Learning how to identify your anxiety triggers and implementing healthy coping strategies can help you to manage anxiety disorders and prevent panic attacks.
According to ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States. Almost 40 million adults suffer from the following forms of anxiety:
Anxiety can be disruptive to daily functioning, especially when it causes panic attacks. If you have any form of anxiety disorder, isolating your personal triggers for anxiety and developing positive coping mechanisms is central to successfully managing this demanding condition.
If you find yourself experiencing episodes of anxiety or developing an anxiety disorder, it is vital to identify what triggers your anxiety.
While anxiety triggers vary from person to person, there are nevertheless many common factors that trigger a variety of episodes of anxiety.
Here are some simple ways to start exploring what triggers your episodes of anxiety:
It may take some time and effort to work out what triggers your episodes of anxiety. It may also require professional intervention.
Fortunately, once you identify your personal anxiety triggers, coping with anxiety becomes relatively straightforward.
What are triggers for anxiety, then?
Caffeine can trigger anxiety or inflame existing anxiety.
This study shows that people with social anxiety disorder and panic disorder are most susceptible to caffeine’s anxiety-inducing effects.
Drink non caffeinated whenever possible if you want to reduce episodes of anxiety.
Some people find social gatherings trigger anxiety. Common examples include:
While some anxiety in these scenarios is healthy, anxiety can become so intense it prevents you from participating in activities you would enjoy. Address the underlying issue rather than avoiding those situations.
When social anxiety becomes so pronounced that you feel excessively self-conscious or start isolating yourself and becoming socially withdrawn, these could be signs of social anxiety disorder.
Financial stress can adversely affect your mental health, according to APA (American Psychological Association).
Job loss, debt, and income instability are all known anxiety triggers.
If you are experiencing anxiety induced by financial stress, consider reaching out to a trusted loved one or mental health professional.
Some over-the-counter and prescription medications can trigger episodes of anxiety. Examples include:
If you experience anxiety while taking any kind of medication, consult your physician and look for an alternative medication.
A health diagnosis such as chronic illness or cancer can trigger anxiety or inflame anxiety.
The most effective strategy to manage anxiety in this situation is to remain engaged and proactive in treatment of the physical condition while also considering therapy to help you manage your emotions related to your health condition.
Chronic stress can trigger long-term anxiety and it can also worsen the symptoms of anxiety in those with anxiety disorders.
Often, stress causes people to engage in harmful behaviors, such as:
All of the above factors can also trigger and worsen anxiety.
Instead, work with a counselor or therapist to develop healthy coping strategies for times when anxiety becomes overwhelming.
Although bereavement is typically associated with feelings of depression and grief, loss can also trigger severe anxiety.
If you become anxious about coping after losing a loved one, speak with your healthcare provider. Your doctor may refer you to a bereavement counselor or they may suggest therapy to address anxiety issues.
If you frequently think about yourself in negative terms, try using more positive terms when you are upset or frustrated. Working with a mental health specialist will help you to reframe the way you think about yourself to minimize occurrences of anxiety.
Bullying, whether at school, at home, or in the workplace, is a powerful anxiety trigger. Over time, this can lead to a generalized fear of social situations.
If you experience any form of bullying, reach out for help immediately.
While becoming a parent is a thrilling prospect, it can also be a trigger for anxiety.
For pregnant women experiencing high levels of anxiety, talk therapy is often an effective treatment.
The most common symptoms of anxiety include:
If you find the above symptoms do not subside after six months, you might have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder).
The symptoms of other anxiety disorders differ. Panic disorder, for example, is characterized by the following:
Coping techniques can help you to mitigate anxiety regardless of what triggers anxiety attacks or other episodes of anxiety.
Here are some strategies you can implement immediately:
Avoiding known anxiety triggers can be an effective strategy, for instance:
In other situations, confronting an anxiety trigger – by joining a public speaking group, for example – can help you to deal with your anxiety in a safe and controlled environment.
You may also find anxiety support groups are beneficial.
For many people dealing with debilitating episodes of anxiety and for those who develop an anxiety disorder, getting professional treatment is the most effective route to recovery.
First, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. Expect to:
After ruling out any physical health conditions that could be triggering anxiety, your doctor may decide to prescribe anti-anxiety medications. Often, your doctor will refer you to a mental health specialist – a psychiatrist or a psychologist – so you can engage with therapy to supplement MAT (medication-assisted treatment).
We can help you here at Los Angeles Therapy Network.
Anxiety disorders affect around one-third of the U.S. population at some stage, but anxiety disorders almost always respond favorably to treatment in the form of psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of these approaches.
To get the right treatment for anxiety, you must first get an accurate diagnosis.
Anxiety medications do not cure anxiety, but several medications can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Examples include:
Don’t let anxiety disrupt your life when Los Angeles Therapy Network can connect you with the right therapist to help unpack your anxiety disorder. Take action today by calling 833.604.1287.
Los Angeles Therapy Network offers those seeking mental health & behavioral treatment resources and experts to find the perfect therapist to help promote mental wellness.