7 Common Triggers Of Anxiety In Adulthood

Recent figures published by Anxiety UK indicate that more than three million people living in the United Kingdom have an anxiety disorder.

Their research also shows that one in ten people are at risk of having a severe anxiety disorder that significantly disrupts their life.

Many incidences of anxiety in adults are brought on by a “trigger” — an event that causes feelings of anxiety and stress to greatly intensify.

It is important to understand these triggers so you can take steps to reduce the anxiety that they cause.

This article will share a few common anxiety triggers to help you identify the ones that affect you personally.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal physiological and psychological response that occurs when a person is confronted with a stressful or dangerous situation.

It is a natural part of the “fight or flight” response of the human body.

When a stressful or dangerous situation occurs, the body is flooded with hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.

These hormones cause you to become more alert, elevate your heart rate, push more sugar into your bloodstream for energy, and cause your anxiety levels to increase.

These changes are useful in a life-threatening situation as they will help you stay alive.

However, if you are constantly experience stress and anxiety that is out of proportion to the problems you are currently facing, it can be very dangerous for your physical and mental health.

Persistent anxiety can increase your risk of mental illness, insomnia, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many other illnesses.

It is important to address the underlying causes of your anxiety before it begins to impact your daily life.

Common anxiety triggers in adults

Triggers are events or circumstances which cause a person’s anxiety level to become much worse.

For adults, the most common triggers that cause anxiety include:

1) Physical illness

Being diagnosed with a chronic health condition can be extremely stressful and increase your anxiety levels greatly.

Certain conditions can also change your body in a way that causes anxiety.

For example, some tumours can cause the body to produce additional stress hormones that trigger anxiety.

Conditions that can increase anxiety include:


Researchers have discovered that people with diabetes have a 20% greater risk of having anxiety.


People who have epilepsy or suffer from seizures often experience stress and anxiety.


Diseases that affect the respiratory system often cause anxiety.

Not only can having asthma cause anxiety, anxiety is more likely to induce an asthma attack.

Heart disease

Anxiety can contribute to, and be caused by, heart disease.

Thyroid problems (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism)

Conditions affecting the thyroid can cause anxiety and depression.

Drug abuse and withdrawal

Substance abuse and withdrawal from drugs or alcohol both have anxiety as a symptom.

Rare tumours that produce anxiety-causing hormones

Tumours affecting certain parts of the body will cause the release of stress hormones.

2) Negative thinking

The thoughts that enter your mind can have a significant impact on your body.

If you continually worry about the future or ruminate about the past, it can trigger a physiological stress response that results in anxiety.

Working with a therapist can help you eliminate any repetitive or negative thoughts that cause anxiety.

3) Financial concerns

Financial concerns are one of the most common sources of stress and anxiety for adults living in the UK.

If you find that your anxiety increases when you think about money, consider seeking professional help from a financial advisor.

They will help you get your financial dealings in order so they are less stressful.

You can also take active steps to improve your financial position like reducing debt and spending or finding new sources of income.

4) Medications

Some types of medication gave been known to trigger feelings of anxiety including birth control pills, blood pressure medication, and decongestants.

If you are having feelings of anxiety, ask your doctor if your medications may be a contributing factor.

5) Social events

Many adults find certain types of social events daunting.

However, if the idea of attending a social event triggers severe anxiety, you may have social anxiety disorder.

You can obtain treatment for this form of anxiety from a therapist.

6) Stress

Everyone has to deal with stress in their daily lives.

Common sources of stress include work, bills, and interpersonal conflict.

Being stressed for a long period can eventually lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as a range of other health problems.

Developing coping mechanisms like mediation, therapy, exercise, and talking to your loved ones can reduce your stress levels and any subsequent anxiety that you might experience.

7) Personal triggers

Personal triggers are a little more difficult to identify.

If you have been through a traumatic event you may have unusual anxiety triggers that are specifically associated with that event.

It often helps to work with a therapist to identify your personal triggers.

How to deal with anxiety in adulthood

If you are experiencing anxiety, here are a few simple steps that you can take:

Talk to your doctor or therapist

If you are experiencing persistent anxiety, talk to a medical professional as soon as possible.

They will be able to help you define the cause of your anxiety and provide you with techniques to reduce it.

If your anxiety is related to a physical illness, talk to a general practitioner.

If it is related to mental or emotional trauma, consider talking to a psychologist or trained therapist.

Talk to friends and family

If your anxiety is related to emotional turmoil or stress, you may be able to obtain some relief by simply talking to your friends and family.

Have an honest and open conversation with them, where you tell them about the anxiety you are experiencing.

In all likelihood, they will have experienced anxiety at some point in their lives as well and may be able to offer solutions that worked for them.

Keep a journal to identify triggers

Use a journal to record your anxiety levels each day and the events that occurred that day.

This will help you identify your personal anxiety triggers.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the simple act of focussing on the present moment.

It is a very useful technique for eliminating anxiety that relates to events in the past or future.

There are many articles on mindfulness on this site if you wish to learn more.

Join a support group

There are many support groups available for people with anxiety, including online discussion forums and social media pages.

You can join these groups to discuss your personal experience with others and obtain advice from people who have overcome their anxiety.

We hope you enjoyed 7 Common Triggers Of Anxiety In Adulthood.

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author: Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international and domestic tax consultant who specialises in solving complex problems. As well as advising on tax matters, Stephen also enjoys exploring topics relating to physical and mental wellbeing. You can follow him on Twitter at SColeclough.


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