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Triggers and Signs

by - April 12, 2017

 There are many things that come to mind when someone says the word 'trigger'. First, a gun, the image of someone's finger on the trigger of a cold gun ready to fire. You don't think of a phone ringing, or a guy taller than you walking down the street, or empty time or a slightly messy room, or someone coming to your apartment, as a trigger. For the longest time, I didn't either for most of those. But as of recent months my anxiety has tremendously regressed. Bad thing, the horrid come back of my anxiety with new triggers like my own bed, waking it up the day, and a few other things. Good thing, I know my new triggers and the ones that have come back in full force.
 I know what my triggers are and how to avoid some while coping with others. I know that having empty time and nothing to due leads my mind to wonder and bring anxiety on myself. I know that a messy cluttered room, or even a little bit of misplaced items, brings me anxiety too. So I keep myself busy, with work or with projects. I keep myself actively busy from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed. I clean my apartment now one room at a time every day I'm free. I deep clean it every third week. I make my bed more often now, I organize things a lot more, and I open the windows a lot for fresh air.
 People with anxiety have triggers that are not always easy to see. Sometimes you know them right away, like when you're at the movies and a graphic scene comes on or is implied. That's one of mine. More of mine are with I have to talk to someone on the phone, but with my job it's gotten better. Sometimes I get bad vibes from guys my age, those bad vibes can lead to some not so fun anxiety. Heck some days thinking about leaving my house triggers anxiety nowadays. It can be big things, minor things, or things you find silly or others do but you don't.
 
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 People with anxiety also have signs that something is triggering them. A lot of mine I didn't even notice until someone pointed them out to me. Some I know I've always had and can't control while others I can stop or hide. One of my signs is my foot shakes rapidly, or I end up bouncing my whole leg or even tapping my foot. I also twist my rings around my fingers when I'm anxious, that's one someone once pointed out to me.
 I've made a mental list of most of my triggers and signs for not only anxiety but also for my depression. I know winter effects my depression, it certainly triggers it and Season Affective Disorder. Also loss triggers my depression, whether the loss of a loved one to them passing or loss of a friend as in they leave. Everybody always leaves eventually so I've been working on that trigger. 

 It might not be fun to make a list of your triggers and 'tics' you have for when your anxiety hits you. It wasn't fun for me, but having this list helped me stop having such bad panic attacks that I couldn't breath while I had them. Now instead, I notice the signs, realize the triggers, and can help myself calm down. Perhaps it's a coping mechanism or something, but it helps me out a lot. In order from my smallest trigger or tic to my largest, here is my list:

Triggers:
Phone Calls
Messy Spaces
Empty Time
Crowds
New People
New Experiences
Sexual Assault Scenes/References

Signs:
Twisting Rings
Tapping Fingers Together
Shaking Leg/Foot
Tapping my Nose

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