6 Common Anxiety Triggers & How to Manage Them

What makes you feel anxious? (Image via Pexels/ Monstera)
What makes you feel anxious? (Image via Pexels/ Monstera)

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress, and it can happen for many different reasons. It can happen during ordinary moments, or strike without warning, and it may be tough to pinpoint the exact cause. However, some things can worsen your anxiety. Certain triggers can make it more likely that you will experience anxiety, panic, and several other related conditions.

According to research, nearly 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, the most prevalent mental illness in the country. It can interfere with daily life, have an effect on jobs, school, and relationships, and cause continuous tension, worry, or fear.

When it causes panic attacks, an abrupt bout of intense, incapacitating fear, anxiety can be quite crippling. Avoiding panic attacks and effectively treating this frequent and difficult condition depends on identifying anxiety triggers and creating coping mechanisms.

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Six Common Anxiety Triggers and How to Manage Them

Anxiety triggers are particular events or behaviors that cause feelings of worry or fear. Both internal and environmental variables, such as stressful life events and underlying medical issues, can cause anxiety. Here are six common anxiety triggers and ways to manage them:

1) Health Concerns

Health concerns can be a major trigger. (Image via Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska)
Health concerns can be a major trigger. (Image via Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska)

Anxiety may be brought on or exacerbated by a severe or upsetting medical diagnosis, such as cancer or a chronic condition. Due to the immediate and intimate feelings it elicits, this kind of trigger is particularly potent.

By being proactive and actively communicating with a doctor, you can help lessen the worry brought on by health problems. Speaking with a therapist may also be beneficial since they may teach you how to control your feelings in relation to your condition.


2) Caffeine

Many people rely on their daily cup of coffee to get them going, but it may cause anxiety or make it worse.

A 2022 study found that consuming roughly five cups of coffee causes panic attacks and higher levels of anxiety in patients with panic disorders. In a 2020 study that included 429 adults, conducted over a two-year period, men were observed to have an increase in anxiety after ingesting energy drinks.

Work to reduce your caffeine intake by avoiding caffeinated choices whenever you can. While you may think coffee is the solution to remaining awake, it may not always be the case.


3) Stress

While we all experience stress, it can be harmful in the long run. (Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio)
While we all experience stress, it can be harmful in the long run. (Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio)

Anyone might become anxious due to daily stressors like traffic congestion or missing a train. However, persistent or long-term stress can result in long-term conditions, increasing symptoms, and other medical issues. Stress can also cause people to engage in habits like consuming alcohol, skipping meals, or sleeping too little. These elements can also cause or exacerbate anxiety.

Learning coping skills is frequently necessary for both treating and preventing stress. You can learn to identify your causes of stress and deal with them when they become bothersome or overwhelming with the assistance of a therapist or counselor.


4) Unbalanced Diet

Foods high in sugar can lead to agitation and irritation. (Image Via Pexels/ Andres Ayrton)
Foods high in sugar can lead to agitation and irritation. (Image Via Pexels/ Andres Ayrton)

A 2019 study found that a poor diet can make anxiety symptoms worse. If you don't eat a balanced diet, your body and brain won't have the energy they need to perform effectively, which might make you feel more anxious. Skipping meals can also cause anxiety because it sends our bodies into fight-or-flight mode, which is their natural anxiety reaction, when blood sugar levels decrease.


5) Workplace

Workplace can be a place of both stress and happiness. (Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio)
Workplace can be a place of both stress and happiness. (Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio)

Sometimes the surroundings we are in can serve as an anxiety trigger. Our stress and anxiety levels might be raised by the duties that are frequently present in work environments. In addition to job-related obligations, the social aspects of the workplace can occasionally act as an anxiety trigger, especially if it is a toxic environment that doesn't feel comfortable for our bodies and minds.

Most of us continue to work even though the workplace ends up becoming toxic. A good idea then is to look inwards and reflect on personal values.


6) Transitions in Life

A substantial life shift or transition can cause or exacerbate mental health problems, particularly if it is unanticipated. Parenting, losing a loved one, and changing jobs are just a few examples of life transitions. These frequently include assuming new tasks and responsibilities and undergoing some degree of identity adjustment, both of which can increase anxiety.

While transitions can be difficult, we all experience them in our lives. By accepting and normalizing this, you can work towards adjusting towards your new roles and responsibilities.


Takeaway

Although occasional anxiety is common, persistent worry, fear, and dread are not. They indicate that you need to look for expert assistance. The good news is that it is a mental health problem that can be very easily managed.

Consider getting help if your anxiety is affecting your daily life. A mental health professional can assist you in identifying a treatment strategy that lessens your symptoms and helps you manage your triggers.


Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.


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Edited by Susrita Das