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

219 Answers
Last Updated: 04/02/2021 at 3:45pm
What triggers random anxiety and panic attacks when nothing is going on?
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Moderated by

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
June 14th, 2018 1:10am
The best place to start is with the invisible triggers of anxiety. Invisible triggers are possible triggers that you may not even know is happening. A great example is clutter. Some people (not all) start to experience much more anxiety when their homes have more clutter because they associated cleanliness with control. That's an invisible anxiety trigger, because the person may not even be aware that their home is affecting them until it's cleaned. Other invisible triggers include: Too Much Time to Think Lack of Goal Setting Health and News Loss of Coping Anxious Thoughts Panic attacks are so unusual that they can be caused by fear of panic attacks - or simply by thinking about your panic attacks. They can be caused by exercise, by dehydration, and by nothing at all. The first panic attack often comes at a time of considerable stress, but some people have been known to get their first panic attack for no apparent reason. Once that first panic attack occurs, common triggers include:Chest pains. Lightheadedness, Heart palpitations (rapid heartbeat that you can feel)Trouble taking a deep breath. Oversensitivity to physical sensations. Health fears
June 15th, 2018 12:57am
That would be your brain trying to say that there is something there when there isn't. It's quite common when dealing with panic attacks and anxiety. Maybe look and see what your emotions are doing. Are you feeling over-stressed? Are you feeling down? Just out of sorts? This may be a factor playing into your triggers.
June 16th, 2018 2:24pm
Trained thought behavior patterns in a circular negative sense can cause severe anxiety. The dreaded overthinking pattern. Dwelling on the past. Paranoia.
June 16th, 2018 8:31pm
In my experience, thinking about something stressful or scary is a possible cause of a panic attack. Sometimes I'll be sitting in my room or on a couch and I'll start to think about something, and it will give me so much stress I'll start to hyperventilate and have a panic attack.
June 17th, 2018 6:09pm
A lot of the somatic symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety are natural body processes - e.g. feeling a bit hot or sweaty, the heart beating a bit faster etc and therefore sometime if these processes are happening naturally the anxious mind can misinterpret them as signs of panic, causing the anxious reaction. However, with treatment and working through anxious thinking, the association between these natural bodily changes and anxiety and fear can be broken down - consequently causing panic attacks to stop or at least reduce in quantity.
June 20th, 2018 7:52pm
Sometimes, its just past memories. Like it took a long time to react to a problem that happened in the past.
June 23rd, 2018 8:05pm
In my personal experience I found that even when nothing was going on in that very moment, I was holding on to prior situations/stress that I did not deal with. I would try to bury it and pretend it wasn't there, but it would still be lingering in the back of my mind and before I knew it, I was having a full blown panic attack without knowing why.
June 27th, 2018 8:52pm
There’s always something going on in your head. Even if something isn’t going on physically, in real life, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening in someone’s head
June 29th, 2018 4:24am
Well, that could be any number of things. You could have a random thought of something that happened to you a while ago, which happened to me in the middle of history class. Or you could venture into the land of what if, don’t go there. That place is living hell. The world of what if is panic attacks galore.
July 6th, 2018 2:50pm
I had this same problem and it's what you call negativity don't allow yourself to think negative try and think positive and it will ease the panic attacks and anxiety
July 28th, 2018 7:12pm
What can cause an anxiety or panic attack with nothing going on can be as easy as over thinking any situation that really doesn't need a thought process. If you are not occupying your free time, you'll need to find a hobby of interest or maybe regular exercises could help. Many people don't like to admit what's going on because they think they might get judged by someone or anyone which can also cause the attacks. There's many reasons that can cause anxiety attacks but one person can't tell you everything that's why 7cups it's very helpful. You get different insights with real people that comments on their techniques on how to handle the situation. Sometimes you will need professional help eventhough a person would not like to admit it.
July 29th, 2018 10:09am
it may be a negative event you have been experiencing in the past or worries about the future so write your feelings on a piece of paper and then tear that piece off
August 2nd, 2018 6:00am
Most panic attacks come from anxiety which can come in severe cases where you break out into a panic attack
August 2nd, 2018 11:42am
In my experience sometimes the trigger surfaces within our subconscious, eliciting panic and fear without cause.
August 10th, 2018 6:09am
Based off of personal experience, I've found when I am settled that's when my mind begins to overthink. Sometimes, during fight or flight, my mind doesn't have time to be anxious. It's when I'm finally relaxed that I begin to think of everything. I overthink, and therefore send myself into anxiety/panic attacks.
August 12th, 2018 2:04am
The brain is a weird place, sometimes being somewhere or seeing something that you saw when you had an anxiety attack can trigger a random attack, because your mind analyzes the smallest details while you’re in an anxiety attack.
August 12th, 2018 6:13pm
Thinking too much triggers mine. Being alone gives me a lot of time to think. I don't like being alone for long periods of time but I am slowly learning how to enjoy my own company.
August 14th, 2018 11:43am
Check out the it’s pretty informative in regards to the way the anxiety mind works tricking you to fear when there is no real reason even in panic attack mode. Hope that helps.
August 15th, 2018 3:41am
It’s a physical involuntary response the body has to a build up of suppressed emotions about things that have negatively impacted our hearts and minds.
