Triggers

I don’t always know why I’m anxious or what causes me to have an anxiety attack. I know that there is not always a clear answer and that there are probably reasons I’ll never figure out but there are some triggers that I am aware of and really try to avoid. I realize that some of my triggers cannot be avoided thus causing me to deal with that anxiety when and if it appears. Here are some of my anxiety triggers that I am well aware of/

1.      Not getting enough sleep at night. If I am unable to sleep or go through a short stint of insomnia I start to get anxious, which in turn prevents me from falling asleep.  This causes a vicious cycle for me. There are nights this happens to me and I only sleep for 3 or 4 hours.


2.      Being in a room with many people and not knowing any of them. Being in a room with people I do know. As I mentioned before I feel like I am starting to have some crowd anxiety. I have yet to put a finger on what exactly happens to me when I have these episodes. I also don’t have a pattern figured out because it’s not something that happens every single time I am in this situation.


3.      Clutter. If you came to my home you would probably not believe me when I say clutter gives me anxiety. I try really hard to keep my living room/dining room, kitchen, bedroom, laundry rooms and bathrooms clutter free. I generally succeed at this but at times I do get lazy and my house keeping skills tend to slip. Our spare bedroom is what gives me the most anxiety in the world. Shortly after we moved my mom came and spent some time with me unpacking and helping me organized. All of that hard work has long been undone. It’s probably “not that bad” by most people’s standards but going in that room (and even thinking about it right now) gives me immediate anxiety and makes me want to throw things and break things. It is terrible. My husband does not completely understand how much clutter gives me anxiety. Most of the things in that room are his and he is a champ at taking something out and NEVER putting it back where it goes (yes Matthew, if you’re reading this it is THAT hard on me). I try to take deep breaths and go spend a few minutes at a time in there putting  things away and organizing, but a few minutes is just that….5-10 minutes tops. It’s a terrible feeling and I wish I could make it easier on myself and others. Ugh.


4.      Being late. I think the latest I have clocked into work since I started was 8:58 and I’m 98% sure I probably had an anxiety attack over it. I’ve always been one to be on time or early for everything. (I get that from my mother, and I’m the only one in the family that got that wonderful trait!) But I think this needing to be on time issue has gone to a new level. I feel like my entire day is going to be completely screwed up if I am not AT LEAST 5 minutes early for work. It’s so bad that if I don’t think I will be able to park in our parking ramp and make the 2.5 block walk to clock in by 8:55 I will park right outside of our office, clock in, and then go park my car in the ramp. It is SO stupid. And I know that. But there is seriously something wired in my brain saying that I HAVE to be early. When I take clients to appointments I always make sure we are early as well. If someone is causing us to be late I tend to freak out a little bit inside. This is something that people tell me will change when I have kids and then I will wish I could be on time for things. I really would love to change this about myself and not be some time-anxious.


I think I’ll stop there for now. There are many more triggers that I have but sometimes it’s best to not bring them all up at one time. I’ve been having a rough go at things today and would love to have a peaceful evening at home tonight. What anxiety triggers do YOU have?

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