5 Steps to Identifying & Removing Anxiety Triggers From Your Life
Written By April 26, 2017-
Anxiety is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders over the past several years it seems. With each passing day, stresses mount on one person or another until the symptoms of a diagnosable condition arise.
While these disorders and conditions vary significantly in severity from one person to the next, especially with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). No matter what the root of the anxiety actually is, the common thread between everyone is the existence of triggers. Triggers are the object, situation or circumstance that will incite you anxiety to worsen to a critical point relative to your specific disorder.
Steps to Identifying & Removing Anxiety Triggers
Triggers are not universal. Some people might actually manage a lot of stresses in their life simultaneously without incident, but the inclusion of a specific situation or thing could send the subject into an emotional tailspin.
Through this article you will be better equipped to not only identify your specific triggers, but learn about how you can avoid them in the future as well. These two things will help you better be able to manage your condition, and in some rare cases, make it non-existent.
Identifying Your Triggers
It might be simple for some people to diagnose their primary sources of anxiety and stress in their life. For others, this process is likely going to take a little bit of sleuth work on your part and some patience. The best thing that you can do for yourself, if at all possible, is to maintain your normal schedule.
Go to the same places that you normally do when you normally would, and continue life as though you aren’t expecting a disorder to flare up. If this is a fairly common occurrence for anxiety to override normal life, it won’t take long to find yourself inside of an opportunity to diagnose a trigger.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind to be able to adequately pinpoint a trigger for yourself. The first is to best understand what anxiety feels like to you specifically, and how your body acts and your mind works when it is in an anxious state. This will help you to immediately identify when these emotions are surfacing, and you won’t have a lot of time spent wondering if your condition is worth tuning in to at that time.
1. Focus Inward
You are going to have to become very much in tune with how your body processes being anxious. These are typically fairly common symptoms overall, but they vary from person to person. Some common things that you might experience when in the middle of a panic attack or overwhelming anxiety incident are:
- Rapid Heart Beat
- Excessive or Inexplicable Sweating
- Trouble Catching Breath
- Headaches/Muscle Tension
Once you have determined that you are going through a panic attack or similar occurrence, you will want to bring up all of the events of your day that have led to that specific moment. Take everything into account and think hard about the details leading up to the incident, and how each of them made you feel. Sometimes it is this easy to identify certain triggers that your body might have.
3. Identify The Stress Giants In Your Life
While most people can manage stress to a certain extent, the body is really only designed to carry the weight of so much. Your mind can become imprisoned by the stress that you are refusing to get rid of in your life, and as a result, it isn’t able to do much but freak out from time to time. Some people have great deals of stress placed on them from their work, others from their familial obligations and still others carry the stress of a negative self-image.
Some people don’t know this, but you can be raised to be paranoid and skittish. Having a look of concern and fear at the world around you, or anything really that is outside the safety of your home, can cause your brain to start to develop triggers rooted in generally irrational fears. If completely allowed to run their full cycle, these small fear triggers can develop into phobias that provide the user with a critical anxiety trigger rooted in a fear they can no longer easily explain away.
There is a lot of merit to keeping a journal or diary of your daily life. Consider getting into great detail with this, and use this as a way to process your entire day, but also to decompress and let go of some of the things that you are holding on to. The more detailed you can get the more you can look back and reference patterns where panic attacks or incidents occurred around specific places, things, people or events.
Avoiding Your Triggers
Once you have taken some time to identify your triggers, you have to start considering the ways that you can expel them from your life. While some things can easily be removed or changed to suit your needs, other staples are more difficult to change. If triggers come from pressures from your family, or from the demands of the job that you love, you might want to find a solution that isn’t just scrapping it all and trying to start over.
Instead, you should find a way to give yourself some time to relax and get away from the demands for a little bit. Ideally this could be done every day, but if that isn’t feasible, than at least make time for yourself a few days a week. Just give yourself a chance to not have to focus hard on something and just let your mind have a moment to rest and recharge.
Identifying your triggers isn’t going to always be something that you are able to do on your own. If you find this to be an overwhelming or difficult task for you, it is okay to seek the help of a licensed professional (or even just a trusted friend) to give you some helpful advice or to aid you in managing the anxiety that continues to creep into your life.