What are Anxiety Triggers?
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million U.S. adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. For some people with anxiety, just thinking about the day can set off alarms in their heads. More often, though, people run into certain situations that automatically trigger anxious feelings that can interfere with their ability to functional normally.
Anxiety triggers are events in someone’s life that can “trigger” feelings of uneasiness and fear, or panic and worry, even when there is no cause for it. Something as seemingly inconsequential as hearing an ambulance go by can be a trigger for someone with anxiety.
A person with anxiety may start thinking that someone, somewhere is hurt and needs significant help. That perhaps may lead to them personalizing the situation, wondering what it would be like if they were the injured person — and boom — the onset of anxiety begins.
There are many symptoms of anxiety, many of which can be triggers for some people as well. Below is just a partial list of anxiety symptoms and possible triggers:
- Being restless or unable to relax
- Worrying about money
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Being easily startled
- Getting headaches frequently
- Being overly worried about everyday experiences
- Having sleep issues, such as insomnia
- Being fatigued
- Having frequent gastrointestinal issues
- Worrying about relationships
- Constantly thinking of the worst case scenario of any event in life
- Having frequent muscle aches and tension
There is no specific test to diagnose any of the many types of anxiety disorders that exist. However, your doctor may be able to rule out other possible causes through a physical exam or with blood tests. In any event, a doctor usually will be able to identify anxiety in a person through a series of questions. If a person has experienced anxiety symptoms for more than six months, they are usually diagnosed with any one of a variety of anxiety disorders.
So what are some of the things that can be anxiety triggers? Just about anything can be a trigger for a particular person. Following is just part of what could be an exhaustive list of anxiety triggers:
- Money. Worrying about being able to afford paying regular bills, or saving for a special event such as a vacation or wedding can easily trigger anxiety.
- Being overwhelmed. Having too much input coming at you from too many directions at the same time can easily trigger a spate of anxiety.
- Trying something new. This can give anyone the jitters.
- Being a perfectionist. When you have this trait, you can have anxiety about almost anything you do.
- Meeting new people. Fear of the unknown can easily bristle someone’s nerves.
- Being somewhere alone. For certain people, being by yourself isn’t necessarily a relaxing experience.
- Death. Having a fear of dying, even when there are no indicators that this about to happen, can be a recurring trigger that can occur at any time.
- Driving fast. This can bring on a feeling of possibly losing control over your immediate situation and let anxiety bubble to the top of your mind.
- Holidays. Holidays are notorious for causing angst among families. These family gatherings can be a recipe for crisis for someone with anxiety.
- Clutter. Clutter can paralyze someone with anxiety, thinking they can’t do anything until a mess is cleaned, worrying themselves to the point where they can’t clean. Hence, they can’t get anything done and resort to feeling anxious about everything.