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How do I pinpoint where my anxiety stems from? I feel like it is so random.

5 Answers
Last Updated: 11/23/2020 at 6:06am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
January 28th, 2018 2:08am
Create a system with which you can document instances which make you anxious. Try writing down the different triggers/precursors which occurred before your anxiety spiked. When looking back on this list, you can try and identify common triggers, such as social situations, loud noises, new experiences, etc. From there, you can unpack what might be the origin of the anxiety as it relates to these situations. If there is no discernible pattern, it is likely that you may be experiencing Generalized Anxiety.
January 30th, 2018 10:48am
Learning your anxiety triggers can help you cope more effectively with anxiety. Every person with anxiety has different triggers, so it’s important to know what specific things make you feel anxious. Recognizing your triggers can help you make a choice in how to respond rather than simply reacting, and is an important first step to handling anxiety. Identify major life stressors. Anxiety can come on as a result of life stressors or life changes. Some common triggers include work stress or job changes (including loss of employment), pregnancy or giving birth, violence, trauma, or abuse, or the death of a loved one. Think about any life stressors you’ve encountered and how they affect or trigger your anxiety. Reflect on past experiences. Sometimes anxiety can occur as a result of a scary or traumatic experience. Your anxiety triggers may result from associations you have with a past negative experience. Think about any bad experiences you’ve had and how they have affected you. Think about what immediately preceded your symptoms. When you notice physical symptoms of anxiety, stop and remember what you were thinking, feeling, or doing right before. The same is true of recognizing emotional symptoms of anxiety. What thoughts or situations occurred right before the anxiety reached your awareness? Did you just get off the phone after a difficult conversation? Did you have a difficult commute to work? Were you feeling frustrated about something? By looking back to what happened right before the physical or emotional symptom, you can start to trace your triggers.
November 23rd, 2020 6:06am
There can be numerous causes that may trigger anxiety, and depending on the circumstances, it can be felt differently. I think one good way to better pinpoint the origins of your anxiety would be to make a list of the different times you've felt it so you can compare those instances together. You can write down, on a piece of paper for example, each time you have felt anxious. Take note of what each situation was like; describe what happened before (what led to the situation), during (the situation itself), and after (what were the consequences of the situation and how were they dealt with?) the event. It can help to include whatever emotions and thoughts you were going through during each of those moments as well. Of course, the more details you can recall, the better. This way, you can more efficiently compare and contrast the different cases you will have described. Any major common points or recurring elements are likely to be connected to your feelings of anxiety. From there on, you can judge if these details mean anything and act accordingly.
April 14th, 2020 4:22am
For me personally my anxiety tends to come as the result of a buildup of things throughout the day or week. I keep a journal on my phone and it allows me to look back on my week and see what things have had an impact on my mood. It might just be small things piling up, like homework or having less time to talk to my friends. I find that keeping my thoughts organized helps me a lot with identifying and managing my anxiety. Sticky notes are also good for writing something down quickly if you notice it affecting your mood. I hope this helps! 😊
December 4th, 2018 10:04pm
I always ask myself when do I get anxiety. Where am I? Who am I with and what is happening around me? If you see a pattern you can see where the anxiety comes from. For me, it was when people got disappointed in me or I did not fulfill expectations. I just felt like a big failure and my heart started racing and all these thoughts just run through my mind and I could not escape it. I had a lot of headaches around that time because my mind was always overworking every thought of what I was thinking and what other people might think.