At some point in our lives, we have all had a massive amount of anxiety, some of us suffering from it daily or every so often. Anxiety is such a burden in anyone’s life, it can be a real tough time to be able to push through it and ignore the anxious thoughts that flood through your head. The thing with anxiety is it can just hit you at any given time and sometimes it can be something that is rather unexpected, especially if you’ve not suffered with it in the past. Anxiety is something that is really common, sometimes understanding the triggers can be quite difficult. It can be a variety of factors, which can be related to genetics, the environment you’re in at the time which can cause certain emotions.
Of course, like anything triggers can be entirely different for other people, they’re not always the same and it’s important to realise that. However, a lot of the triggers are fairly similar, for some people that suffer from anxiety they know the triggers and for some anxiety can just creep up for no reason at all. By. identifying your triggers, then in turns helps you to learn ways to overcome your anxiety. This means that if you do go into seeking therapy, you will be able to mention this to the professional and learn ways to cope with these certain triggers to help ease the anxiety as a whole. It can be quite a hard process understanding your triggers and the fact they’re causing your anxiety as you may not even realise they’re doing it. Here are some of the triggers that may actually be making your anxiety worse.
Of course, most of us like to wake up in the morning and pop the kettle on for a coffee or a tea to give us a little bit of a pick me up in the mornings. Whilst, yes it is fine to drink it and be able to enjoy your favourite hot beverage, having too much of it can actually ramp up your anxiety. The thing is some of us, don’t even realise it because we’re so used to drinking it, that we don’t realise that can be the culprit for our anxiety spiking. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it can increase heart rate massively and make people feel a lot more alert. Caffeine is in a lot of things not just coffee and tea, it can be found in fizzy pop, energy drinks even chocolate. If you’re one that feels they have quite a lot of caffeine throughout the day and feel like that could be impacting the way you feel and your anxiety, then it’s definitely best to opt for either decaf or just lower your caffeine consumption.
Everything is ok in moderation, but caffeine can be a really big trigger for anyone that suffers from anxiety, it may not specifically trigger your anxiety the most but it can make it worse for sure. Caffeine is something that reduces the neural activity in your brain, which means it helps you feel more awake. Unfortunately, adding too much caffeine into the mix when you’re feeling highly stressed or anxious anyway can be adding fuel to the fire. By doing that you’re amping up your bodies stress response, which is going to make you feel a lot worse. We need to keep in mind how much caffeine we consume and whether or not we can cut back a little to help ease those anxious thoughts. If you’re consuming too much caffeine, you can definitely tell, a lot of the time you feel quite jittery, your heart rate will be very fast and like a thumping feeling in your chest, it may even be that’s beating unevenly, you could feel very hot also and it can cause a lot of sleep problems.
Now, we’ve certainly all had a bit of conflict in our lives, something that can really put a roll on our mood, one of those things we would much rather avoid. But, something that can feel quite difficult to avoid sometimes, conflict is something that can make anxiety a lot worse and we might not even know it. Conflict is quite a burden in life, it comes with massive amounts of stress and upset and can leave us feeling down. Relationship problems, arguments, disagreements, fallouts with friends or family, are all common types of conflict. Conflict itself can cause massive spouts of anxiousness and make your anxiety a lot worse as well as depression.
Trying to avoid certain types of conflict can be very difficult, but something you can do is take yourself away from the situation as much as you can, try and just do something to distract you get out of the house, go for a walk, don’t add fuel to the fire, just let it pass and make sure to just look after yourself and try and not let it really affect your mood, take yourself away from it the best you can. If conflict is something that can really trigger you then it’s important that you learn why it does and how to avoid certain types of conflict. Also, something that may help massively is talking to a therapist and seeking help to be able to learn some coping mechanisms in relation to triggers and conflict.
