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What triggers random anxiety and panic attacks when nothing is going on?

230 Answers
Last Updated: 12/29/2021 at 10:26pm
What triggers random anxiety and panic attacks when nothing is going on?
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Smita Joshi, BA Psychology / MA / Advanced EFT Practitioner


I am empathetic with my Clients going through emotional overwhelm and passionate in helping them. I am supportive, openminded & interactive in helping my clients.

Top Rated Answers
November 23rd, 2015 2:33am
I believe random anxiety and panic attacks get triggered when you are not occupied with something. For example If you drive a vehicle and not steer it, it will go out of course, so similarly with our brains, we have to keep ourselves occupied to prevent unnecessary thinking.
May 16th, 2015 4:44pm
Panic attacks are complex! In general, they are caused by stress, fear, and anxiety. However, they can occur under situations where you do not feel anxious or afraid! For one, physical activity and drugs that increase the activity of your autonomic nervous system can trigger panic attacks. For example, if you go to the gym and exert yourself a lot, your heart rate kicks up and your breathing accelerates. This can bring about a panic attack, especially once you have become overly sensitive to those sensations. Drugs like caffeine can have a similar effect on your body; they increase your heart rate and can bring you to an altered state of mind similar to that of exertion. The bottom line is that if you have a history of panic attacks, you will be hypersensitive to anything that increases your heart rate, changes your mental sharpness, causes stomach discomfort, etc.
February 12th, 2017 8:10am
For me, when nothing is going on, my anxiety tends to be triggered by my thoughts and the things that go through my mind, whether it be something I'm stressed about or a memory that makes me upset. Actually, anxiety for me tends to be heightened when nothing is going on because the absence of a distraction gives my mind more freedom and time to think and wander, which eventually leads to anxiety and in some cases an anxiety attack.
March 16th, 2015 4:26am
For me, it's the thought that I've missed something. I may feel like nothing is going on, that I have it all under control, but then I might get the sneaky feeling that I missed something I desperately needed to get done, and start feeling anxious again.
April 6th, 2015 3:15am
If there doesn't seem to be any cause for being anxious or on edge (i.e. a big crowd you have to speak in front of, or a bear in your backyard) then the anxiety and panic COULD (not certainly) be caused by Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you can't seem to identify what the worry is, and have trouble concentrating, and falling/staying asleep, talk to a professional for their opinion. Don't self-diagnose.
February 23rd, 2016 7:18pm
Random anxiety can be brought on by a number of things that we may or may not be acknowledging consciously. I call it the "snowball effect" when all the small stressors roll together and become a large one that can be overwhelming. This can be the cause of anxiety and panic attacks as well as other things.
April 11th, 2015 3:14am
There may not be anything going on at the moment, but instead there may be some thoughts that trigger these anxiety or panic attacks.
November 10th, 2015 3:15am
Sometimes it's your subconscious mind acting up - it may sense danger that isn't there, or feel uneasy about this environment. Try keeping a mood journal that details your emotional journey, this way you can manage and understand your condition.
September 25th, 2016 4:12am
I think a fear that things are too peaceful at the moment and the worry that something will come in and disrupt that can cause anxiety even when it seems like nothing is going on.
September 24th, 2016 6:15am
Anxiety/panic attacks are due to chemical imbalance in brain. In that case, even minor stressors are causing you to feel severely stressed. You shouldn't feel guilty about having them, but you should learn to manage your anxiety levels so you can live a better and more fulfilling life.
October 16th, 2016 12:35pm
overthinking, socialising, nervous and afraid of judgements and embarassments, sometimes being too anxious about the surroundings
March 16th, 2015 4:08pm
Well, often it might be the fear of having anxiety and panic attacks, though there might be many subconcious things happening that you might not notice are triggering.
January 26th, 2016 12:56am
Random anxiety can happen to anyone who suffers from panic attacks. I will suddenly get the feeling that I might have a panic attack at any moment. If this is a feeling you get, it's worth seeing a therapist or talking to someone on 7 Cups about your anxiety.
