For those with anxiety, it can be hard to feel normal when it hits out of nowhere. When one moment is fine and the next is a tough mental battle, it's useful to know how to cope when triggers appear so suddenly. Suzi Sena at YourTango explains what steps to take when understanding your triggers seems impossible.
Anxiety can pop up out of nowhere.
You may have asked yourself, "Why do I have anxiety, and what causes it?"
Feeling anxious is normal in challenging situations. Whether it's on the job, at home, or driving in traffic, life presents you with daily trials. Anxiety has no respect for geography; it can find you anywhere.
Most likely, you've faced anxiety before now, but it may not have been too difficult to get over. A stressful day at work is an example of a challenging situation. It can make your mind flustered, blood pressure increase, and stomach turn. When the day is over, the symptoms pass.
What happens, though, when anxiety hits you for no apparent reason?
There were no obvious triggers like work stress or domestic pressures. This feeling dropped in on you out of the blue and there are a few muffled indicators that can fly under the radar.
Here are three possible reasons why anxiety rears its ugly head, even when life is good and you're feeling great:
1. Your self-care routine is the culprit.
Often, the moments and days after experiencing anxiety are life-changing. You've probably experienced this phenomenon after a stressful time in your life.
If you're burning the candle at both ends, not getting enough exercise and not eating right, anxiety can pop up. Many people revamp their self-care routine for the better. Making a change to a healthier diet and getting more exercise can help keep anxiety at bay. Monitoring the stressful situations in your life also helps.
A deficiency of B12 and magnesium can contribute to increased anxiety. Sugars that break down quickly in the body also welcome anxiety. Dehydration can make any symptoms feel much worse as well.
Take note of what you're putting in your body and change your diet accordingly. Physical activity can ward off anxiety symptoms for hours. In addition, the effects of an exercise routine can be long-lasting.
These are positive changes that exemplify excellent self-awareness. As life goes on, your hypervigilance may grow lax. Most of the time this doesn't pose a problem. There are times, however, when anxiety seizes this opportunity to sneak into your mind and body with no warning.
Battling anxiety starts long before any symptoms can be felt. Taking preventative measures, in terms of self-care, is like staying a step ahead of this angst.
2. You have an unknown trigger.
By now you've become aware of what triggers anxiety in your own life. Triggers can run the gamut from meeting new people to driving on the freeway. Each person is different. Thus, each person has a unique set of mental reactions to situations.
As life changes, you also change. What was a trigger yesterday, may not be one today. Triggers can change within a matter of days, weeks, or months. There is no shortage of stressors in this fast-paced world and new triggers are formed every day.
The way to combat an unexpected trigger is to practice mindfulness or self-awareness. The better you know yourself, the fewer mental surprises you will experience.
3. Your stress levels have increased.
Much like a frog in increasingly hot water, stress has a way of creeping back into your life. As time goes on, you become accustomed to your level of stress. Little by little more finds its way into your life.
It's a brick-by-brick effect. By the time you realize what has happened, anxiety has silently built a wall between you and tranquility.
Again, mindfulness and self-awareness can help prevent this situation. Keep a mental check on the level of stress in your life.
Battling anxiety can seem like an uphill climb, especially when it visits unexpectedly. A professional can help you strategize a plan to keep a step ahead of anxiety.
Suzi Sena, EdS, LPC is an integrative, holistic therapist who helps people navigate challenges in life, relationship, and career challenges. To find her online, please visit CT Integrative Counseling.
Check out more great tips from YourTango:
- How to Explain Anxiety to People Who Always Ask What You Could Possibly Have to Worry About
- 30 Reasons People With Anxiety Can't Fall Asleep at Night
- 9 Ways Successful People Turn Their Anxiety Into Something Powerful