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Common Triggers for Anxiety

Updated: Apr 3









Anxiety is something that most of us experience from time to time. It can be uncomfortable and feel overwhelming. For some, it can escalate into panic attacks and cause physical symptoms such as chest pain. An estimated 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from anxiety. But what actually triggers anxiety? There are many things that can have a powerful impact on our mental health. While triggers can be unique to each individual, there are a few that are common to many that experience anxiety.


Caffeine

Drinks that contain caffeine can lead to an increase in anxiety. The more caffeine you consume, the greater chance of anxiety flaring up. Caffeine activates adenosine receptors in the nervous system, which is involved in the body's fight or flight response.


Lack of Sleep

Good quality sleep helps our body and mind recharge. Lack of sleep is known to affect mood and emotional health, which can exacerbate challenges presented by anxiety disorders.


Lack of Exercise

People that lead inactive lifestyles may find their bodies experience built up physical stress which can manifest as emotional stress.


Consuming Added Sugars

Added sugar is a contributor to overall anxiety. It can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash, which can increase overall anxiety.


Different Medications

Certain medications can cause an increase in anxiety. Be sure that you consult with your doctor about any known side effects.


Skipping Meals

When you don't eat, your blood sugar can drop, which can cause a jittery feeling. It is very important to eat balanced meals, as it provides you with the nutrients and energy that your body needs. Food can have a profound impact on mood.


By identifying and understanding your triggers, you can work to avoid them and cope. Working with a therapist can help you to alleviate your anxiety. In therapy, you can learn specific coping strategies to effectively handle your triggers when they happen.