So what is anxiety? It’s often described as a sense of dread or fear of things which are about to happen. It’s the feeling you get before an exam or when you’re getting ready for a big event. Our bodies react to the stress by releasing adrenaline, which can make us more alert and make our hearts race. After the adrenaline surge, you might feel shaky.
Anxiety becomes a problem for us when our worries start to take over our thoughts and your fears are out of proportion to the situation.
Read on to find some examples of anxiety triggers, what you can do to reduce anxiety and take our quiz…
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7 things that make anxiety worse
There are a lot of factors which can make your anxiety worse – check out our list of anxiety triggers to see what might be making you feel panicky:
Drinking alcohol can alter the serotonin levels in the brain which could make your anxiety worse. If you have social anxiety, it can be tempting to drink to help you socialise, but it’s not recommended!
Background stress in your life – whether it’s at work or at home – can lead you to have more anxiety attacks.
For people who have social anxiety, being in a crowd or at a noisy event can be particularly stressful.
Finances can be a big cause of stress and anxiety and could bring on panic attacks.
Loss of a loved one or health worries are common triggers for anxiety.
If you feel as though you’re about to have a panic attack, it can help to think about your breathing. Breathe in for a count of five, hold for a count of five and then exhale slowly. Repeat until you feel your heart rate slow down and you become calmer.
Grounding is a mindfulness technique which can be used to calm you if you start to feel a panic attack coming on. Grounding is anything which brings you into the present moment and stops anxious thoughts taking hold. You need to focus your attention on a physical sensation – this could be anything from counting the number of different sounds you can hear around you, to touching your clothing or concentrating on what you can smell.