August 15th, 2018 6:28pm
i am not a doctor, but panic disorders where random anxiety and panic attacks happen without triggers do exist, if you feel you may be experiencing this please go to your doctor if possible, as they will be able to help figure this out and get you support
August 23rd, 2018 5:45pm
Even if you don't feel stressed in the moment, a few things could trigger anxiety. I remember I had a serious breakdown, and for a month I wasn't able to do what I had to. In that month, I visited so many doctors to find out what was wrong with me, but all the tests came out negative. I realized that it was nothing physical; it was mental. I remembered that, before this breakdown occurred, I was in serious stress mode. I was in my junior year of high school, so every single grade mattered a lot to me because I had to make my transcript look good, as well as extracurriculars and community service. I knew that I wasn't taking time out for myself at that time because I thought I was okay. That mental breakdown was a wake-up call for me; I needed to take a break. If you're like me, you can't expect to run yourself dry without having any leisure time. The most important thing is that you learn to balance your activities and manage your time.
August 31st, 2018 1:50pm
For me- Negative Thinking , Thinking something bad is going to happen so that will set off anxiety then escalate into a Panic Attack, Something unexpected pops up. Someone shows up at the door that was invited, Unexpected death in the family or friend. By saying Nothing is going on would be very hard because there is always something going on so really random for me doesn't exist I am always expecting something to happen so I am on edge all the time waiting for something to trigger me worse so I don't know what a day with anxiety would be like. It happen out of the blue but really its always in the sub conscious mind.
September 8th, 2018 11:49am
When someone has a panic disorder, they are constantly in a state of panic because of the stress hormones released by the body. High levels of stress hormones in the body causes the panick attack. The physical changes may start an hour before the attack. -They can get a panic attack even when they are not doing nothing. -This can happen due to major life events and their inability to cope up with stress, consuming stimulants like caffeine, cocaine or any other health conditions like adrenal tumour, Cushing's syndrome and sometimes it's random( combination of many factors). So, if you're experiencing random anxiety attacks, 1. Go to a hospital to rule out any health issues. 2.Relax. Learn to breathe deeply and slowly 2. Meditate and do some yoga 3. Exercise. It burns out the stress hormones and releases endorphins which makes us happy and healthy. 4. Drink lots of water and take rest. Give time for you body to recover 5.Face your fears. When you're have a panic attack, -Acknowledge and accept that you're afraid at the moment. -Dont resist your thoughts. -Breathe slowly. Be patient and let it pass.
September 16th, 2018 4:22am
Nothing really has to trigger you for the random anxiety and panic attacks. I think that's the hard part about those. They come out of nowhere and blindside you without any warning or cause. These types of panic attacks are the ones that usually leave me the most drained and depleted afterwards. What you can do, if you think there is a trigger to a random panic attack, is go over things that you could have been thinking of, or small things around the area you're in. One of my worst panic attacks came on because of people clapping at a sporting event, but I didn't realize that was the problem, I just thought it was random. Think back after you've calmed down, if you are safe and comfortable to do so, as it may lead to you figuring out a trigger.
September 30th, 2018 1:45pm
I have had the very same question too in the past. I don't think there is an answer that works for everyone, and here's why. My therapist put it this way: Anxiety usually hides other emotions. It's a mixture of feelings, and that makes it hard and confusing for us to recognize them or find a cause. So, in reality, there is always some kind of cause behind anxiety, or panic attacks, and the like. We just need to work on finding it. And it's different for everyone. Each individual has personal triggers, or "weak points", or even different levels of sensitivity, after all.
October 3rd, 2018 9:35pm
Sometimes it is a chemical inbalance, other times it is worrying and overthinking situations or what people have said. Sometimes it is even a combination of both. Through out the course of your day there are at least three hundred thoughts that "cross your mind". You probably actually think about one hundred of them. The anxiety comes from pulling some of those "random thoughts" into the forefront or your mind, even if you don't mean to. It's ok that some of those thoughts get pulled out (it's not always in your control). What is in your control is how you react or deal with them.
October 11th, 2018 4:11am
Sometimes we got something that we forget cause we don't want to face it, and that is make us feel random anxiety and panic attack even when nothing is going on. Cause in our mind, we can't really forget about what we angry for or what we scared. We put that in our heart, really deep so we think that "it's ok i can forget about it". But reality does not like that. In reality we can't forget that forever, we just can forget about that for a while. If we not solve the problems or share it to the others, that can make us feel anxiety and panic
November 3rd, 2018 4:44pm
Nothing is never going on. Just because we are not aware of our thoughts, does not mean we aren't having them. Sometimes a thought is kept out of our conscious mind by our previous attempts at repression, particularly those thoughts associated with trauma. Without realizing it, we may be recognizing something that reminds us of that former time, and our brain is responding to what is called "pattern recognition"; meaning that something around us is reminding us of a time when we were injured, felt humiliated, or other physical and/or emotional trauma. In this event, our body responds without our conscious awareness of the 'trigger' or pattern of thinking. What we can do is, first, use our coping skills to calm the panic, and then sit and contemplate what was going on, both inside and outside, to see if we can gain some insight into the 'trigger'. some times the trigger may be chemical, such as caffine, or something you are allergic to.
November 9th, 2018 6:53pm
In some situations there is something going on at a subconscious level that the person having the anxiety or panic attack may not be fully aware of. An argument, or stress they experienced earlier and thought they had resolved it, when in fact it was still lingering. Also, sometimes, and this is probably what causes it the most, is that the person is experiencing a chemical imbalance. If their medication is off for some reason or not working effectively. Finally, sometimes attacks can come because you are uneasy in whatever environment you are in for the moment.
November 23rd, 2018 6:35pm
The thought of people judging you or things that are going to happen in the future. Let’s say you have a big project due in class. Even though it’s weeks away you get stressed knowing you have to do that. Stress is the biggest problem with anxiety. When you get too stressed out panic attacks occur. Panic attacks feel like someone is sitting on your chest, when in reality nothing is. You lose your breath, you feel angry at the world. Anything and everything agitates you. So to summarize stress is the main cause of panic attacks and anxiety.