Monday, July 16, 2007

10 Common Ways to Trigger an Anxiety Attack

There are many things we can do to work on our anxiety. The first is recognizing what it is that we do to ourselves that cause anxiety attacks. Sometimes we feel like they are completely out of the blue, but I bet if you thought about all of them long enough and figured out what you were doing before it happened, what you ate, who you were around, what you were thinking, etc. you would eventually figure out what your "triggers" are. Here are some of most common things we do to ourselves that can trigger attacks (in no particular order):

  1. Play the What if Game and other negative self talk- Setting Ourselves up for Failure
  2. Poor Self Esteem- thinking we're not worthy enough to be around others and be liked for who we are
  3. Put too much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect" for others or not to have an attack
  4. Focus on ourselves more than those around us
  5. Eat poorly, drink a lot of caffeine
  6. Do not exercise and or meditate regularly
  7. Full Exposure to our phobias instead of baby steps
  8. Do not get enough rest at night
  9. Hold in our feelings
  10. Do not focus on breathing deeply- I think I will focus more on this particular topic tomorrow as it is so helpful for calming you down when you feel initial anxiety symptoms.

If you are still not sure why you have anxiety attacks and you desperately want them to stop or at least reduce in their frequency or severity, take a look at these and see if you are giving in to any of these triggering behaviors, and make the needed adjustments.

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Anonymous said...

I suffered from this disorder in the past and listened to what psychologists had to say. They were in denial, particularly while describing this disorder as something that can be cured with various psychological exercises, thoughts, etc. They were never ready to acknowledge that anxiety/panic disorder is a serious disorder that not only destroys human lives, but also takes them. This disorder CANNOT be cured without (proper) medication. So my advice to current sufferers is to stop paying for courses promising to cure their health-threatening disorder; to stop wasting their money on psychologists (this is not about psychology, it's about chemical imbalance in brain and it MUST be treated with pills); to stop living in denial that this disorder will go by itself (it won't).

Aimée said...

Welcome to the blog i_won! I always love comments and I value your opinion.

I agree with you that anxiety disorders are a chemical imbalance and that medication will do wonders for you. I myself take them regularly. I do think however that even with medication you are still subject to attacks and general anxiety. Medication isn't the end all answer to stopping attacks. In addition to medication there are other coping strategies that can help to lower your anxiety. Nonetheless, I agree with you on it's importance and I think medication should be included on the list:

11. Not taking medication regularly.

Please come back soon with more suggestions.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that every day that passes by, I become anxious over almost anything and everything. In a recent research paper I wrote I discovered that this type of anxiety is pathological rather than "normal." The list above of actions that trigger anxiety are SO true. My research indicated that -some- medications may do more harm than good and that "talk therapy" can do wonders. I believe, however, that the majority of my anxiety is apparent in social situations and is triggered by negative self talk and low self esteem. I also STRONGLY believe that eating poorly contributes as well.

Anonymous said...

Overcoming anxiety is no small task.
It takes practice and a lot of hard work.

I used to have panic attacks once a week
due to my high anxiety, so I definitely feel
for you. Fortunately, I can do a lot more
for you than empathize.

By utilizing the techiques below, I was slowly
able to gain control over my anxiety and stop
my panic attacks from occuring. If you
exercise these techiques regularly, you too
will see great improvements in anxiety,
tension and stress.


As the anxiety creeps up, begin to count in
your head. Count 1,2,3,4 -- 1,2,3,4 -- 1,2,3,4
pausing on the dashes and so on.

You're not going to actually say or
even think the numbers. You're going
to breath the numbers.

Take a deep breath in through your
nose for the 1 and 2. Then take a
deep breath out through your mouth
for the 3 and 4. Practice this routine
for a few minutes a day until it
becomes an automated exercise for you.

Practicing really helps a lot.
Practice in a controlled environment.
I used to practice before bed. When
panic does hit, this self-defense
mechanism kicks in without effort.

Control Your Thinking:

When you have negative thoughts,
negative things will come into your
life. Conversely when you have positive
thoughts, positive things will come
into your life.

That's because thoughts steer the
direction of your life.

The same holds true in moments of high
anxiety. It's important during these
times to monitor your thoughts and
make sure you force calming ideas
and images into your head.

Nothing is really as bad as it seems and ten
years from now,this particularly stressful
situation won't exist - so control your
thinking to avoid your mind from falling
into a negative thought spiral.

As soon as you have a negative thought,
throw it out of your head and
counterbalance yourself with a
positive or optimistic thought.

This is a hard one, but after
you monitor your thoughts for
a week or two, you begin to think
more positive in general.

These two tactics helped me a lot.