September 29th, 2016 3:44am
Yes. When that happens to me I focus on my breathing. My body is feeling stress and I just tell myself I'm having a panic attack. The sooner I recognize it, the easier it is to control
January 5th, 2016 9:19pm
When someone is left alone or in a small room can cause panic attacks or anxiety. Or them waking up in the middle of the night.
September 22nd, 2015 11:15am
Nothing really. I have had them before and most of the time I had no idea why. It was usually stress and worries that caused them though. A lot of stressing out and worrying was the main cause for panic attacks.
May 1st, 2015 3:23pm
There's something all the stiuations (where nothing is going on) that is present, maybe it's a trgger you've never noticed but it's there in all those cases (it could be something physical or something that you can't touch like a thought or an emotion/feeling)'s just there...find it and you'll find out why.
November 9th, 2016 9:51pm
There is something going on. There always is. You may not know it, just STOP take a breath, look at your surroundings and your thoughts. Label it. Tell yourself it will be okay because it will be.
April 12th, 2017 6:20pm
There could be underlying things that are causing the anxiety, such as something bothering you in the back of your mind. But there are some types of anxiety that don't necessarily come with a cause, and it's not abnormal to suddenly feel anxious and have no idea why. Sometimes, it doesn't matter why, all that matters is the steps you take to help yourself through it.
May 30th, 2015 2:40am
Chemicals in the brain causing a you to go into fight or flight mode. And remember the smallest thing you might not even notice is the underlying reason for the attack. Therapy can sometimes help find these triggers
May 9th, 2016 10:54am
Memories can trigger some attacks, those lingering traumatic experience. Even if you try to not think, it still comes back to you. So those can be some triggers.
October 21st, 2016 7:08pm
There doesn't have to be a reason to experience anxiety and panic attacks. Unfortunately, sometimes they just happen. Since you can't always avoid them, it's good to be prepared with some coping techniques like mindful breathing.
February 24th, 2017 4:57pm
When nothing is going on, your mind is empty and thoughts that are unwanted may arise. This mainly causes/triggers random anxiety and panic attacks. Because you start thinking about things you shouldn't or don't want to or can't. It's a human tendency sort of thing.
October 9th, 2016 8:49am
Panic attacks usually have an underlying cause. It might be subconscious depression, self-esteem issue etc. They may manifest like this. It's wise to treat anything that brings you worry or sadness in life.
November 30th, 2015 4:47am
Anxiety is a basic reaction evolutionary wise to responding to attacks. In our society it's not always needed, other times it is useful. But the main point is, sometimes you get anxiety when you feel like it's neccessary but infact nothing is going on, this triggers because some people are more prone to anxiety over to other people. Normally these people that are prone to it over others, have experienced something tremendous in the past or even have unnecessary fears in daily life, that can be helped with either psychotherapy or medication to decrease anxiety levels.
September 23rd, 2016 5:12am
Everything can trigger it. Whether it's a certain person who said something that made you feel uncomfortable or reminded you of an unfavourable past experience, or simply the stress of work/school load.
September 22nd, 2016 2:37am
Sometimes we need distractions to keep our minds from going to negative places, which leads to anxiety and panic attacks, so it's totally understandable if someone feels extra anxious for seemingly no reason while there are no distractions, even if there is not a specific problem. Some people are so used to anxiety that a lack of problems to be anxious about can cause them to feel anxious because they are in unfamiliar territory. The next time nothing is going on, try to anticipate future restlessness by planning events or activities for yourself!
September 23rd, 2016 2:28am
A lot of the time it's subconscious and you only realize until the panic attacks occur and you become overwhelmed. Anxiety can be unexplained until you look back and think about your day and what's happened.
October 2nd, 2016 3:09pm
talking about a sad past or ther mention of certain names in a certain way it hurts to remember and flares me up
November 4th, 2016 5:56pm
Just the thought that something could go on later, the fear of something go on later, the fear causes anxiety, and also the fear of having fear.