Self Management

Managing Misophonia can be extremely challenging for anyone. Whenever someone with Misophonia enters a new situation, their brain may automatically and non-consciously be on high alert for triggers. With or without being triggered, a person with Misophonia may have difficulty skillfully regulating emotions, physiological arousal, thoughts, and actions.

There are no evidence-based treatments or apps specifically tested and validated for self-management of Misophonia. However, there are ways to regulate emotions, cognition, physiological arousal, and actions that scientific research suggests may be adaptive for all people.

Strategies to reduce vulnerability to emotional dysregulation include but are not limited to: (1) healthy sleep hygiene, (2) regular exercise, (3) healthy eating, (4) compliance with prescription medications, (5) using daily routines, (6) meditation or yoga, (7) treating physical illness (not ignoring it).

Misophonia may be more common than you think it is. It may be helpful to talk to those who know you well to share with them that Misophonia is something that you live with and manage as part of dealing with daily stress. Be mindful of the people you share this information with, in order to avoid being intentionally triggered, teased, or experience other adverse social outcomes. Start with someone you know and trust will be easiest to talk to. There is no shame and no need to live in silence or secrecy with Misophonia.

When you are acutely triggered, there are a couple of things you can do. First, if you are receiving treatment from a licensed trained professional, follow the treatment plan for such moments. If you are self-managing your Misophonia, a reasonable first step when triggered is to try not to make it any worse. Try not to say or do something that you will later regret as unskillful. If you cannot tolerate staying in the triggering setting, gently excuse yourself. If possible, go somewhere private and try to regulate your emotional arousal skillfully (e.g., white noise, music, calming sounds, paced breathing, silence, whatever technique works for you to reduce emotional arousal). It may not be possible to use reason and cognitive reappraisal to out-think your flight/fight systems when acutely triggered. But after you have taken time to regulate intense emotions, if possible and if appropriate give your goals and values relevant to the situation, consider returning to the triggering setting. In this way, you are able to live your life in those moments in a manner that is consistent with your values (how you care about being). Even if you can't stop from being triggered, you can control how you respond.

After recovering from being triggered, your cognitive systems will be easier to use. That is when it may be easiest to identify and change any problematic ways of thinking that emerged from being triggered. When you were triggered, did you have any interpretations, make any assumptions, or draw conclusions about yourself, others, or your future? If so, consider the factual evidence surrounding these ways of thinking, and seek a flexible and context sensitive way to make sense of what happened. The think about and plan for ways to cope most effectively the next time you may be triggered. It is an ongoing process that over time can become more and more skillful.