40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year. This makes anxiety disorders the most common type of mental illness in the United States.
If you have been suffering from anxiety, you are not alone.
While sometimes there are clear anxiety triggers, other times you might find that it is unclear what caused anxiety.
Typically, there are triggers that cause a person to have an anxious response. However, if an individual is not aware of their anxiety triggers.
Humans have evolved to have a “fight, flight, or freeze” response to danger. These are actions made by the sympathetic nervous system, which is an important part of our nervous system that helps us to function effectively. The sympathetic nervous system works in conjunction with the parasympathetic system. These two systems are sometimes referred to as the gas and brake pedals of our nervous system, respectively.
It is very energy consumptive for the sympathetic nervous system to be active. If your body is not allowed to recover or the sympathetic drive is chronically too high, the stress reaction can be harmful to your body.
When we have fear or anxiety is a natural response that our body is having to a perceived threat. However, since the modern world is relatively safe compared to our ancient past, many of the conflicts that we encounter are not actually can enjoy life. Since our body is not aware of this reality, it still responds to the stimulus that frightens us in this fight, flight, or freeze reaction.
Since this response is so inborn and because of the fact that anxiety can cause disassociation or confusion, you can start to see why it might be difficult to pinpoint the causes of anxiety in the moment.
What Are the Causes of Anxiety?
There are a variety of things that can cause anxiety including traumatic events, environmental factors, brain chemistry, stress, genetics, and more.
Additionally, there are a number of other anxiety triggers that you might have never considered. Let’s take a look at some of these surprising causes.
If you have been diagnosed with a serious health condition like a chronic illness or cancer, it can trigger personal and immediate feelings of anxiety. If you find yourself in this situation you want to be engaged and proactive with the doctor and you might consider talking with a therapist.
many different medications both prescription and over-the-counter can trigger anxiety symptoms. Medications like weight loss medicine, cough and congestion medications, and birth control pills include active ingredients that can trigger anxiety.
While having a cup of coffee in the morning can help you to wake up and get going, it might actually be making your anxiety worth or causing it.
Your blood sugar my job if you are skipping meals. This can make you jittery and can also make you anxious. It’s important to understand the relationship between what you eat and your mood.
Your patterns of thinking can have an impact on how you react to different events. If you are constantly caught in cycles of negative thinking about yourself that you might want to work with the therapist to overcome this process.
Other things that might cause symptoms of anxiety include:
- Financial concerns
- Social events or parties
- Personal conflicts
- Public performances or events
- Personal triggers
Sometimes just being able to understand the causes of anxiety can help an individual to feel better. Being self-aware and working to understand your anxiety triggers can help you to get a handle on your condition. Writing in a journal, working with the therapist, and working to be honest with yourself are all things I can help you to identify your triggers.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a number of common symptoms of anxiety that include:
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling restless, nervous, or tense
- Having an increased heart rate
- Having a sense of panic, impending danger, or doom
- Feeling tired or weak
- Having trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating or difficulty thinking about anything but the current worry
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Having the instinct to avoid anxiety triggers
There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and many more.
How to Be Less Anxious
There are a number of things that you can do to help you stop anxious thoughts.
You might consider learning some breathing exercises. This can help you to be sent your mind and slow down.
Additionally, it can be important to work to return to the present moment. When you are having anxiety, you are focusing on the future. By learning to refocus on the present, I can help you to calm down.
It can also help to simply start doing something. Any action that can interrupt your train of thought such as taking a walk, doing yoga, or putting a misplaced object away can help you to regain a sense of control.
Finding tactics that work for you can take time but is well worth it.
For some individuals, seeking mental health treatment might be the right path. You can learn more about our anxiety treatment program here.
Is It Time For You to Get the Help You Need?
This is a truly distressing thought. Luckily, there is help that can aid you in understanding what the causes of anxiety are and how to be less anxious.
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, however, people who suffer from anxiety disorders can find them to be crippling. If it is time for you to get help with your anxiety disorder, contact us today to learn more about our mental health treatment programs.