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If you have been struggling with anxiety — a mental health disorder that may lead one to experience “excessive fear and worry and related behavioural disturbances,” according to the World Health Organization — know that it will be helpful to identify and accept the things that are most likely to make you feel anxious to manage or cope with the situation better. While there might be some triggers that are personal to you, there are also some generic triggers that may make people feel fear and worry.
As such, Dr Daniel G. Amen, a psychiatrist, took to Instagram to share the most common anxiety triggers.
What are common anxiety triggers?
1. Automated Negative Thoughts (ANTs). The most common anxiety trigger is believing everything you think. Your brain is always generating the worst possible scenarios. So, learn to kill your ANTs.
2. High glycemic index foods. Foods that quickly raise your blood sugar levels, like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, sugar, fruit juice, etc are those that have a high glycemic index. They quickly produce insulin and then drop your blood sugar levels — that’s when you get anxious. So focus on low glycemic foods that don’t raise blood sugar levels. Low glycemic index foods are also good for your general health.
3. Caffeine. Caffeine is a very common anxiety trigger. If you are anxious, don’t drink energy drinks.
4. Skimping on sleep. Not getting proper sleep is another common anxiety trigger.
5. Things that have hidden stimulants. Things that have hidden stimulants, like cough medicine or antihistamines, or medicines for asthma, can also cause anxiety.
Adding, Dr Sanjeev P. Sahni, Founder and Principal Director of Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, shares a few other common anxiety triggers. They are:
• Stressful life events: Major life changes such as a new job, moving to a new place, or the loss of a loved one can trigger anxiety.
• Health concerns: Worrying about a health condition or experiencing physical symptoms can cause anxiety.
• Financial worries: Money problems can be a significant source of anxiety for many people.
• Social situations: Social anxiety disorder can be triggered by being in situations where one feels judged or evaluated, such as public speaking or meeting new people.
• Trauma: Past traumatic experiences, such as physical or emotional abuse, can lead to anxiety disorders.
• Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders.
• Chaotic household: This might surprise people. A conflicted home environment can be an anxiety trigger.
How to Manage Anxiety Triggers
It’s important to note that managing anxiety triggers is a process, and what works for one person may not work for another. “Experiment with different strategies to find what works best for you and be patient and gentle with yourself along the way,” Irfan Fayaz , Doctoral Research Scholar at Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, told indianexpress.com.
Below are a few ways you can manage your anxiety, as suggested by Fayaz.
• Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all great ways to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
• Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce anxiety by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters.
• Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can worsen anxiety symptoms, so it’s essential to get enough restful sleep each night.
• Seek support: Talking to a trusted friend or family member or joining a support group can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
• Seek professional help: Professional help can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms and help determine if you have an anxiety disorder or if your symptoms are related to another medical condition. Consult with your doctor.
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