It is normal to experience anxiety from time to time. However, individuals suffering from anxiety disorders experience persistent, intense, and excessive anxiety and fear about everyday situations that may border on irrational. Anxiety disorders are often characterized by repeated episodes of intense anxiety, fear, or terror, which peak within minutes (panic attacks) and typically last anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes.
Symptoms of panic, anxiety, and stress can interfere with your daily activities, are often difficult to control, are usually a distorted view of the reality or dangers of a situation, and can last for many weeks or months. In order to prevent these feelings, you might avoid certain situations or places or even feel unable to work. Symptoms can begin in childhood or during adolescence and continue into adulthood.
There are a variety of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder. Multiple anxiety disorders can occur at the same time. In some cases, anxiety occurs as a result of an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.
Navigating Life With Triggers
Regardless of the type of anxiety that you suffer from, treatment can help. However, sometimes our anxiety will be triggered by external events and scenarios that cause us stress even with treatment. While it isn’t always possible to avoid these triggers, there are techniques that people can use to manage their anxiety most of the time.
Anxiety triggers can vary from individual to individual, but many triggers are common among people with anxiety disorders. Many people find they have more than one trigger. For others, anxiety attacks are triggered for no particular reason. That is why it is important to identify any anxiety triggers you might have. This is the first step to managing your anxiety.
6 Common Anxiety Triggers
1. Social Anxiety
Some people suffer from anxiety before social gatherings or events or when they meet someone for the first time. A person with social anxiety may feel anxious when giving a speech or performing in public, going to an interview, or meeting large groups of strangers. It is normal to feel some anxiety in these situations. However, anxiety can become so intense that it causes people to forgo activities they would otherwise enjoy.
Anxiety may be triggered or worsened by relationship problems, arguments, and disagreements. You may need to learn conflict resolution strategies if you are particularly sensitive to conflict. Learn how to manage the feelings caused by these conflicts by speaking with a therapist or other mental health professional.
3. Experiencing Financial Difficulties
Financial difficulties can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. Being in debt, losing a job, or having an unstable income are all factors that can cause anxiety. This can lead to problems like feelings of inadequacy or depression and burnout from overworking and stress.
4. Losing a Loved One
There is no doubt that bereavement can lead to intense feelings of grief and depression. In many cases, grief may also trigger intense anxiety. Grieving individuals may worry about how they will cope after losing a loved one. The death of a friend or relative who the individual confided in or relied on in some way can cause a person to feel particularly anxious.
5. Consuming Too Much Caffeine
The body produces epinephrine in response to caffeine. The release of epinephrine is one of the factors underlying the fight-or-flight response. Consuming excessive amounts of coffee and other caffeinated beverages can, therefore, lead to anxiety and irritability. In such cases, limiting the amount of caffeine you consume may help reduce anxiety symptoms.
6. Health Anxiety
If you have been having health problems, or think you may have health problems, you may trigger your anxiety by being hyper-aware of your body. By taking an active role in managing your own healthcare, you can help alleviate some stress related to medical conditions. Talking to a therapist might also be helpful if you’re struggling to deal with your anxiety or depression because they can teach you ways to cope better.
Managing Your Anxiety
A lot of people feel anxious in certain situations, some of which are worse than others. Nonetheless, people should consult a doctor if anxiety begins to affect any aspect of their life, from personal relationships to the ability to enjoy life or function on a daily basis. People who suffer from severe, persistent, or debilitating anxiety may have an anxiety disorder. In such cases, a doctor may recommend treatments to manage anxiety.
Talking therapies like counseling and psychotherapy have been known to help improve symptoms of anxiety, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage symptoms, especially during the early stages of treatment. Stress management techniques can also help people achieve a more relaxed state of mind and manage their anxiety more effectively in stressful situations.
If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, Life Adjustment Team can help. At LAT we have the training, knowledge, and experience to help you or your loved one take on your anxiety and find a treatment plan that works. Contact our Clinical Team to get started today!