we have made to nonviolence, emotional intelligence, open communication, social learning, social responsibility, democracy, and growth and change.

Once you identify negative thoughts and behaviors, you can begin the process of problem solving and change. If you would like a presentation on Sanctuary, feel free to contact Community Relations at 918.236.4127 or info@crsok.org.