Other helpful ideas are:
- Participat in Therapy
- Talk to someone you trust
- Exercise (cardio works best)
- Yoga
- Stretching
- Reading
- Meditation
- Take a hot shower
- Go for a Walk
- Listen to Music
For more Great Tips,

Anonymous said...

Even though the anti-impotence drug xanax yields certain side-effects like any other chemically synthesized medication, the benefits shown by the medicine far outweigh its side-effects. However, one of the striking xanax benefits is that along with treating moderate anxiety, nervous tension, depression as well as panic attacks, the medicine also provides effective treatment of anxiety due to neurosis and irritable bowel syndrome.

My Blog Info said...

Before this, i thought it's not normal to experience what I'm experienced. from time to time, i found lot of people like me, especially in the internet. I hate anxiety when it attack me. Sweat flow from my armpit, non-stop. It's such a shame for me. Now, I'm trying to stop it using recommendation collected from the internet.

Thanks God, I found this website!!

Benjamin DeFoor said...

It saddens me to see the first comment in this series about the use of medication. There is no amount of medication that your mind can't overpower. Your mind and spirit are more powerful than any kind of medication. If you were to pop 4 Xanex's but yet you still constantly worried and thought you were going to die you WOULD have a panic attack. Your anxiety is primitive protection that comes from your subconscious. It reacts to your thoughts just as an experience. Your thoughts are an experience that your body responds to by making feelings.
I have a free program for anybody who would like to try it on my website. It is christian based though.

anxiety remedy said...

Very well said! Busy lifestyle and day to day routine are the cause of anxiety attacks. It is very necessary to take time out for yourself and relax. Deep breathing exercises are excellent for anxiety and many people report positive results from meditation. Some other natural anxiety remedies to look into are St.John's Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, and Tryptophan.

sam said...

thanks for the post

Anonymous said...

If you are in the grip of erectile dysfunction, you can treat the disorder effectively by taking the anti-impotence drug Levitra in accordance with the doctor’s instructions but it is altogether a fallacy to assume that Levitra is capable of providing you immediate erections. Get in touch with the website and you would get to know that after taking Levitra, the medicine for treating erectile dysfunction, you need to be sexually stimulated to achieve erections necessary for satisfactory sexual intercourse.

Doctor Katie said...

This is such a wonderful post. So many times people do not realize that they have some power in controlling their anxiety. I was disappointed to see the first post on this page. Many people have success with medications such as Xanax, but it is important to note that many of these medical options are highly addictive. These Xanax and other addictions only cause more anxiety for patients who are affected. There is help out there but employing techniques found on this site will certainly help these patients. Thanks again!

Allison Rimland said...

Aimee - just stumbled upon your blog. Love it! Congrats on taking the steps to tame your anxiety beast. I think these trigger ideas are fantastic, as are the coping skills you have in other posts.

Allison Rimland, LPC
Conquering Anxiety

Aimee Stoddard said...

My name is Aimee, and I live in Utah, too. I've struggled with anxiety all of my life, but it has reached a breaking point over the last several months. I just started taking an antidepressant. I can't believe the difference in my mood literally overnight. I always thought my extreme negativity and anxiety were a logical response to reality. Apparently, not everyone suffers this way with such a depressed outlook. I'm glad I finally broke down and got some medical help.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is amazing. This sounds exactly like what happens to me, at different times. I knew I wasn't alone. Man, I love the Internet. Thank you for your post. I recently found your blog and love it.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any of this before I was a flair bartender showing in front of the people during school event feel like normal or little bit nervous,it happens January 05/13 After taking to much coffee, after a couple of hours something happen i got dizzy and panic and I can't control myself and now it happens every once or twice a week. don't know what to do, feel like I am new me.

david said...

Awesome blog. Thanks so much !

I'm off to some meditation now ... good night !

Anonymous said...

Everyone is different. Shame on anyone who makes sweeping negative statements about something that works, whether its med, therapy, or whatever. I suffered with it from age 16 until 45 when i started taking paxil. My career was very stressful and often dangerous however only had panic attacks away from work on off time. Weird. I'm sorry anyone else has panic symptoms but its nice knowing i'm not some sort of freak. Keep working on it. God Bess Jesus loves you.

Billy said...

Thank you Anxeit Attack Symptoms for their posting w/ the "1234.." Breathing exercise. It's really helped w/ my anxiety attacks & urge others suffering from anxiety attacks to give it a try. It really helps!
Thanks again & remember....1234..!

Anonymous said...

Well sertraline and alprazolam tremendously helped me and I haven't had a proper panic attack since starting the treatment. Btw I'm off the pills for 6 months now and I only take alprazolam very occasionally. BUT saying that psychotherapy is b.s. is not correct because it also helped me tremendously

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