Anxiety Triggers and How to Handle Them

Anxiety triggers are anything that, well, triggers your anxiety.  You will eventually get to know them and hopefully learn how to handle them.  The best option is to remove them from your life, but that’s not always practical.  Certain things are unavoidable and that’s when you will need your coping tools.

anxiety triggers

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My Anxiety Triggers

~ My job.  I have to work.  This household cannot run on a one-person income.  I have no problem with working and I actually tend to be a workaholic.  But, my job outside of the home makes me want Xanax about 90% of the time that I am there.  I don’t know exactly why this is.  There are a lot of factors that could be to blame.  Maybe because I have worked there my entire adult life, including during my deepest stages of addiction.  Maybe because there are noises and smells there that just send me over the edge.  Maybe because certain topics come up there that I blame for one of the original causes of my overdose.  Whatever the case, I hate being there.  I feel horrible about this, but it’s true.  And I cannot just quit… that’s another long story.

  • How I Deal:  Not well.  I try to think positive and maintain the best mood possible.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.  This one is a work in progress.

~ Certain Smells.  I cannot handle certain floral-smelling lotions and perfumes.  They fill me with rage and I seriously go into full-on Hulk mode sometimes.  Not only do they give me a headache and nausea, but I get all kinds of panicky.  Exhaust from trucks make me sick and angry, too.

essential oils

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  • How I Deal:  Combat the nasty smells with good ones.  Dab some essential oil, like peppermint, eucalyptus or citrus on your wrists.  Those are scents that I find calming, I would suggest experimenting with your own.

~ Loud Noises.  This one is very strange.  If I am in a place that should be loud, like a mall or a bar, for some reason this doesn’t affect me in the same way.  But, if I am in a place that should be quiet and someone or something is loud, I can’t take it.  I want to crawl out of my skin.  This tends to make me really uncomfortable around people who are loud in general.

  • How I Deal:  Plug my ears.  Seriously, that’s all I have for that one!

~ Touching.  Personal space is a biggie for me.  Please refrain from all poking, prodding and surprise touching.  And if you tickle (*shudder) me… I cannot promise your safety.  I will give friendly hugs, but get ready for awkwardness.  My head always ends up in an armpit or plowing into the person’s chest.

  • How I Deal:  Speak up.  I have to tell people that I am not a touchy-feely person.  If they don’t listen at first, I stress to them how uncomfortable it makes me.
~ Public Events Alone.  With my blogs comes many invitations to fun events.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful sister who usually comes with me.  If it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t go.  When I think about going to something like this alone, my head spins and my vision becomes distorted.  My body can make it physically impossible to actually leave the house.
  • How I Deal:  Haven’t yet… still working on this one.

Don’t I sound like a ball of fun??  This is why I used to drink heavily and/or medicate myself all of the time!  I have more anxiety triggers, too, but those are the biggies.

One good thing is that once you get to know your anxiety triggers, you can better prepare yourself.  I have to mentally prepare for everything and it takes away all flexibility.  When someone throws a curveball at me, like “hey, can you work an extra day?”, my initial reaction is to freak.  I am trying to get better at “going with the flow”, but it’s hard.  Nothing is ever THAT bad.  Once it’s over I always kick myself for overreacting.  I try to remind myself of that beforehand to minimize my anxiety.

Do you have anxiety triggers?  If so, what are they?


  1. Wow, love this post! One of my largest is the noise too. That is so funny that I am fine with loud events if they were intended to be loud.. but otherwise.. wow it makes my skin crawl too!

    I am definitely all about my personal space, I usually try to avoid random hugs at all cost!

    Love the suggested ideas on how to cope! Much needed!

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