15 Common habits that increase anxiety!
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15 Common Habits That Make Anxiety Worse!

Are you feeling like your anxiety has been getting worse lately? From the worries that keep us up all night to the panic attacks that can occur without warning, living with anxiety can feel like navigating a minefield. But did you know there are certain habits we do every day that make our anxieties worse?

Today, I’m sharing 15 habits that could be contributing to greater levels of anxiety and simple actions we can take to reclaim control over them. So, if any sound familiar, perhaps it’s time to think about how we can break them and start on the path toward overcoming our anxieties.

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15 Common Habits That Make Anxiety Worse:

So, if you are looking for a way to manage your anxiety and improve your life, start by breaking some of these bad habits. You will likely see an improvement in your symptoms almost immediately! If you find that you are struggling with any of these or have other bad habits that contribute to your anxiety, please reach out for help!

1. Drinking too Much Caffeine

15 Habits that make anxiety worse!

Taking in too much of your favourite caffeinated beverage can be a tough habit to break, but it may be the key to calming anxious feelings. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine stimulates the nervous system, leading to higher levels of anxiety. This is because the body begins to rely heavily on caffeine as an energy source and becomes dependent on it for normalcy.

Additionally, drinking too much caffeine can cause jitteriness, palpitations, sweatiness, and feeling overwhelmed, which are certainly not conducive to living life with ease! Caffeine can also interfere with medication used to treat anxiety, making symptoms worse!

But don’t worry, cutting back doesn’t have to mean ending your daily cup of joe! Instead, try swapping out your more potent beverages for more moderate alternatives like Earl Grey tea or freshly brewed kombucha. With just one small change, you could be well on your way to reducing anxiety levels!

2. Not Drinking Enough Water

We all know dehydration isn’t good for our health, but did you know it can also impact our mental well-being? Our bodies are around 60% water, so dehydration can affect us in more ways than we may realise, leaving us feeling anxious and out of sorts.

Studies have found a link between dehydration and increased anxiety levels due to dehydration prompting the release of hormones such as cortisol, which are known to make us feel overwhelmed and trigger those feelings of worry that can quickly escalate into full-blown panic attacks! It’s just one more reason why it’s so important to be mindful of your hydration levels, especially during these uncertain times when our minds can often feel overloaded from everyday life.

Read more: 10 Health benefits of drinking more water!

3. Over Scheduling Yourself

Our modern lives are full of hustle and bustle, multiplied tenfold by the need to stay connected with technology. Yet juggling too many tasks and priorities daily can be exhausting and lead to dehydration, mental fatigue, and, yes, even anxiety.

It’s easy to see why we think making our calendars as jam-packed as possible might be beneficial, but in reality, scheduling too much takes away valuable downtime that not only allows us to rest but also gives us time to process emotions, which can prevent feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed out. So why not take advantage of this fact and take a step back, reevaluate our schedules and ensure we’re allowing ourselves a healthy balance between work and play because, believe it or not, less really can be more!

4. Running Late all the Time

Being late to anything can be very stressful, reducing your control of the situation and making you feel like a nuisance. Unfortunately, running late all the time can inevitably lead to long-term anxiety disorders.

The physical impacts of making a last-minute dash to make it just in time are real: dehydration, increased heart rate, and elevated cortisol levels. Not only is this detrimental to our overall health, but being “on edge” like this all the time puts us at risk for even bigger issues down the line if we don’t take steps to remedy our behaviour.

The key is to make a conscious effort as early as possible: prioritise your daily tasks and plan ahead whenever possible. That way, you can give yourself extra time when needed without putting yourself or others under too much pressure.

5. Checking the Time During the Night

If you ever find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night, you probably know the struggle of not wanting to look at the clock. It almost seems like that moment can make or break your night’s sleep; one wrong glance can be enough to send us into a state of panic, worry, and overall anxiety as we desperately try to remember if it’s too late or too early.

