Updated: Apr 5
Anxiety is intense and persistent worry about everyday situations. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders are incredibly common. But as frustrating as it can be to have these feelings meddling with our lives all the time, it’s even more annoying when you can’t seem to point out the reason for it.
I’ve been a victim of anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’ve had my reasons in the past but now, I don’t see a reason why I keep feeling anxious at any given time without even any triggers. My life’s going well, I’m working on things I’ve always wanted to work on, I have great friends and my family supports me in everything that I do. Although I still can’t stop worrying about the future and the fear of the unknown still haunts me, I think it’s completely normal for any person to feel that way. There are times when I’m hanging out with my friends, working or doing nothing in particular and there is absolutely nothing that would normally trigger my anxiety but I start to panic and feel like something’s wrong. I start to contemplate all that I’ve done in the past and feel like it’s wrong that I’m happy or that I don’t deserve this. Even though it is for a few seconds, it’s annoying and scary that these “few seconds” majorly constitute a huge part of my day.
There are so many tips and tricks on how to calm your anxiety if you have a general anxiety disorder or panic disorder but how do you deal with your anxiety when there’s an unknown trigger that is producing this response. What do you do about this “no reason anxiety”.
I started to read about this and found out that feelings of anxiety do not surface without a reason or a trigger. A trigger can be an event or a thought that provokes an anxious response. And the first step in dealing with this type of anxiety is to identify its triggers.
Anxiety often stems from feelings of being overwhelmed and not being able to handle life and it is often triggered by how well we cope with the demands, expectations and hopes of other people, be it our friends, family, teachers, or the society at large. But anxiety is not triggered by what these people say or do; it is triggered by what we tell ourselves about it and how we deal with it.
Whenever you start feeling anxious without reason, go over the events of the past few minutes or the events of that day. Go over the recurring thoughts that you’ve been trying to escape. Think of all that has been happening in the past few weeks or months that is disturbing you. We may not know our triggers all the time and it can be very difficult to identify them, but these triggers provoke responses that are manifested in various forms. Change in our behaviour, unusual responses to a situation, unusual dreams, all these can tell us a lot about what it is that is triggering our anxiety.
There are a lot of other common factors that might trigger anxiety such as;
• Negative thinking or negative self-talk
• Skipping meals or not eating on time
• Conflict in relationships or at work.
If you find it difficult to identify your triggers, you can use alternate methods; writing a journal could be helpful because when you jot down your emotions on a piece of paper, not only do you release your stress but also you can identify where your anxiety is rooting from.
Try to avoid second thoughts and be honest with yourself. Anxiety tends to produce negative self-talk. Negative self-talk can cloud the actual triggers worsen the anxiety. Being honest with yourself can make it easier to identify triggers.
You can always seek help from your friends, family, someone you trust or a therapist. Some anxiety triggers can be difficult to identify or sometimes the feelings of anxiety cannot be dealt with alone. Mental health specialists are trained to help you deal with such situations.
Once you’ve identified your triggers and found out your weak spot, you can start working on it. Simple words of reassurance can go a long way. Tell yourself that you will overcome this, tell yourself that you’ll figure it out and most importantly, tell yourself that you’re tougher than your anxiety.