We are continuously dealing with increasing stress triggers in our lives, whether in the office, through social media, or through daily life activities. Due to these triggers, feelings of worry and fear are becoming prevalent in society, causing an increase in anxiety in patients. It is important to recognize that anxiety not only disturbs the mental health of the person but also has a profound impact on one's physical health. This blog will provide information about the topic of anxiety, some of the common triggers that can increase this situation, and strategies you can adopt in order to deal with this issue.
Anxiety is seeing increasing rates in the worldwide population. But it is mostly misunderstood.
For simple understanding, anxiety is a feeling in which the patient fears, experiences uneasiness, and worries a lot.
It can manifest itself in various forms. Some major forms of anxiety are social anxiety, panic disorders, and anxiety disorder. Each of these types has different symptoms.
To treat anxiety, no one medication or therapy can work for all, and it needs a personalized plan to cure the issue.
Next, we will dive into some of the common triggers that can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety.
A stressful situation is considered a common trigger among anxiety patients. Stressful situations can arise anywhere at work, school, or in relationships and can cause a person to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Anxiety patients must take a step back and objectively assess the situation to avoid getting triggered by the symptom.
Most of the time, the anxiety disorder is linked to some sort of past event that left a mark on the person's thoughts. These can include physical or emotional abuse, traumatic accidents, or natural disasters.
It is important to understand that these were past events, but they can really worsen the patient's condition. So precaution is necessary.
Mostly social pressures and family expectations can be a big trigger for anxiety. This can be as simple as feeling pressure to fit in with a certain group of people. It can also be manifested as having unrealistic expectations of oneself by family members.
As a patient, you must recognize these pressures and try to find ways to cope with them to reduce anxiety.
Sometimes environmental factors are also a trigger. Environmental factors include noise, crowds, or other sensory stimuli.
Explaining with the help of an example, in case a person who is frightened by heights may experience intense anxiety when standing on top of a tall building. Moreover, if someone is sensitive to noise, he can get triggered by loud noise or music.
Finally, the last common trigger that affects many is the use of drugs. Substance abuse is another common trigger, and drug use, like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and opioids, have been linked to increased anxiety levels in some individuals.
In cognitive technques to manage anxiety, cognitive resturcturing is a potent method. This technique is used i cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and it relieves feelings of anxiety. Cognitive restructuring is about identifying your negative thoughts that are causing anxiety and then challenging them. With the process in place, various people can learn the process of recognizing which thoughts are the ones that are leading to anxious feelings, and then they can replace them with more realistic or helpful ones.
Explaining it with the help of an example, imagine that you have a presentation tomorrow. You are getting thoughts that the presentation will not go well, and it is making you anxious. In cognitive restructuring, we realize this thought and then change it to something like, I will deliver a good presentation tomorrow, or I have prepared well for the presentation, so it will go well. With this restructuring, you feel more confident and give a good presentation.
Another process to manage anxiety is relaxation techniques. These techniques involve deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, mindfulness meditation, and yoga.
By regularly spending some time doing all these practices, you can control and balance the hormones in your body, promoting feelings of calmness and relaxation.
To cope with anxiety and manage your disease, you can carry out some basic self-care practices, including mindfulness. It is about focusing on the present moment and being aware of one's thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without judgment.
By practicing mindfulness, one can easily cope with stress and anxiety as he is fearing less about the future and living in the moment. And as he lives in the moment, he will do things that will help him out in the future, eliminating that fear element.
Exercise is one important self-care strategy. Physical health can foster better mental health as both are well coordinated and connected. Exercising helps reduce stress hormones while releasing endorphins that improve mood.
With a consistent exercise routine, your energy levels increase, and the overall sleep improves, boosting the sleep-wake cycle.
What you eat reflects on your body. As you try to incorporate healthy eating habits and eat healthy foods into your life, you will see a change in your overall mood and energy.
For anxiety management, it is recommended to opt for a personalized plan.
The first step in developing a personalized plan is to identify the triggers that cause your anxiety. As we have discussed the types and variety of triggers above, you can shortlist them to which one affects you the most.
The next step in the process is developing strategies for managing them. You must look for strategies you believe can benefit you. These strategies include lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or medication.
After triggers identification and strategies, the last step is evaluating and adjusting. These two things are really important. You might feel that this thing will work for you, but as you try to incorporate these strategies into your life. You can evaluate how effectively it works for you, and then adjust your plan accordingly.