Why Trigger Warnings & Sunday Scaries Are So Troubling

Show Notes

Learn the truth about Sunday scaries & trigger warnings as well as how to prevent & manage them.

What are the Sunday scaries?

The Sunday scaries are nagging feelings of nervousness and anxiety that creep up on people as the weekend winds down and the new work week approaches; it’s about theanxiety & dread about returning to work on Monday

How to figure out what’s causing the anxiety

Learn how to zoom out of your life and figure out specifically what is causing your anxiety on Sunday and that will direct you to where you need to do some work.

Dr. Jordan discusses the roles that rumination and not dealing with everyday emotions plays in causing the Sunday scaries.

Strategies to Manage & prevent the Sunday scaries

Learn ways to manage and prevent beginning of the week anxieties:

– Creating a practical intention on Sundays for the week ahead can help us navigate workplace stressors more effectively

Stop multitasking: more mistakes, work takes longer which creates more stress

-Change attitude from have-to to want to or get to: feel more autonomy, in control

-Focus on gratitude

-Work out conflicts with co-workers if that’s what you dread

-Find work you love to do: ask to be switched to job or role that appeals to you; start working towards starting a new career or new job, do research = creates energy

-Focus on picking up skills that will make you more marketable and add to your identity capitol

-Focus on your truth: work week ends up being fine once you get there & get to work

Express emotions regularly so they don’t build up to overwhelm and leak out as anxiety

Links to good articles on the Sunday scaries:

Sunday Scaries article: 12-8-21 Mental Health

How to ward off the Sunday scaries: CNN.com

How to beat the Sunday Scaries: Headspace

Sunday Scaries article: 12-8-21 Mental Health,   Science behind Sunday scaries: 1-14-23 MI Blues Perspective

What are trigger warnings?

Trigger warnings: “Content warnings” or “trigger warnings” refer to verbal or written alerts that assigned material, including academic writing or artistic expression, may involve sensitive or upsetting themes or details that may cause a student to have an emotional response tied to a personal experience. Topics may include: sexual assault, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide, child abuse, racial hate crimes, transphobic violence, homophobic harassment, xenophobia

Research on efficacy of trigger warnings

Dr. Jordan investigates the questions: Do trigger warnings work to decrease anxiety & help people manage their traumas? Do they help trauma survivors emotionally prepare to engage with difficult material? 

Learn the difference between anticipatory vs. response anxiety: In a large study, trigger warnings didn’t meaningfully reduce the amount of distress students felt in the face of potentially disturbing content, such as graphic depictions of rape or violence, nor did they nudge students to avoid this material entirely. This held true for people with and without a history of trauma. Warnings did, however, increase the amount of anxiety students felt before experiencing the material in question= anticipatory anxiety

Studies found substantial evidence that trigger warnings reinforce survivors’ view of their trauma as central to their identity; People who view trauma as a core part of their identity have worse symptoms

The encouraging growth of studies has begun to converge on the consensus that trigger warnings are not typically helpful in reducing anxiety. This finding has been consistent across various types of trigger warnings and types of potentially triggering content

How to prepare kids to handle discomfort & uncertainty

Dr. Jordan discusses the need for parents to help kids learn to deal with being uncomfortable and with uncertainty, as well as learn to advocate for themselves so that they can take care of their emotions and needs in college. 

Links to articles on trigger warnings

My podcast with HS seniors about why they are so afraid to grow up

Do trigger warnings help or hurt: Wall street J. 2-10-23

Harm from trigger warnings

Little effect of trigger warnings on individuals with trauma histories: 6-1-20 Sage Journals


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