Have you ever felt worried and tense seemingly out of nowhere? This feeling could be the result of little things triggering your anxiety without you knowing. Every day, minor stressors from daily life, the internet, and even the food you eat can add up to a pretty serious amount of anxiety. For instance, simply taking a break to enjoy a cup of coffee and catch up on Twitter news can leave you feeling more stressed than relaxed. People who deal with anxiety disorders should know about these triggers.
Characterized by intense and overwhelming worries and fears, anxiety disorders can interfere with everyday life and cause tremendous problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. Persistent worries get in the way of just about everything for people with anxiety disorders. But if you struggle with anxiety regularly, you're far from alone. Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults in the United States, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It's a prevalent and sometimes debilitating condition.
For many people, specific instances or places cause these fears, which are known as triggers. For instance, if a person is afraid of plane travel, then stepping foot in an airport could cause trigger feelings of anxiety. But triggers don't have to involve the biggest fears of your life; in fact, they can accumulate slowly over the course of a day. Here are some of the more common daily stressors to keep in mind.
1. Being Watched During A Task
Not everyone appreciates an audience. Sometimes, having people watch you complete daily tasks can be nerve-wracking, according to Overcoming Social Anxiety. Even if you're just grabbing a cup of coffee, the feeling of eyes on the back of your head can be unpleasant.
2. Breathing Shallowly
Deep breathing is often recommended as a way to calm anxious feelings, so it makes sense that shallow breathing is associated with feelings of stress and tension. In fact, rapid, uneven breathing can make you feel anxious, according to MedBroadcast. Being aware of your breath throughout the day may help you stay calm.
3. Consuming Too Much Caffeine
As a longtime coffee fiend, this fact pains me. But according to WebMD, caffeine can worsen anxiety because it acts as a stimulant, which doesn't always play well with anxious people.
4. Dealing With Free Time
Having too much time to think can let more anxious thoughts creep in, according to Calm Clinic. Staying busy with pleasant activities is sometimes a better option.
5. Drinking Alcohol
Yes, a drink or two can help some people socialize, myself included. But alcohol consumption can often trigger anxiety in people, according to I Heart Intelligence. For many people with anxiety, a night out can end with some disastrous worry and angst.
6. Eating Unbalanced Diet
The way nutrition impacts anxiety symptoms is still being studied. In general, howevere, it looks like a diet of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is better for anxiety than eating a lot of processed foods, according to Harvard Health Publications. Skipping meals altogether is another common anxiety trigger, because it causes that anxiety-producing dip in blood sugar, as further explained by Harvard Health Publications.
7. Feeling Dehydrated
Does it feel like every article about health and wellness yells at you to drink more water? This one is no different. Dehydration stresses the body, making it more vulnerable to anxiety symptoms, according to Calm Clinic. Keeping hydration levels up gives your body one less reason to feel pressured.
8. Following Constant News Coverage
Are you a dedicated news junkie? It might be bad for your health. Keeping up with the news can give you anxiety about things that don't affect you, according to Calm Clinic. It's smart to stay informed about recent events, but not to the point where you're hampered by worry about everything and everyone.
9. Getting Sucked Into Media
Getting drawn into your favorite social media site's never-ending feed is too easy. But it's bad news for people with anxiety. In particular, social media use can lead to feelings of personal failure for people with anxiety, according to Anxiety.org, because the sites encourage users to compare personal lives. Feeling like you don't quite measure up to peers can lead to many more anxious feelings.