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Everyday Things That Trigger Anxiety

By Sara Butler

Mental illness is something that is not understood well by most people because it’s an invisible illness much of the time. Someone you know may be struggling with something such as anxiety but you could have no idea of their struggle. Anxiety can be triggered by things that many people would consider to be common and everyday things or normal events. Here are a few things that can trigger anxiety in people that you may be unaware of.

What is Anxiety?

Every person can feel anxious, frazzled or restless, but experiencing these things constantly might mean you have an anxiety disorder. Doctors generally diagnose an anxiety disorder in people who display some of the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Constant worry
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent headaches

If you experience these things for more than six months and there’s no reason you can think of its cause, then you should speak with a healthcare provider about it.

Caffeine

The reason that cup of coffee gets you going in the morning is it’s a stimulant, and that can be a bad thing if you have anxiety. The jittery effects of caffeine can be similar to an event you find frightening and then can stimulate your fight or flight response to a situation. If you suffer from anxiety attacks this can make it worse, or even trigger an attack to begin with. So, you might want to cut back on your caffeine if you find it’s making you feel worse

Food Additives

Some people report severe mood swings or anxiety after they eat sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup or aspartame, and foods dyes. Even food flavoring such as MSG can serve as a trigger of anxiety for some people. Researchers are still trying to figure out how food additives may impact mood but it is known they are neurotoxins that can increase symptoms in some people. So, if you suffer from anxiety, you should look for links between what you eat and how your feel.

Dehydration

A study out of Tufts University found that there’s a connection between mood and hydration. People in the study who were mildly dehydrated reported more feelings of confusion, anger, fatigue and being tense than participants who were adequately hydrated. It makes sense that if your body is out of balance and not running smoothly because it’s dehydrated that it may make symptoms of anxiety worse. Yet another reason why staying hydrated is really important to your overall health!

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