The fact is, checking the time when we suddenly wake up during the night can bring on intense feelings of distress because our minds ruminate about the amount of sleep that has been obtained thus far and our troubles over how much sleep is left until morning. Checking the clock does nothing but ratchet up these negative emotions and can prove to be a slippery slope towards yet another restless night.

This negative spiral can leave us feeling anxious and unable to go back to sleep. To lessen this anxiousness, try activities that help you fall back asleep, such as deep breathing or meditation. Additionally, closing your eyes and wishing yourself positive thoughts, such as “I will feel well-rested in the morning,” may help ease any stress that comes from seeing the time late at night.

6. Watching the News all the Time

For those of us who are constantly tuned into the 24/7 news cycle, we may not be aware that what we see and hear could hurt our mental health. It’s never been easier or more tempting to watch the news all day, as modern technology gives us access to current affairs anywhere.

However, it’s important to realise that being exposed to constant news can lead to anxiety. This is because the news often centres around negative stories about natural disasters, global tensions, crime reports and upsetting events that can be difficult for some of us to process. An overload of information can cause feelings of helplessness and amplify feelings of stress and alarm. Although staying informed is important, it should be done in a balanced way so you don’t fall into an unhealthy habit of watching too much negative content that can take an emotional toll.

7. Being too Easily Accessible

Undoubtedly, technology has vastly improved what it means to be accessible. It’s easier than ever to reach out and connect with people, but this 24/7 connectivity can wreak havoc on our mental health.

Being in a constant “on-call” state of response puts us in situations where we feel the pressure to be available at any moment, which can take a toll. Studies have shown how this type of stress can lead to sleep issues and burnout and exacerbate anxiety for those who are prone to it or even those who were previously unaffected. As convenient as it is to constantly connect, you must prioritise your energy and maximise off-the-grid moments to protect your well-being.

8. Having Negative Self-Talk

When we talk to ourselves internally or out loud, it’s easy to slip into negative self-talk. Thoughts like “I’m stupid”, “I can’t do this”, or “No one likes me” are frequently heard in our internal monologue, and as much as we may think these words don’t matter, they have a huge impact on our mental health. The constant repetition of these thoughts can cause us to feel anxious and overwhelmed. It’s no wonder when we convince ourselves we’re not good enough!

It’s important to be aware of the language we use with ourselves and try to counter this cycle with positive affirmations such as “I am strong”, “I can do this with practice”, or “People are drawn to my unique qualities”. These small changes will help boost your mental well-being significantly!

9. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation can be a major struggle for many people, leading to decreased productivity, crankiness and fatigue during the day. Unfortunately, it can also lead to long-term mental health issues such as anxiety.

Not getting enough sleep means your body isn’t allowed to reset itself and recover from physical or intellectual stress inflicted during the day; it needs that time to repair, which is why missing out on sleep contributes to feeling more anxious than usual. This is especially true when you are already prone to being anxious or struggling with mental health because lack of rest will only worsen those feelings and make them seem even more paralysing than they did before.

If you think you’re not getting enough sleep, start by making simple modifications like setting dedicated shutdown times for devices (no late-night binges!), creating a consistent bedtime routine, eliminating caffeine in the afternoons and spending some time each day doing calming activities like reading or taking a walk.

10. Spending too Much Time on Social Media

15 Common habits that increase anxiety!

The smartphone has almost become an extra appendage, and with that naturally comes a roller coaster of emotions. Social media plays a large part in how we interact with each other, but when it becomes obsessive (checking our phones every five minutes), it can lead to higher levels of anxiety.

Obsessively scrolling through Instagram or other apps on our phones leads to comparison. We begin to compare ourselves to others, feel that what they’re doing is better than our achievements and start feeling inadequate. Research has demonstrated that this cycle is damaging and causes people to become increasingly anxious as they click through photo after photo and are flooded with images they deem more attractive or exciting than their own lives, which can send the mind into a downward spiral.

