11 Surprising Yet Common Life Stressors That May Trigger Your Anxiety
You’re going about your day, working as you normally would but then you find yourself face-first with the symptoms of anxiety you’ve tried so hard to avoid. Why? Why would your anxiety be triggered when you’re doing everything you normally do? Well, that’s anxiety for you.
The little life stressors we normally face in our day-to-day lives can trigger our anxiety. The coffee you had in the afternoon, the minor disagreement you had with a coworker, or even the lack of sleep the night before can trigger your anxiety.
In this world, where mental health problems are as common as physical ailments, it’s no surprise that anxiety is one of the leading mental health conditions. It’s OK and even normal to have some degree of anxiety but when it becomes troubling and causes significant distress in your daily life, then it’s important to take note of your triggers and manage them.
Anxiety can increase feelings of worry, fear, tension, and panic. For people with severe anxiety disorder, anxiety can cause panic attacks and cause physical symptoms such as trouble breathing, indigestion, and chest pains. What causes anxiety can depend on various factors including genetics and environmental factors
Just like your causes of anxiety, the triggers of anxiety can also be unique to an individual. However, some common life stressors can trigger anxiety which we’ll be exploring in this article.
Common Life Stressors That Trigger Anxiety
One of the top stressors in life that can contribute to your anxiety is medications. Certain medications such as antidepressants and other over-the-counter pills can trigger anxiety. These medications, while prescribed, have ingredients that can cause you feelings of uneasiness and nausea. These side effects can then trigger the events that your mind and body associate with anxiety, thus increasing your anxiety.
Common medications that trigger anxiety can include birth control pills, cough medications, and weight management medications. Before taking any of these medications, consult your doctor and talk about their potential side effects.
Another top life stressor that can eventually trigger your anxiety is caffeine. Yes, the morning cup of Joe that you take can be a reason for your anxiety. While caffeine can help activate dopamine, it can also trigger the beginnings of anxiety. In a study, it was found that people with anxiety disorders were more sensitive to caffeine and its anxiety-inducing effects than others.
You can avoid this trigger by limiting your caffeine intake and substituting caffeinated beverages with decaf options as much as possible. Herbal teas, golden milk, and water are good substitutes.
3. Lack Of Nutrients
Another surprising yet common stressor that can cause your anxiety to spike is lack of nutrients or skipping meals. When you skip meals or do not consume a healthy diet, it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, triggering jitters and other symptoms of anxiety.
Eating balanced meals can give you the energy as well as the nutrients your body needs to fight anxiety. In many studies, it has been proven that food can have a huge impact on your mood. So be careful of what you consume and do not skip meals to avoid anxiety.
4. Negative Thoughts
Your mind and body are connected more than you might think so when you’re upset, sad, or frustrated, those feelings and thoughts can manifest as mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. If you think or say a lot of negative words or phrases when you self-talk, then you’re likely to trigger anxiety.
Many people find this life stressor triggering. You can manage this by taking note of how you speak, think, and feel about yourself. Learn to replace your negative thinking with a positive one and see the change in your mind and body.
5. Financial Stress
Another life situation that may stress you out or trigger your anxiety is when you worry about finances. Worrying about debt, saving, and spending can trigger your anxiety. Any sudden expenses or unexpected money scares can also be triggers for anxiety.
You can manage financial stress by seeking guidance from a financial advisor or counselor. Having a professional to guide you through your financial status can help you control financial anxiety and stress.
6. Social Interactions
For many, social interactions or social gatherings can be top life stressors. For many people, walking into a room full of people doesn’t sound fun but rather daunting. Any life events that require one to interact with the public can trigger anxiety, especially in people with social anxiety disorder.
To manage this trigger, you can bring a loved one or a companion to social events. Apart from this, you can talk to a professional for help. They can help you come up with better coping strategies to navigate through social situations.
7. Disagreements Or Conflicts
Not many people find disagreements, arguments, and conflicts stressful but for people living with anxiety disorders, even the smallest argument or disagreement can trigger their anxiety or worsen the already existing symptoms.
If conflicts trigger your anxiety, then you can learn conflict resolution techniques or talk with a therapist to understand how you can deal with future conflicts and disagreements.
Well, if we’re talking about life stressors, how can we ignore daily stress? The daily life stressors you face such as traffic jams, missing your bus, or even being late to a meeting, can trigger anxiety. However, chronic stress can turn into chronic anxiety and other long-term health issues if not addressed on time.
Long-term stress can cause you to skip meals, indulge in unhealthy behaviors, and not get enough sleep – all life events that can trigger anxiety. With the right help and treatment, you can manage stress and eventually control the symptoms of anxiety that result from daily stressors.
9. Unorganized Living Space
This one life stressor often surprises others but is also one of the most common triggers of anxiety. Messy living spaces do not always trigger the anxiety symptoms but if you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder then this one trigger can be responsible for your next anxiety attack.
Not only anxiety but a cluttered living space can increase stress, reduce the ability to focus, and increase insomnia. To avoid this trigger, you can make some small changes such as cleaning the house regularly or making the bed in the morning.
10. Lack Of Self-Care
Yes, lack of self-care is also one of the most stressful things in life that can trigger your anxiety. Especially when you’re living with an anxiety disorder. Self-neglect is when you don’t care for yourself and ignore your personal needs. This can look like not taking a bath, skipping meals, staying up late, etc.
To avoid this life stressor from increasing your anxiety symptoms, try to incorporate self-care practices into your routine. Make sure your basic needs – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – are met on time.
11. Other Triggers
The above list of most stressful life events is not the only cause of anxiety in your life. Other, not-so-subtle life stressors can trigger your anxiety. They could include a certain smell, sound, an event, a memory, and even a song. These other triggers can remind you of a time in your life when you were at your lowest. Such triggers can suddenly overwhelm you and trigger your anxiety symptoms when you least expect them.
Identifying these other triggers can be challenging so here is a guide for you on how to identify anxiety triggers and manage them.
How To Identify And Manage Anxiety Triggers?
When you know what life stressors or life events trigger your anxiety, you can easily learn to avoid, manage, or cope with them. Here are some ways you can identify anxiety triggers:
1. Write them down: When you notice your anxiety rising, write the experience down in a journal. This can help you understand what life event triggered your anxiety and what you need to avoid in the future.
2. Seek professional help: Some anxiety triggers can be hard to identify but with a mental health professional’s help, you can identify them and manage them to your best ability.
3. Be patient and honest: One of the symptoms of anxiety is negative thoughts and self-talk. This kind of behavior can make it harder to explore what triggered your reaction. So be honest and patient with yourself. Let yourself explore your past and see how it affects your life today.
Feeling anxious or experiencing anxiety once in a while is OK, even normal but when these feelings turn chronic, then it’s time to seek professional help. Understand your symptoms, learn about your past trauma, and identify what life stressors cause your anxiety to rise.
Anxiety is curable and easily manageable. With the right help and coping techniques, you can also manage your anxiety and say goodbye to stressful life events that cause your anxiety.
I hope this article helped you understand what triggers your anxiety and how to identify them. For more, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media.
You can also share your tips and tricks to cope with anxiety triggers in the comments below.