3) Skipping meals
Something that can massively trigger anxiety is skipping meals because it actually dips your blood sugar by a lot. Which can then cause you to feel somewhat of a crash of energy, lowering your mood and making you feel more anxious. It’s important to try and eat as consistently as you can, breakfast, lunch and dinner and try and stick to the same times each day. Try and make them nutritious meals, avoid certain ingredients that may make your anxiety a lot worse. Sometimes, some of us are quite busy which means that perhaps breakfast isn’t always possible, so instead try something like a piece of fruit or something you can take on the go, like a cereal bar for instance. It’s vital that you make sure you eat something because it can make you feel very tired and make you not want to complete certain tasks and can make anxious thoughts a lot more visible.
Lack of energy means a negative impact on your mood, which is something you want to avoid when feeling anxious. Breakfast, of course, is the most important meal of the day, it really boosts your energy and makes you feel ready to take on the day. It’s best to avoid too much sugar in the morning because this can leave you to crash quite early. Foods like greek yoghurt, some fruit, eggs, Weetabix are a great option for breakfast. Something, that you know will make you feel good once you eat it, make you feel full and happy with that feeling, enabling you to feel that boost of energy and motivation. Food is a great way to get the energy you need and to be able to go on about your day feeling that little more ready to take it on.
We’ve all had them days where we’re struggling, where we really don’t want to do anything and we just want to relax on the sofa and binge Netflix, we’ve all been there. Of course, it’s ok to have a day to just chill out and to have a breather, we all deserve rest once in a while. But, when it becomes a problem and it’s happening every single day and you just don’t feel like doing anything for days on end or even weeks, is when it can start to affect you quite negatively. The thing is, you could be procrastinating because you’re feeling anxious, which is a lot more common then you might think. It could be that you’re putting off a stressful task and you don’t want to have to do it and that is making you feel anxious because you’re putting it off. But, that won’t make it go away and sadly it will just leave you feeling a lot more anxious and put your body and mind under a lot of unneeded stress.
A great way to get past this is to create a to-do list, something that you can tick off each time you complete what is needed too. Then you can look back on it and it won’t feel as overwhelming because you’ve managed to get through what you needed too. Don’t do a list and make it too crazy, because then that will stress you out. There is only a certain amount of hours in a day and you certainly don’t want to be putting a week’s worth of things to do in one day, because you will stress yourself out massively. Just do it one thing at a time, if it does feel quite a lot and too much, then just minimise it down into smaller and more manageable tasks. Every time you put a tick on that list, it will instantly make you feel better and you will gain this sense of control, which is something anxiety doesn’t let us have. It then gives you a sense of achievement and you then fight off those feelings of anxiousness.
5) Spending all day inside
Whilst, this isn’t something we can all avoid right now due to the current circumstances, it is still something that needs to be brought up in terms of anxiety. At the moment, we have quite a limit to what we can do, with things slowly easing, it might mean more time outside. We’ve always been allowed to do one form of exercise. But, it’s safe to say that we’ve definitely got used to being inside a lot more than we did before, we have become used to the four walls that surround us. Whilst, yes it is nice to spend time inside and it’s cosy and some of us think of it as a safety net. However, getting outside is just as important, especially right now as we’re all couped up inside, of course always abiding by the current government guidelines. Making sure that if you go out, you keep social distanced etc. We can still make the most of the outdoors and getting out for a walk, enjoying nature and just being able to get out and see different surroundings.
Being inside too much can actually make you have a slight bit of brain fog, can make you feel quite isolated and you feel the need to get outside because you’ve spent so much time indoors. You don’t have to go out for hours on end, it can be a simple walk around the block for ten minutes or a run or whatever suits you. As the days are certainly getting warmer, it’s important to soak up some of that vitamin D because it has some amazing benefits. Sunshine also helps massively with feelings of depression and anxiety and so does exercise in general, meaning that you might feel a little better if you get a bit of fresh air. Or, even just opening your windows for a little while for those who don’t have a garden, just being able to let the sunshine through the window can boost your mood. Being exposed to sunlight also helps massively with sleep as well, which then in turn helps anxiety.
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