Identifying Triggers for Anxiety

4 min to read

May 14, 2023

Fred Bass

Anxiety can be caused by a variety of triggers. Some triggers are more obvious than others, but identifying them is the first step to managing anxiety.

  • Stressful life events (such as job loss or divorce)
  • Traumatic experiences (such as witnessing a natural disaster)
  • Medical conditions (such as an illness or injury)
  • Use of certain substances (such as alcohol or caffeine)
  • Withdrawal from certain substances (such as drugs or cigarettes)

If you’re not sure what’s causing your anxiety, it may be helpful to keep a journal and track your symptoms. This can help you identify patterns and triggers for your anxiety. Once you know what triggers your anxiety, you can start to develop coping mechanisms to deal with it.

  • Relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation)
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Stress management
  • Sleep hygiene

What Is Anxiety?


Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. It’s what we feel when we’re worried or nervous about something. Everyone experiences anxiety differently, but some common symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Trouble sleeping

For some people, anxiety can be debilitating and interfere with their daily lives. If you’re struggling to cope with your anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist can work with you to identify the root cause of your anxiety and develop a treatment plan that works for you.

What Are Anxiety Attacks?

An anxiety attack is a sudden, intense episode of anxiety. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, and dizziness. Anxiety attacks can be very frightening, but they’re not dangerous.

Most people who have anxiety attacks don’t have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. However, people with anxiety disorders are more likely to experience anxiety attacks than people without anxiety disorders.

How Do Anxiety Attacks Differ From Panic Attacks?


Anxiety attacks and panic attacks share some similar symptoms, but there are also some key differences.

An anxiety attack usually comes on gradually, sometimes starting with a feeling of unease or worry. Panic attacks usually come on suddenly and without warning.

With an anxiety attack, the physical symptoms typically don’t last for more than a few minutes, but with a panic attack, the physical symptoms can persist for several hours.

People who have panic attacks often have a fear of losing control or dying during the attack. People who have anxiety attacks may avoid situations that they think might trigger an attack.

What Are the Most Common Anxiety Attack Triggers?

Many different things can trigger an anxiety attack, but some triggers are more common than others. Some of the most common triggers for anxiety attacks include:

  • Stressful life events, such as a job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Exposure to traumatic situations, such as witnessing a natural disaster or being the victim of a crime
  • Use of certain medications, such as beta-blockers or antidepressants
  • Having another medical condition, such as heart disease or thyroid problems

If you have experienced an anxiety attack, it is important to talk to your doctor about what might be triggering your attacks and how you can best manage your symptoms. Triggers for anxiety can be different for each person, so it is important to identify your triggers and learn how to avoid or cope with them.

What Can Negative Thinking Cause in an Individual?

Negative thinking can cause plenty of problems in an individual. It can make a person anxious, stressed, and even in a depressed mood. It is important to learn how to identify negative thinking so that you can avoid it. Some common triggers for negative thinking include:

This is when you see things as black and white with no middle ground. For example, you may believe that if you don’t get an A on a test, then you are a failure.

This is when you take one bad experience and assume that it will always happen or that it represents your entire life. For example, you may believe that because you got rejected for a date, you will always be alone.

This is when you focus on the negative and filter out the positive. For example, you may believe that your new outfit is ugly because one person made a negative comment about it, rather than thinking about the compliments you received from others.

This is when you blame yourself for something that isn’t your fault. For example, you may believe that you are to blame for a fight with your friend, even though it wasn’t anything you did.

This is when you dismiss any positive experiences by telling yourself they don’t count. For example, you may believe that your good grade in math doesn’t matter because you’re not good at math.

This is when you are so aware of other people’s opinions of you that it interferes with your ability to think or focus on anything else.

This is when you make something seem bigger or smaller than it is. For example, you may tell yourself that a mistake you made is unforgivable, even though it’s not a big deal.

This is when you assume the worst without having any evidence. For example, you may believe that people are laughing at you when they’re not.

This is when you think about the worst possible outcome of a situation. For example, you may believe that if you don’t get an A on a test, you will fail the class.

Anxiety Triggers Can Be Conquered at Tulua Health


If you’re struggling to overcome triggers for anxiety, our team at Tulua Health can help. We offer a variety of services, including individual therapy and group therapy, that can help you learn how to manage your triggers and anxiety. Contact us today to learn more.

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