I for Identify Triggers, J for Journal

One the first steps to overcoming (still in progress) my anxiety was to figure out why I was so anxious in the first place. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), but that doesn’t mean that certain events, places, or things can’t worsen these feelings.

There are so many triggers of anxiety and they vary from one person to the next, and from one hour to the next for one individual. But it’s possible to identify the things that really send us into a tailspin or a panic attack. There are some great tools right at our fingertips that can help with this. Try Googling “Identify Anxiety Triggers Worksheet” and you’ll see more examples than you’ll ever need. I really like one from PsychPoint, but they all have the same goal – to help manage anxiety and prevent panic by understanding what causes it and our reactions to those things.

When I first starting having panic attacks, I wrote down everything I could about the situation leading up to it. Part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is diving deep into your thoughts and reactions to make improvements. Even when I was a bit skeptical about CBT, this technique in particular was good for me. I can’t say that I went back and read all of my journal entries, but putting it on paper brought it to life and allowed me to see trends more clearly.

Keeping track of your feelings on paper if a great way to help analyze what situations make you feel anxious. In addition, writing down any effective coping strategies can be helpful to refer back to in the future.

The Recovery Village, therecoveryvillage.com

I wish everything I circled on these worksheets would just disappear and that would be the end of it. Obviously most triggers aren’t avoidable, so coping with them is a key step that follows identifying. Again, so many strategies are out there (hence my blog series)! It first, identify and write em down.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorite tools to recognize triggers?

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