Identifying Anxiety Triggers - What Triggers Anxiety Attacks? 

Willow Place on June 21, 2022
Identifying Anxiety Triggers – What Triggers Anxiety Attacks? 

An anxiety attack is an experience an individual may have that is characterized by severe feelings of worry, anxiety, and stress. Anxiety attacks can be paired with physical symptoms like heavy breathing, racing heartbeat, sweating, and pains in the chest. Another phrase that is used to describe anxiety attacks is panic attacks. And, people who experience these panic attacks can develop a mental health issue known as Panic Disorder. This anxiety disorder is characterized by experiencing panic attacks and developing a fear of panic attacks as a result, as panic attacks can be severely debilitating, frightening, and even painful. Learning more about anxiety and panic attacks can help people understand if this is what they’re dealing with and whether or not they should seek professional help for Panic Disorder. So, what triggers anxiety attacks and how can a person identify if they’re living with them? 

What are Anxiety Triggers?

Something that counts as an anxiety attack trigger is anything a person who struggles with anxiety may perceive to be potentially threatening. So, anxiety triggers may vary from person to person based on experience and perceived dangers. For example, one person’s anxiety trigger may be a hospital or medical facility as they have experienced a traumatic diagnosis or injury in the past. Where, another person’s anxiety trigger can include something entirely different, like someone raising their voice because they’ve had experiences with abuse in the past. Typically, anxiety triggers are things that can trigger anxiety based on traumatic or negative experiences that have occurred in a person’s past. Therefore, recognizing triggers may be a different process for each individual as they can differ variously and may either be easy or challenging to identify initially. 

If a person who suffers from anxiety attacks is subjected to an anxiety trigger, their bodies will react as if danger is present. Therefore, stimulating the ‘fight or flight’ response, which can increase feelings of fear, anxiety, and worry as well as present physical symptoms of anxiety attacks. 

While anxiety is a normal, human emotion, people who experience high levels of anxiety in situations that aren’t physically dangerous on a regular basis may have developed an anxiety disorder like Panic Disorder. For these individuals, it’s important to be able to identify anxiety triggers so that these episodes can be managed. 

Some Common Triggers of Anxiety

While anxiety triggers may differ from person to person for people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, there are some common ones across the board. Some of the most common anxiety triggers include: 

  • negative and impulsive thought patterns
  • high levels of stress
  • caffeinated beverages
  • concurring physical ailments and injuries
  • prescription medications
  • illicit substances
  • unhealthy sleep patterns
  • relationship disputes

Learning to Cope With Anxiety Triggers

One thing that can help people with anxiety disorders who are triggered by specific triggers is learning how to cope with anxiety triggers. Some things that people who deal with unwanted levels of anxiety when it comes to coming in contact with a trigger may include: 

  • getting enough sleep and establishing a sleep routine
  • having a support system and reaching out to these people in times of stress
  • eating more nutritious and healthy meals
  • eliminating stimulants from diet such as caffeine or medications
  • adopting a sense of mindfulness (living in the present moment)
  • practicing mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga
  • exercising more to release endorphins which help with mood management
  • getting professional assistance through therapy

Help With Dealing With Anxiety From Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient therapy can help people living with anxiety disorders and anxiety attacks get the education necessary to learn about anxiety coping mechanisms. These mechanisms can come in handy when experiencing an anxiety attack brought on by anxiety triggers. 

Willow Place for Women helps women living with a number of mental health issues including trauma, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, and more. Find out more about our outpatient facility in North Carolina by visiting our website. 

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If you or someone you love is battling substance use, mental health, or eating disorders, please feel free to contact one of our trained admission specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance use disorder or a mental health issue can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

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