There are a number of everyday things that can act as anxiety attack triggers for you. Knowing these can help you significantly avoid episodes of anxiety.
Every person experiences some level of anxiety at different points in life, such as before taking a test, while making an important decision, or when faced with a problem. While this is a completely normal emotion for all people, an anxiety disorder is something much more serious. It is a mental illness that can affect a person’s ability to control their feelings and thereby hamper everyday life. People with anxiety disorders experience an uncontrollable, persistent kind of worry about everyday situations, which though irrational, may be overwhelming and intense. The episodes of anxiety usually involve repeated periods of sudden fear, terror, and panic that peak within minutes, and these are termed as panic attacks.
Anxiety is among the most common psychiatric illnesses and affects adults as well as children. Currently, around 40 million adults in the United States suffer from various anxiety disorders. The symptoms of this mental condition may start during childhood or in the teenage years for some people, and continue throughout adulthood. Some of the common signs and symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous, a sense of powerlessness, an increased heart rate, sweating, hyperventilation (rapid breathing), a sense of impending doom or danger, trembling, difficulty in thinking about anything else apart from the current worry, and fatigue. There are several types of anxiety disorders, which include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, selective mutism, substance-induced anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Although the exact cause of anxiety disorders is not known, the mental condition can develop due to different reasons, which range from certain environmental factors to other medical issues. The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and doctors use different methods such as medication and psychological therapy to do so. However, as with many other mental illnesses, self-care can help you in dealing with and controlling the symptoms of an anxiety disorder to a considerable extent. One of the most effective ways to handle anxiety disorders is to be aware of what your triggers are, and avoiding these triggers can help you to cope with the symptoms better. You will most likely be surprised with some of the triggers of anxiety disorders, which include different everyday habits and lifestyle choices that you might have never considered to be problematic. Here are some of the surprising anxiety causes, knowing them can help you keep the symptoms in control.
Most of us rely on our morning cuppa (and often more throughout the day) to carry us through our daily tasks. However, regular or excessive intake of caffeine is something that you should watch out for if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder. In fact, ‘caffeine-induced anxiety disorder’ is an actual condition that has been recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a manual used extensively by mental health experts all over the United States. Caffeine is a stimulant, and this can result in a racing heartbeat and jittery effects in your body that are similar to those induced due to a scary event—not good news for those with anxiety. While a little bit of caffeine indeed helps you to focus, more than the recommended quantity can lead to feelings of nervousness, sweaty palms, fears of impending doom, and ringing in the ears—all symptoms of an anxiety attack.
This is something that almost all of us are guilty of now and then in today’s frantic and stressed lifestyle. However, an irregular routine and skipping meals in particular can trigger anxiety in people who have this mental condition. This happens because missing out on a meal or waiting too long to eat causes a drop in the blood sugar levels of your body. If it is prolonged, this drop can lead to increased feelings of anxiety like dizziness, confusion, shakiness, weakness, and difficulty in speaking. To avoid this anxiety trigger, stick to your meal times, and try to eat smaller meals at frequent intervals throughout the day. Keeping some healthy snacks with you can help in situations when your regular meal times might be delayed.
It is quite a well known fact that dehydration is not good for the body. But did you know that dehydration can affect your mind as well, and particularly cause trouble for people with anxiety? In 2009, a study on athletes was conducted by Tufts University, which revealed that athletes who were mildly dehydrated on a regular basis recorded feelings of anger, tension, confusion, and fatigue. However, these symptoms disappeared once they were rehydrated. Dehydration can make your heart race while also making you feel dizzy and lightheaded, all of which are sensations quite commonly experienced by a person during an anxiety attack. Staying hydrated is a vital step to ensuring that all the physiological functions of your body get underway in a smooth manner. So remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep dehydration at bay and thus control your nerves.
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