What triggers anxiety?

If you’ve ever felt your heart racing or sweaty palms before a big speech, then welcome to the club of anxious minds. Most people experience anxiety at some point in their lives, but have you ever wondered what triggers it? In this article, we’ll explore various factors that can trigger anxiety and how to deal with them.

Nature vs. Nurture

Before delving into the specific causes of anxiety, let’s briefly discuss nature vs. nurture theories on its origins. While some researchers argue that genetics play a key role in developing an anxious temperament, others believe environmental factors such as childhood experiences and social support are more influential.

While there is no clear answer yet on which one has more weight over the other (or perhaps both), it’s interesting to note that even identical twins may not inherit similar anxiety levels due to differences in life experiences.


One common culprit behind anxiety is past trauma – whether from physical abuse or emotional distress caused by bullying, neglect or abandonment during childhood years. People who experienced traumatic events may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares and persistent fear long after the event has occurred.

Trauma-related disorders are complex conditions requiring professional help for treatment; however seeking therapy can be difficult due to stigma attached around mental health issues – especially in cultures where emotional toughness is highly valued (1) .

Chronic Stress

We face everyday stressors like deadlines at work or conflict with friends/family members; unfortunately if unchecked they can build up leading chronic stress condition where underlying tension accumulates over time making us more vulnerable to different types of problems including depression and anxiety.

Chronic stress occurs when things feel out of our control too often- creating prolonged states-of-alertness inducing nervous system responses designed for immediate threats but instead leaving us irritable-reactive-shaky-anxious-dropjaw-dwelling.(Not ideal)

Some practical ways of dealing with stress are learning relaxation techniques, taking breaks for exercise, social (and self) support.

Social Media

With the growth of technology and social media platforms have come problems such increased anxiety (2) . To some extent their use is useful in building relationships with family, friends or dating but unfortunately there’s a dark side: – surveys reveal people who spend more time on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram report higher levels of anxiety than those who don’t. Interesting right?

It’s easier said than done to stop using social media altogether- it can be addictive after all! But small steps like controlling how much time we spend scrolling help reduce our exposure to unrepresentative portrayals cause discomfort.


Researchers in this field focus on identifying genes that may contribute towards developing an anxious temperament allowing early intervention/preventive measures when possible. This is still being studied and more research needs to happen before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Though as stated earlier nature and nurture theories both play important roles with regards to the development of mental health issues so if you’re worried about inherited features then improving lifestyle choices could minimize triggers leading up toward’anxiety’.

Substance abuse

Substance abuse has been shown increase levels anxiety – either during intoxication or abstinence from drugs/alcohol (3). Being addicted effects neurotransmitters affecting mood disrupting sleep cycles potentially leading hallucinogenic experiences- all combining contributing toward feeling unstable overwhelmed frightened which brings us right back around causing destabilizing experiences themselves.

If you suspect substance dependency seek proper guidance by consulting professional services available throughout your community designed supporting those affected supported throughout periods rehabilitating healing process overall recovery journey leading better healthier balance moving forward rather stuck cyclic behaviors isolating fear inducing states existence risking further harm individual involved others consequence ultimately seen ripple effect surrounding connections desiring positive outcomes everybody involved not just person in crisis mind state!

Pyramid summary:

  • Anxiety is a normal part of life
  • Traumatic experiences can lead to anxiety disorders
  • Chronic stress can build up leading chronic stress condition where underlying tension accumulates over time making us more vulnerable to different types of problems including depression and anxiety.
    -Social media platforms contribute towards increased levels of anxiety
    -Genetic factors may contribute towards developing an anxious temperament allowing early intervention/preventive measures when possible.

If you’ve ever felt anxious or experienced symptoms related to mental health, you’re not alone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 275 million people worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder, which further increases incidences of comorbidity with depressive suffering (4). In England alone, it affects 1 in every 6 adults, equating approximately18% – this’s just reports too actual figures could much higher since many do not seek help out shame/worry feedback negative social implications (5).

It begs the question though: if so many people are experiencing these feelings why haven’t we found ways coping mechanisms?

Practical methods for overcoming panic attacks/ unfounded worrying /general symptoms originating ‘anxiety’brain function imbalanced hyperactive amygdala limbic centers :

  • Medication – doctors prescribe medication that helps limit/reregulate how neurotransmitters behave within brain chemistry overall reducing/re-stabilizing intense spiraling/scary thoughts increasing associations pleasure areas instead giving sense calmness positivity.
  • Physical activity– Exercise sees as one effective method combatting emotional struggles exercising regular basics means releasing “feel good” endorphins feeling better outright decreasing systemic inflammation improving cardiovascular muscles reinforcing overall endurance resistance capabilities decreased risk disease seen detrimental our welfare long-term .
  • Mindfulness-based therapy – Helping identify internal thought processes learning techniques combating strong sensations associated arisings mindfulness centered methods deep-breathing exercises exposure-response prevention cognitive-behavioral therapies containing controlled experiential situations aiming to prove probability reality-events low compared mental fictions distortions.
  • Restored sleep – getting patterned full-night’s restorative sleep reduces anxiety for an ample number of people. It makes the body function more optimally and helps reduce fatigue that can contribute to overall stress.

And if all fails – there’s always a good joke or two to be shared around- relieves tension, lightens mood & feeling just GOOD! Don’t forget your funnies!


Anxiety can take many forms; it may originate from personal experiences including childhood trauma or chronic stress caused by social media abuse. Understanding its triggers is important in being proactive about making positive changes towards achieving mental wellness.


(1) Suryani, L.K.S., et al., 2013.Development of instruments to assess stigma related to schizophrenia and depression.Neurosciences,,,19(4), doi:10.17712/NSM09-d-01

(2) Swickert R,JR, Hittner JB.Cross-sectional investigation of facebook intensity,affectivity,and social support.W.J Couns Psychol .2016;

(3) Roberts JE,Kantor LW.Anxious among adolescents.During drug detoxification as an indicator of treatment outcome.Practices Instaltional.Psychiatry BehavHealth.Research Cent.Buyer Drug Abstinence Clinic.Okla.Univ.HlthScL.O’App.PS:

(4) Quek,T.C,Siau,C.S,barsaglini .InSingapore,theinfluenceofsocialanxietydisorderSymptonsandsubstanceusePatientmetEnglsand·Treatments2008?23:

� doi:10_1111_)373-1587

(5)BeesdoK, Knappe S,Pine DS.Anxiety and Anxiety-like disorders.GordonWilkinson,Glen Frank,Richard Ostfelders,Editors.in Adolescent Health Care.A Practical Guide.Humana Press.Heidelberg;2012.