Four Surprising Things That Might Be Making You Anxious
by Jennifer Scott of spiritfinder.org
Anxiety comes in many forms, and it can be sneaky; many people who suffer from it don’t even realize they have it, or they may not know what’s behind it. There are so many symptoms and causes that anxiety can be hard to pin down, but there may be a few things going on in your life that are linked to those feelings, things that will surprise you, such as your sleep habits or your physical health. It’s important to get familiar with all facets of anxiety so you can learn how to make small changes that will make a big impact. Below are four places you can start.
There’s a connection between your physical and mental health, and if your body is thrown off balance, even a little, it can have an effect on your mood and your ability to cope with stress. Take a look at your health — how much exercise you get, what you’re eating, and your blood pressure, to start with — and consider adding a multivitamin to your regimen. Talk to your doctor about the right vitamin for your needs, since it can help fill in nutritional gaps and improve your mood, which can, in turn, help reduce stress and anxiety.
When you don’t sleep well, your body and mind take a hit. Studies have found that a lack of quality rest can lead to anxiety, just like anxiety can lead to a lack of good sleep. This vicious cycle can have a negative effect on your ability to function during the day, cope with stress and other mood disorders, and keep your physical health in shape. Create a sleep routine that will allow you to get the right amount of rest (at least seven hours a night), and learn the best ways to relax before bed so you can get good sleep, such as taking a hot bath or turning off your devices. If you find it difficult to get a lot of sleep at once, make time for naps when you can.
Too much caffeine
Many of us rely on our morning coffee to get us through the day, but all that caffeine may have a negative effect while it’s waking you up; studies have shown that it can stimulate your fight-or-flight reflexes, which can trigger an anxiety attack. You may be loathed to give up your java, but cutting back on the caffeine is an easy way to reduce feelings of anxiety, so consider lowering your consumption a little at a time. After all, if you’re doing all you can to get better sleep, you shouldn’t need all that caffeine anyway!
Spending too much time on social media can lead to anxiety; not only does a lot of screen time interfere with our sleep, but the content can also have an impact on your overall mental health. Take a second look at what you’re consuming online and, if you think it might be triggering anxiety, look for ways you can cut back or make changes to what you see. You can still stay informed and keep in touch with your friends and loved ones without scrolling through troubling or stressful information every day. Remember that self-care is a very important part of keeping your mental health in good shape.
Anxiety can affect quite a few parts of our lives, but by making some small changes to your lifestyle, you can get rid of it for good. If you feel overwhelmed, consider talking to a therapist or counselor who can help you sort out those feelings with care.