5 Common Anxiety Triggers and How To Manage Them

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
September 30th, 2019 | Updated: January 6th, 2020

Anxious guy

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Anxiety is a common condition that brings on extreme worry and fear. Although the causes can vary for many people, depending on genetics and environment, there are some triggers that are more common than others. 

Many triggers can be controlled if you know how to identify them. Therefore, here are some of the most common that you should look out for, and how to control them. 

Traumatic Incidents

Traumatic events can lead to an anxiety attack. Whether you suffered a traumatic accident in the past which left a mark on your memory, or you went through something recently, triggers can make you feel like you’re in the middle of the incident all over again.

For some people, it’s brought on my a similar set of circumstances, a song, or even a smell. By being honest with yourself about what starts to make you feel reminded of the trauma, you can avoid exposing yourself to it. 


Finding out that you have a chronic illness can bring on a considerable amount of anxiety. You may start to worry that the end is near or fear pain and suffering. Fear can overcome you as you expect the worst to happen. This can manifest in several ways including self sabotage, where your fears begin to take you over so you stop yourself from succeeding.

In many cases, you may find that talking with a professional therapist is the best way to handle your emotions. They’ll be able to give you the tools to wrap your head around your diagnosis and handle the fear that it may be evoking. 


Although you may love your morning cup of coffee, it could be working against you. According to studies such as Boulenger, Uhde, Wolff and Post (1984) , people with an anxiety disorder are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than those who aren’t.

If you regularly suffer from anxiety attacks , then you should make sure that you limit your caffeine intake to no more than one cup of coffee a day. You may even want to consider cutting out caffeine entirely if you’re still regularly anxious.


Money concerns can be one of the most anxiety-triggering circumstances because it brings on tangible concerns. Not being able to pay for your rent or put food on the table is deeply concerning.

Unexpected bills arriving may throw your plans for a loop and lead you to feel out of control. If financial woes are consistently bringing on anxiety, consider hiring a financial advisor, or taking action to remedy your money situation.  Sometimes small efforts can have a big pay off. 

Social Events

Once you start to identify your triggers, you’ll be better equipped to control and avoid them coming on. Knowledge is power. Therefore, by knowing what may bring on an attack, you can equip yourself with coping strategies that will help during challenging moments.