Over the years I have noticed patterns with my anxiety. In particular, I have become more aware of situations or things which I do that are more likely to trigger anxious thoughts within me.
Below I’ve put together a short list of 5 situations that seem to trigger my anxiety. Please let me know in the comments if you relate to any of these!
1: When I’m Feeling Really Happy
Bizarrely, one of the most common triggers for me can be when I’m feeling really happy.
Let me explain!…So sometimes when I’m feeling great it causes me to reflect on how far I’ve come with my mental health. This can give me a sensation which I can only compare to climbing a mountain, getting to the top and then looking down.*
It’s a pretty scary feeling to see how far you could potentially fall again! It can make my brain go into overdrive trying to make sure I’m okay and that my mental health won’t get worse again.
Obviously that is just the anxious part of my brain causing me to doubt myself. Realistically I have to accept that there is a chance that I could feel worse with my mental health, as anyone could, in future. However, I am so well equipped to manage my anxiety now that more than likely I’d be able to handle it.
*Disclaimer: FYI, I’ve never climbed a mountain!
I love driving (although I know nothing about cars)! That’s pretty lucky because I have to commute an hour to work and an hour home everyday.
I enjoy being able to listen to my music and having some time to myself while I’m driving. However, having that time to myself is both a blessing and a curse.
Being on my own for that length of time gives me time to think. That’s normally a good thing but, as you probably know by now, me and my thoughts have a love-hate relationship.
When I’m on my own I can get lost in my thoughts and if they become negative, and I have nothing to focus on to snap me out of it, then I can get anxious.
3: Having a Bath
This is probably a controversial one as I know a lot of people use baths to relax. I do too but, similar to driving, being on my own can cause me to get lost in my thoughts.
When I’m having a bath I tend to get bored. I find it hard to switch off and when I stop focusing on projects and things to do I am more susceptible to getting anxious.
Don’t worry about my boredom with baths though – I do shower everyday!
Another controversial one and probably particularly strange seeing as I’m currently training for a 10k to fundraise for Mind.
Again, the common theme is being on my own in a situation where I can become bored with nothing to focus on.
Exercise is obviously good for mental health and when I’ve finished a run I do feel good. It’s just when I am in the middle of a run that my mind can wander sometimes and I can get anxious.
5: When I Feel Under Pressure to be Happy
I find that when there are events or social occasions that I feel like I should enjoy I can put myself under pressure not to get anxious – that makes me anxious!
I’m a lot better now at just accepting how I’m feeling at any time but this one used to be a real trigger for me when going on holiday, attending family events and meeting up with friends.
So that’s the list, let me know if you have any of the same triggers or if you experience something completely different altogether!