anxiety triggers

Do you suffer from anxiety? In this article, you will learn about the most common anxiety triggers that may be causing your panic attacks.

Some days the sun comes out, the weather is perfect and drama is almost nonexistent. But on any given day like this or any other, the atmosphere can change making every good thing turn bleak and nerve-wracking. In the blink of an eye, bright days can turn dark and hectic, filled with an unsettling paranoia and fear. This is called living with anxiety.

Anxiety is more common than you think. In fact, in the United States alone, 40% of the population suffers from this debilitating illness. And there aren’t always warning signals for when anxiety is approaching. Sometimes, it just happens, with no explanation or reason. That’s why it’s important to understand what causes anxiety, moreover, we need to know what triggers the episodes in order to understand patterns of the illness and treat it more effectively.

Let’s take a look at the most common anxiety triggers.


It isn’t easy to regulate your thinking, especially if you suffer from some sort of mental or emotional illness. However, if you can devise a way to alter your thought processes, you will notice a drastic change in the frequency of your anxiety attacks. Speaking of frequency, negative thinking can also lower your vibration which only attracts you to other low-frequency beings and entities. This will set the stage for anxiety. Although it’s hard to do sometimes, strive to think more positively.


Yes, I know how this sounds. How can both negative and positive emotions create anxiety? Seems like a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation. Well, there is a reason behind this confusion. I’m speaking of positive changes, to be exact. When we strive toward a goal and finally reach that goal, sometimes our chemicals in our body become imbalanced due to “good stress”, thus turning this “good stress” into “bad stress”. Even though these are happy times, too much excitement and emotion can trigger anxiety (As seen in Bipolar Disorder Mania).

Low Blood Sugar

The importance of blood sugar levels is generally associated with diabetes, but it can affect anyone. Low blood sugar can arise from dehydration, exhaustion and poor eating habits as well. Low sugar levels can then trigger anxiety attacks due to symptoms of this ailment, such as shaking hands.

Low Motivation

Not having a goal in life can lead to negative attitudes and even depression. Many of us know that exercise releases dopamine, a chemical which makes us feel positive and accomplished. Without activity, we lack this feeling and can give in to stress. This state of being can set the stage for anxious feelings or even attacks.

No Socializing

I am an introvert, so I can relate to this one. While it’s obvious that panic attacks can ensue due to much outside stimulation, the same can prove true with no social interaction. Being alone with our thoughts can lead to anxious feelings and worries. This is because our mind wanders creating scenarios and analyzing details from past events of actions. Sometimes we need to get out and about, talking to others and meeting new people. It’s a balance, really.

Handling Stress

An over-abundance of stress can be a huge trigger for anxiety. Sometimes life throws you problems on top of problems and it seems overwhelming. During these times, anxiety may rule, but during these times, you will also learn what does and doesn’t work as calming techniques. Remember to accept the stress that is coming your way and practice filing it away in an organized manner, dealing with some things now and others later. What you have failed to deal with presently, you can take out and deal with on your own time.


Some think that alcohol calms the nerves. This may be true for some, but for others, alcohol can be a stressor. With anxiety, alcohol can trigger attacks easier than calm them. It is best to stay away from alcohol if you deal with anxiety or at least refrain from drinking when feeling irritated.


If you cannot sleep, then you cannot let go of the past day’s activities. Thinking too much and reliving the day can lead to a panic attack. It’s easy to trigger anxiety when the brain is tired and struggling to work overtime anyway. Try drinking a warm soothing liquid before bed. Sometimes this gets you to sleep in no time elevating stress.

Unhealthy Foods

You would be amazed at how some foods can be anxiety triggers. An unhealthy diet not only deprives the body of nutrients but also denies the mind from being nourished. A malnourished mind can trigger anxiety. If you want to stop anxiety triggers from bad foods, try to avoid any processed, salty or highly acidic forms of nourishment. Mediterranean foods are some of the best choices for mental health.

Lights, Noises and Smells

Just as some lights, noises and smells can cause positive reactions, some of them can also be anxiety triggers. Loud sudden noises can easily distract and unnerve those who suffer from anxiety. Bright lights or flashing lights can also have the effect. As for smells, anything that takes us back to a certain negative event can trigger anxious feelings. It pays to become familiar with what works and does not work for you.

Now you are familiar with a few things that can trigger an anxiety attack. There may be other things which bring on stressful feelings and depression as well, and it’s best to understand how to deal with these things ahead of time. Anxiety doesn’t have to be a crippling mental illness. It only takes a little knowledge and wisdom.

If you suffer from anxiety, what soothes you during attacks? This the next step in dealing with anxiety and finding the best treatment to end the horror… and continue to destroy the stigma of mental illness.

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Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.