The key is to take breaks from our phones and make real-world connections by socialising with friends or engaging in activities such as reading, exercising or writing. These activities let us appreciate who we are rather than forcing us into unhealthy comparisons with others via social media.

11. Poor Eating Habits

Poor eating habits can take a significant toll on our mental health, particularly when it comes to anxiety. Unfortunately, many of us don’t realise how what we eat can affect our emotional well-being. From diets high in processed junk food and refined sugars to limited nutrition from fruits and vegetables, bad eating habits can lead to adverse physical side effects that may also be connected to the onset of anxiety.

Deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron and magnesium, for example, have been linked to increased symptoms of anxiety and poor overall moods. We need good nutrition for our mental health and for keeping up with everyday activities like working or studying. Fuelling our bodies with the right balance of macronutrients is just as crucial as getting adequate rest and exercise. Taking care of your body should be one of your top priorities, not just for overall well-being but also if you find yourself struggling with symptoms of anxiety.

12. Sedentary Lifestyle

It’s no surprise that living a sedentary lifestyle can have a severe effect on our physical health, but it can also lead to certain mental health conditions such as anxiety. Studies show that those who lead inactive lives are more likely to suffer from depression, stress, and other forms of anxiety.

The key here is getting regular physical activity. Even a brisk walk around the block to break up periods of inactivity can positively affect our mental health. Physical activity raises serotonin levels, which can naturally reduce psychological stressors. Thus, exercise is essential for physical health and plays an important role in emotional well-being! 

13. Consuming too Much Alcohol

15 Common habits that increase anxiety!

Have you ever noticed that you can’t shake off the anxious feelings after sipping one too many cocktails with the girls? That’s because consuming too much alcohol can lead to feelings of unease and dread.

High levels of alcohol cause your brain to release extra amounts of cortisol and epinephrine, the hormones associated with fear, worry and arousal. It also affects your circulating oxygen levels, increasing heart rate, tension, trembling and insomnia. This explains why alcoholics often grapple with crippling anxiety that can last hours after their drinking binges.

So, if you’re looking to manage your anxiety symptoms instead of aggravating them, try keeping an eye on how much alcohol you’re consuming!

14. Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can motivate you to go beyond what you thought was possible. But on the other, it can also cause anxiety. When we compare ourselves to those around us, we focus on their strengths and successes rather than our own.

The more different the comparison, in terms of skills, traits or accomplishments, the higher the risk of feelings such as envy, inadequacy or frustration. This is especially true if you expect yourself to be in the same situation as your comparison, heightening feelings of stress and self-doubt that lead to anxiety.

When dealing with these comparisons and feelings, taking a step back and focusing on your achievements is essential. Better yet, get into the habit of being grateful for all you have instead of what others may have that you don’t. This will significantly reduce your levels of comparison-induced anxiety!

15. Spending too Much Time Alone

Experiencing a bit of solitary time can benefit everyone, allowing time to relax, reflect, and recharge. But there does come a point when too much alone time can have adverse effects.

Research has shown that spending too much time in isolation can create anxiety, as it can cause one’s mind to become consumed with unhelpful thoughts and heightened levels of worry. Potentially serious, if not taken seriously, it’s essential to recognise the feeling of loneliness and address the root cause before it escalates into something more destructive.

It is perfectly normal to need some alone time occasionally, but ensuring it doesn’t overwhelm our lives is essential for mental health!

Final Thoughts

So, if you are looking for a way to manage your anxiety and improve your life, start by breaking some of these bad habits. You will likely see an improvement in your symptoms almost immediately! If you find that you are struggling with any of these or have other bad habits that contribute to your anxiety, please reach out for help. Many people want to support you on your journey to better mental health.

Remember to check out our related resources for more tips and guidance on this important topic. Take control of your mental health and embrace a brighter future!

Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content in the next few weeks, so make sure you pop back to catch up!

Everyday habits that make anxiety worse!
Everyday habits that make anxiety worse!

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