Stress, anxiety, and depression all take center stage as some of the most common struggles that people face in the modern era. Coping mechanisms are always a critical step in addressing this chronic cultural step. However, the entire process starts with acknowledging that there is a problem in the first place.
Understanding Your Anxiety Triggers
Before you address anxiety, you need to equip yourself with the knowledge to understand it.
What is Anxiety?
At its core, anxiety is that feeling of nervousness or unease that can cause you to worry about uncertain or unknown things. Given enough time and pressure, anxiety can eventually develop into a full-blown disorder. These are generally categorized into five different areas:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Also known as GAD, this is a chronic struggle of worrying about everyday problems.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This disorder is often called PTSD, and it is a condition that is marked by unregulated and extreme emotions caused by severe past stress.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Commonly referred to as OCD, this disorder manifests through obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions.
- Social Phobia: Also called Social Anxiety Disorder, this form of anxiety actively prevents others from engaging in social events due to the need to interact with others.
- Panic Disorder: As implied by the name, Panic Disorder plagues an individual with frequent, intense panic attacks.
Each anxiety disorder has its own manifestations and solutions. However, the life events that trigger them are often similar. These can consist of a huge variety of different factors and activities, from too much caffeine to a bad medication, relationship concerns, bad finances, or even something as simple as changing a routine.
If you know that you struggle with a form of anxiety, and you want to identify what your anxiety triggers are, you can do several different things to help you zero in on what it is that is setting off your worry so often:
- Start by challenging your inner dialogue to ensure that you’re being honest with yourself.
- Ask for feedback from those who you trust and are comfortable with.
- Find a therapist or counselor to help you unravel your thoughts and emotions.
- Look for obvious stressors in your life.
- Monitor what you’re eating, how much you’re sleeping, and if you’re exercising.
- Consider if there are past experiences that haunt your thoughts.
- Write your emotions, thoughts, and feelings down in a journal.
Coping Mechanisms for Anxiety
Of course, once you’ve found your triggers, you haven’t won the battle yet. You’ve merely identified the ground upon which it must be fought. When it comes to addressing chronic anxiety, many different coping mechanisms can come in handy, such as:
- Exercise: By getting more exercise, you release endorphins that can combat stress.
- Organization: Decluttering can have a huge impact on your overall stress levels.
- Sleep: If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can wreak havoc on your mental state.
- Aromatherapy: Try using a diffuser and some essential oils to calm your nerves.
- Diet: A healthy diet is ground zero for giving your mind the nutrients it needs to identify triggers and overcome stress.
- CBD oil: While the research has gone back and forth, CBD oil continues to be widely recognized as a way to address anxiety, both orally and when it’s inhaled.
- Mindfulness: Trying to practice mindfulness, gratitude, and thankfulness is a great way to overcome worry and be in the moment.
- Breathing: This can consist of anything from a few deep breaths to going through an entire muscle relaxation script.
This list is very diverse for a reason. Each anxious situation is very different. You could have trouble breathing while you’re getting ready for the day, or you could be having a panic attack at work. Having multiple coping tools ready is a great way to be prepared to address each trigger when it arises.
Understanding is the First Step
Anxiety is a greater concern than simply feeling stressed. Chronic anxiety is rooted in serious things such as deep habitual behaviors and scarring past experiences.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you must take steps to properly address the issue. This starts with acknowledging that there is a problem worth addressing in the first place. From there, you can equip yourself with as much information as possible. Remember, knowledge is your friend in the struggle against anxiety.
Identify what kind of anxiety you’re dealing with and then take time to find your biggest triggers. From there, find coping mechanisms that you can use in the specific situations that you’ve identified. By approaching your anxiety systematically, you give yourself the best chance to ultimately conquer it and restore a sense of peace to an overburdened mind.
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