Anxiety is complex and unyielding. While some anxiety is normal, chronic worrying and anxiety can rob you of an amplified life. When fear goes unchecked, it can lead to depression and stop you from pursuing the things that matter. Anxiety can also show up in very harmful ways. One of those ways is in the form of anger. This can include hurtful attitudes and unkind speech towards the people we love. The longer you struggle with anxiety, the more likely it is for you to be overwhelmed by it. If you choose not to deal with it, it can cause you to go into an even deeper pit. Therefore, it’s so important to be aware of the things that are triggering your anxiety. Here are seven things you’re doing that are keeping you anxious.
Many people will try whatever they can to avoid conflict. However, it is impossible to always stay away from confrontation. These arguments or disagreements can show up in your relationships with family and friends, in the workplace and in other areas of your life. If you are dealing with conflict in your social network, this can cause a great deal of anxiety. These situations can cause people to worry about the consequences of the conflict and keep them from expressing themselves. When we suppress our feelings and our emotions, that can make the anxiety even worse. Instead of avoiding the conflict, think through ways to address your concerns in a way that will reach the person you’re communicating with. If your anxiety-prone, be sure to address matters before they escalate. Consider writing your thoughts out first and have talking points for the conversation. Also, let go of the need to be right or feeling like you need a certain outcome to be ok.
Often, people don’t think about how their diet can impact their mood. However, what we put into our bodies can play a bigger role in our attitudes, mood and behavior than we realize. Do you eat a diet that is high in processed foods? According to WebMD, if you eat a lot of processed, fried food, meat, refined cereals, pastries, candy, and high-fat dairy products, you are more likely to be depressed and anxious. They suggest a diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, vegetables, fruits and fish, which can help keep your mood up. Consider drinking plenty of water, limiting or avoiding alcohol and eating healthy, balanced meals, including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Drinking Caffeine Daily
Do you drink a cup of coffee or caffeinated soda daily? If so, it may be triggering your anxiety. There is a connection between caffeine ingestion and mental health. In fact, caffeine increases alertness by blocking a brain chemical known as adenosine that makes you feel sleepy while also triggering the release of adrenalin which increases energy, according to a study. If your drink has a high enough amount of caffeine in it, the effects can be stronger, included caffeine-produced anxiety. Caffeine withdrawal can also cause feelings of anxiety, fatigue and depression. Be very conscious of the amount of caffeine you’re consuming and how it’s affecting your health.
Finances can be one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety. Financial hardships can devastate individuals’ lives and make you feel like your life is spiraling out of control. If you are dealing with financial stress right now, you are not alone. If we didn’t have financial fears, we wouldn’t be human. If your debt and financial status are keeping your mood down, start exploring what it would look like to begin eliminating your debt. If you’re in a great deal of debt, consider consulting with a financial adviser. Some companies and debt collectors will work out a payment plan with you, so paying back the debt in full isn’t overwhelming. Unfortunately, relief from debt and financial freedom doesn’t occur overnight, but with the right tools, you can start getting your life back on track.
Lack of Sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it may be impacting your health. Getting a good night’s rest is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. When we sleep well, we get up feeling refreshed and set ourselves up for a quality day. When we have a bad night of sleep, we can wake up feeling anxious and fatigued. In addition to feelings of anxiety, you may find yourself unable to concentrate or be productive. Lifestyle changes like improving your sleeping habits have some of the biggest impacts on your mental health. If you are having trouble sleeping, consider what you’re consuming that may be keeping you from closing your eyes at night. If you have a television in your room, consider turning it off at night. Sometimes, soft music can bring your mood down and get you into the right headspace for rest.
Lack of Control
Are you someone who always feels like you need to control situations? Do you feel like your world is falling apart when you aren’t in control? The feeling that you’re losing control can increase anxiety. The pandemic has increased those feelings of anxiety for many. Many people have loved ones that they fear will contract COVID-19 and don’t want to see them at risk. The loss of control triggered by the pandemic has been anxiety-provoking. Think about it. When we feel like we have total control of situations, it gives us a sense of calm. However, the pure inability to reach out, see or help the ones we love is devastating and can trigger our anxiety even more.
Another area that can cause great anxiety is believing there is something physically wrong with you and not shaking that fear. Often, these fears are triggered by real symptoms. You may have a skin rash, and you think it’s cancer, or you experience pain in your chest, and you think it’s a heart attack. These feelings can easily propel your anxiety and, depending on a person’s personality, or history can trigger an anxiety disorder. This is especially problematic when it begins to interfere with daily functioning. Many people don’t realize that the physical symptoms that made you worried in the first place can also be symptoms of anxiety. If left unmanaged, it can lead to a repeated cycle of anxiety.
If your anxiety is serious or gets in the way of your day-to-day activities, you may need to seek counseling. A professional can provide the right guidance and treatment options. Ultimately, doing the things mentioned above like improving sleep habits, reducing your stress, regularly exercising and increasing your social support can improve your anxiety. It can take time, but it will ultimately make a difference in your anxiety.