Posted by Alexandr Philip, LPC
Living with anxiety isn’t easy. If you experience anxiety, then you know first-hand how difficult it can be. Everyday tasks like grocery shopping, going to work, or running errands can feel impossible because of anxiety.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to lessen anxiety’s effects. To start combatting your anxiety, you first need to understand your triggers. Your particular triggers depend on a variety of factors and may differ from others.
Once you identify your triggers, you can be better prepared to handle the anxiety that follows. How do you identify your triggers? And can therapy help?
Note the Things that Spike Your Anxiety
When something triggers our anxiety, we don’t necessarily think about what caused it — we just know that we feel anxious.
The next time you begin to feel anxious, think about what just happened to you. Did you have an unpleasant conversation with a coworker? Did something remind you of a bad memory? Again, many things may trigger anxiety. By paying attention to when your anxiety spikes, you can better pinpoint what your triggers are.
Pay Attention to Your Eating Habits
As humans, we need to eat a certain amount of food to survive. We all know this, yet we don’t always make the best eating choices. Do you feel anxious all morning after skipping breakfast?
Though commonly overlooked, skipping meals can lead to anxiety. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar may drop. Low blood sugar can lead to shakiness, a foggy head, and anxiety. Pay attention to your meals and consider making some changes to your eating habits.
Think About How You Feel in Social Situations
Social anxiety is one of the most common types of anxiety, yet many people may not realize they have it. Do you dread having an awkward conversation with your coworkers? Would you rather stay home alone on a Friday night than attend a friend’s party?
Some people are naturally introverted, and that’s okay. However, social anxiety can creep up in unsuspecting ways, so you should note how you feel in social situations. If you often feel uncomfortable, socializing may be one of your triggers.
Notice How You Handle Conflict
Some people like to face conflict head-on. Others avoid conflict as much as possible. If you’re the latter, ask yourself why. Why do you dislike conflict? Where there’s conflict, there’s often uncertainty. And, where there’s uncertainty, there is often anxiety. You may have never considered it, but conflict may be a trigger for you.
Unpleasant Memories and Personal Trauma
When we experience trauma, memories of it can be triggering. You may do your best to keep the memories at bay, but then something out of your control reminds you of it. Unfortunately, things may remind us of unpleasant memories or trauma in ways that we can’t control, which can be anxiety-inducing.
Trust Your Gut
When it comes to combatting mental illness, you need to trust your instincts. We feel anxious for a reason — anxiety alerts us of danger or discomfort. Don’t just shake off a bad feeling or tell yourself that you’re overreacting. When something triggers your anxiety, there isn’t always a logical reason for it.
Nevertheless, your triggers are still valid, and there are ways to cope with them. Trust your gut when it comes to identifying your triggers — it will lead you in the right direction.
Many people suffer from anxiety for much longer than they have to. If you have been suffering, there are resources available. Therapy can help you understand your anxiety and triggers more clearly. Once you identify your triggers, you can work to cope with them.
You don’t have to suffer alone — the sooner you get help for your anxiety triggers, the sooner you can overcome them. Please reach out to my office today to schedule a free consult in person or online.