managing anxiety through identifying triggers.
Anxiety certainly isn’t something to glamourise, but acknowledging its day-to-day impact on us is important, particularly if you find yourself triggered by certain events or situations.
Managing anxiety, while it can be an absolute pain, isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s all about recognising signs and symptoms within ourselves, and developing healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for when these arise.
*Please note that I do write this as somebody who has sought professional help and who manages these things alongside medication.
A trigger can be defined as words, thoughts, situations or other that conjure up uncomfortable emotions, feelings, thoughts, or physical symptoms such as heart palpitations. Triggers can’t always be avoided but they can be recognised on an individual basis. It’s important that triggers are validated rather than deemed unworthy of recognition.
So, how do you identify a trigger?
As frustrating as it may feel, reflection is a powerful tool for studying how we reacted or felt during a certain event or situation. Whenever a situation makes you feel uncertain, ask yourself why? Addressing these feelings and thoughts can be distressing and so it’s key that you seek advice from a friend or professional if you feel unsure.
use a journal.
The mind can be overwhelming on its own let alone when we try to process difficult emotions and triggers, so why not let the pen do the talking? This can actually help in your journey of processing as you become present and mindful of the words you are writing.
Anxiety can affect a person in a variety of ways and the experience can be on an individual basis. When addressing a trigger of anxiety it can feel natural to instantly judge and analyse it - don’t. Don’t waste time being your own worst enemy.
Once triggers are identified, how we can look after ourselves and prevent our thoughts from spiralling becomes a lot clearer and easier to manage. Often, we associate self-care with being a notion that happens after we reach a stressed-out point. But what if we approached self-care as a preventative measure?
Meditation, empowering talks and breathing exercises are preventative measures I take each day. They make me feel good, but they also act as mechanisms for starting each day in a positive, and confident mindset. These don’t work instantly every time, and like anything managing the anxiety that creeps up is a process. It can be hard and even draining. And so, the number one thing to take from this is to just be kind to yourself. If your body needs rest from battling a troubled mind, let it. If you need some chocolate after being drained of energy from a long cry, treat yourself.
*Please note that I am not a professional and the topic discussed is based on personal experience and research. Professional help should always be sought before trying to manage distressing symptoms.