6 Ways you might accidentally be triggering anxiety
Hey friend. If you are anything like me, anxiety tends to sneak up on you without realizing and can be more triggered depending on the time of year. If this is you, girl, I am SO sorry. Anxiety can be crippling and can suck so much life out of your every day.
As I’ve battled this in my mind over the years, and especially more recently (thanks post-partum hormones), I’ve discovered there are a few key triggers for me and if I avoid them, I have a bit more power over what my mind thinks on. Read on and see if you relate!
– SUGAR –
Any fellow sugar-addicts out there?! If you didn’t put your hand up, I would be shocked. There are SO many of us right now who don’t even realize the clutch on our lives that sugar has. Within the last year I have participated in a 40-day sugar fast on a couple of different occasions. I was so stinking amazed how after just two weeks in, my mind was clearer, my heart palpitations were next-to-none, and I just felt HAPPIER.
I know what quitting sugar is really hard. They say it’s almost as hard to quit cocaine! The withdrawal is a bit sucky but OH SO worth it. Do I still have sugar sometimes? Yes, for sure. But it’s a bit easier for me to acknowledge when I’m crossing the line and feeding into a potential addiction again.
– CLUTTER –
Holy cow. If nothing else, this may be the worst trigger on my list. I cannot STAND clutter. As I was sitting and brainstorming which of my triggers to talk about this one didn’t even come to my mind at first, but my husband mentioned it saying “That is your biggest and mine, too.” Seriously, we HATE clutter. Something I learned from a blogger a few years ago was (if absolutely nothing else) to spend at least 10 minutes on a “hot spot” in your home everyday. This means picking one spot that drives you nuts every time you walk by it and go hard at cleaning it. If you do this everyday, imagine how productive you could feel. And, if you are like me, you will feel less triggered towards anxiety.
I actually know a couple of local businesses geared towards helping people like me with this. The Rescued Room, based out of Rochester, MN is geared towards organizing and cleaning services. Owned by an amazing momma and business owner, Sara, they know exactly what people like you and me need!
Another is Lilies and Life Interior Design. Emily is a friend of mine and she is always giving amazing tips on her Instagram and blog about organizing and easily decorating different spaces in your home. She also does amazing decorating services! If you are feeling overwhelmed or uninspired by a space, connect with Emily!
Give these ladies a follow for some inspiration!
The Rescued Room-
Lilies and Life-
– PHONE TIME –
This is an embarrassing one for me. Sometimes I will literally just find myself scrolling back and forth between pages on my phone (NOT EVEN OPENING AN APP). It’s not fun, not productive, and definitely feeds into my anxiety. There is something about using my phone a lot that teaches my brain to need that instant gratification more and more. Some things I do to combat this are leaving my phone in my room with the ringer on in case I get a call, especially in the mornings. (I’m actually writing this on my computer while my phone is on the other side of the house). I NEVER bring my phone into family get-togethers. I leave it in my purse or car. I also choose one day a week where I just take the full day away from my phone. Usually it’s Sundays for me. I could go on and on about this topic but I’ll digress.
– TV SHOWS –
Honestly, watching “too much” TV has always been an anxiety trigger for me. The more I’ve desired to be more productive, read, learn, write, and succeed in my business and bringing value to my friends, I’ve had less desire to watch TV. This is not everyone and THAT’S OK! For the sake of this blog, though, I will say that certain types of shows/movies ramp up my anxiety to the MAX. My husband, for example, is a fan of horror movies (sorry you didn’t marry someone that is into that, babe;)). Once in a while I will say yes to one and for weeks after my anxiety is deeper and more difficult to take hold of. It’s not just a fear thing for me. It’s the constant feeling of being on edge, stomach tightened, etc. I’ve found that with shows like that I just really have to say no more often than not for the sake of not triggering my anxiety!
– SLEEP –
Why the heck is it almost CELEBRATED in our society today when people are running on no sleep?! I’m still puzzled by this and why I have actually believed the lie in the past that I’ll be more productive if I stay up later and later. Spoiler alert: I’m not. Less sleep is actually a huge trigger for my anxiety. It took me a long time to swallow this pill, and as a mom of 3 kids 3 and under getting a solid 8 hours uninterrupted just isn’t tangible all the time. BUT the more aware I am of my need to take sleep seriously, the easier it becomes to go to bed earlier and earlier. A lot of nights I have to just make the decision that the MOST productive thing I can do for myself, my business, and my family is just to GO TO BED.
– NOT SAYING NO –
Anyone else have a hard time saying no? Same, friend. And let me tell you.. it’s still not easy for me all the time. When I think about this as a trigger for my anxiety, though, instead of worrying about letting people down, it helps! What exactly am I referring to when I’m talking about “saying no”? A few things.. It could be attending an event, helping plan something, helping a friend organize their house. It could ALSO be telling myself I want to read these 4 books, starting each one, then spending 2 weeks beating myself up for not making progress on any of them! Limiting myself is key to not triggering my anxiety. Friend, you are not superwoman. The world will keep turning if you don’t read 4 books this month. It will keep spinning if you can’t participate in planning that church event this time. I know there are more people out there than just me that needed to hear that.
I am definitely not saying you should flake out of prior promises you’ve made. Nor am I saying you should never agree to help others. Both of these are so important! There are healthy times where it is ok to say yes. *I will talk about this in a future blog post. Just really think about how this commitment could impact you or your family and be ok with saying no when someone asks you.
Did you draw anything from this? Can you relate? Leave me a comment and let me know if we have any triggers in common<3.