Identifying your triggers can be life-changing when dealing with anxiety. Though it might take some time to place them all, once you’re able to identify and understand them, you’ll be able to work to avoid them and cope.
Anxiety triggers can be different for each person; however, there are many common triggers among people with anxiety. Some of these triggers can be:
- Health issues
- Medications (including birth control)
- Financial concerns
- Social events
- Personal triggers
You can learn to identify your triggers by keeping a journal or talking to a therapist who can work with you to find other methods that suit you.
Find What Works For You
It’s not always clear what we need in a moment of desperation, especially when we’re overwhelmed and spiraling. If you’re still working to figure out what helps you in the midst of a panic attack or while you’re anxious, trial and error can be a useful way of figuring it out.
I understand this doesn’t sound easy or ideal.
And truthfully, it isn’t.
I’d much rather have someone tell me exactly what I can do to find solace as quickly as possible.
But, the thing is, everyone, deals with anxiety differently. Like so many other life situations, you probably won’t know what works for you until you try. Please don’t let this discourage you. It will be worth it, I promise. Some techniques you might want to try include:
Yoga. Strengthening your body as you synchronize deep breaths with movement can be very helpful for an anxious mind. Whether you’re an experienced yogi or you’ve never practiced before, there are plenty of free classes online that range from 5 minutes to over an hour, depending on what’s convenient for you.
Meditation. Much like yoga, meditation focuses on breathwork to help ease your mind, though people who meditate tend to sit still while doing so. Meditation is often ideal for those who feel paralyzed when anxious.
Reading. Reading is a wonderful way to escape anxious thoughts. Being forced to pay attention to the words on each page (rather than listening to an audiobook, for example) can keep you distracted from your anxiety and focused on your story of choice.
Watching your favorite movies or TV shows. If you find that focusing on a movie or TV show to distract yourself is more appealing than reading, I highly suggest doing what makes you feel good! I’m partial to comedies — anyone else obsessed with The Office?
Exercising. There are times when I’m particularly anxious when I can’t physically sit still. When I start to exercise — even doing something as simple as going for a walk — I feel like my moving body is finally catching up with my racing mind, and I find a sense of relief.
Immersing yourself in nature. Nature is endlessly healing. It’s a remarkable balm for an anxious mind. Grab your book and sit outside, or go for that walk around your neighborhood or through the woods. Or even sit still and simply breathe. Pay special attention to the magic that surrounds you and let it help you.
Calling someone you can trust. Sometimes, a conversation with someone you can trust makes a world of difference. Whether you decide to confide in them and vent or have a completely unrelated conversation, knowing that you are loved, supported, and not alone.