Common Triggers for Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety is a biological response to a threat, the body’s natural response to the fight or flight mechanisms. It warns you of the possibility of danger and puts you on high alert. To our biological ancestors, this was a lifesaver, literally, a survival instinct that made it possible to make it to the next day.
In today’s world, we are no longer faced with life or death situations on a regular basis. Anxiety still helps in anticipating danger, just ask any mother with a baby at a swimming pool. It has also become counterproductive. In modern society, we still get triggers for threats — a blowing horn, a screaming child — but the risks tend to be minor and rarely reach fruition. The fight or flight response was still triggered and caused the release of chemicals into your system. However, they’re not needed, and you don’t have to fight or run. Those chemicals are left with nothing to do, and anxiety’s the result.
Anxiety is a problem for a lot of people, but not everyone’s experience with anxiety is the same. Some people’s anxiety is caused by negative thinking, always worrying about the future, while others have medical conditions that make them more prone to it.
Before you can work towards eliminating unnecessary anxiety in your life, you must identify the source. If you’re unsure, here are things that may be causing anxiety in your life.
Everybody has things in their life that cause stress; family, friends, finances, and work are some of the most common. When faced with these stressors for an extended period, anxiety grows. After prolonged exposure to high levels of stress, the way neurons communicate in the brain can change. These changes cause the person to experience even more anxiety and have difficulty keeping it under control. They may develop an anxiety disorder, have panic attacks, and experience physical symptoms.
Specific medical issues, such as heart problems, overactive thyroid, and diabetes, can make you feel anxious. Your heart rate increases, you feel jittery and nervous, and you have trouble sleeping. Sometimes finding out you have a medical condition can cause anxiety. Just getting diagnosed with a chronic or severe illness makes you worry about your health, your future, and your family.
Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are known to cause anxiety, both of use and after. Certain stimulants, including caffeine, make your heart race and cause you to feel uneasy. Other drugs, such as pain pills and alcohol, may cause you to withdrawal, which can cause a huge spike in anxiety.
Certain medications, specifically those used for thyroid conditions and asthma, have a stimulant-like effect that increases anxiety. Over the counter decongestants and cold medications also make people feel anxious, as do certain weight loss supplements.
When someone has been through a traumatic event, it can make them anxious and fearful it will happen again. When someone experiences severe anxiety after a trauma, they may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a serious anxiety disorder that’s associated with flashbacks and nightmares.
There could be any number of things causing anxiety, but some combination of these are usually involved. The important thing to remember is that anxiety is curable, and you can learn to live your life without fear of the future.