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Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental health issue affecting American adults? Data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) notes that an estimated 18% of the adult population struggles with some form of anxiety disorder.
Though everyone’s anxiety acts up in different ways, some anxiety attack triggers are more common than others.
Below, you’ll find information on three of the most common triggers, as well as tips on how you can avoid or overcome these pitfalls. So take a deep breath and keep reading, because a calmer you is moments away.
1. Relationship Conflicts
Every interpersonal relationship, whether friendly or romantic, has its share of ups and downs. While conflict is common, it can cause severe anxiety in some people to the degree that they’ll sacrifice their own mental well-being to avoid a possible problem.
Sound familiar? If so, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
The issue is that those with anxiety often participate in what’s known as catastrophic thinking, where a problem is blown up to a degree that it becomes insurmountable.
You can de-escalate your anxiety, “And then what?” to follow your thinking to its natural conclusion. You can find some worksheets and a further explanation of decatastrophizing at this link.
2. Upcoming Events
You know that big social event you’re dreading? The one that makes your breathing shallow each time you think about it? You’re experiencing something called rumination.
Rumination is the process of dwelling on an idea to an unhealthy degree. Deep down, you know that the event won’t be that nerve-wracking. But due to your anxiety and rumination, you’re at risk of an anxiety attack just by thinking about the event.
You can try natural remedies like mindful meditation to help. Or, if you’d like to try something a bit more medicinal, medical marijuana is proven to give anxiety relief.
3. Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)
Our brains are efficient machines. Once you’ve made a habit of something, they’re happy to take over. This can backfire, though.
Anxiety and negative thinking patterns go hand-in-hand. And, after a while, the brain starts recognizing these patterns and making these thoughts almost instantaneous, eventually breaking down self-esteem and causing frequent panic attacks.
The good news is that you can combat ANTs by understanding the cyclical nature of thinking. Just like we talked about in the first section, the trick is to challenge your thoughts.
It takes some time, but once you’re in the habit of it, it’ll change your life.
Learn to Spot These Anxiety Attack Triggers
Did you notice a pattern here? The most common anxiety attack triggers all have to do with the brain.
While there isn’t an easy, quick solution, changing your thought patterns and enrolling in therapy can make a world of difference. If you’re struggling, consider reaching out to a mental healthcare professional who can help you deal with your underlying anxieties.
And if you’re interested in learning more about mental health or natural remedies, make sure to check back with our blog for more great content!