Anxiety has almost become an inextricable part of our everyday lives due to the pressures that come from our jobs, relationships, and our lives generally. Even though anxiety cannot be totally cured, it can be managed (for example using an anxiety blanket) to ensure it does not spiral into anxiety attacks. Anxiety attacks can be triggered by the things we do regularly and the way we respond to negative energy.
Here are ten habits that make anxiety spiral from bad to worse.
1 – Staying Up Late
If you are dealing with anxiety, prioritising your rest is vital. Depriving yourself of sleep can have damning effects on your mental health and keep you on edge, sinking you further into depressing thoughts and triggering anxiety attacks. You should try to regularly sleep for about eight hours. If you cannot hit eight hours, at least sleep for six hours. But do your best to avoid staying up late, so that you do not make anxiety worse.
2 – Isolation
The regular response of people to anxiety is to become reclusive, but it does not really help. When you isolate yourself for long periods, you expose your mind to negative thoughts that can spark anxiety attacks.
Meeting people a lot more often can, and interacting with them can push negative thoughts out of your mind and provide a support system that can help you through tough times. This, of course, does not mean that you should cast your net wildly and interact with just anyone you meet. It means that you should position yourself for meaningful interactions that can relieve your anxiety.
Whatever you do, do not stay alone when you have to deal with anxiety alone all the time when you are dealing with anxiety. Loneliness can spiral from triggering panic attacks to springing up suicidal thoughts in your mind!
3 – Smoking
Smoking is dangerous not only for your lungs, but it can also contribute deteriorating your mental health. Contrary to popular belief that smoking helps you reduce stress and relieve tension, the relief that comes from smoking is temporary and not worth sacrificing your mental health. If you keep smoking for temporary relief, you will soon discover that you cannot do without cigarettes, and this dependency will worsen your anxiety issues. So, protect your mental health and abstain from cigarettes and any similar substances.
4 – Skipping Meals
Skipping meals is so commonplace that we don’t realise the devastating effects it can have on our health. If you’re dealing with anxiety issues, skipping meals is a bad idea because it can lead to a plunge in our blood sugar and severely diminish your energy levels. The reduced energy levels can make you anxious, leading to panic attacks or depression. Always take a few minutes to eat nutritious food, no matter how busy your daily schedule is. If you suffer from a lack of appetite or eating disorders, see a physician.
5 – Procrastination
Procrastinating is already a bad trait. But you are dealing with anxiety, procrastinating is dangerous. This is so because even though it is temporarily convenient to postpone the things you have to do, the thought of having to do them in the future, coupled with the other tasks that would pop up daily, can trigger anxiety attacks.
Try your best to get work done and out of the way, because for every task you complete, your brain releases dopamine to ease your stress and make you relax. Finally, the sense of achievement you will feel is going to boost your confidence and mental health.
6 – Regularly Using Your Phone
It is tempting to believe that your phone can provide relief from all the anxiety you are feeling, but it is simply not true. While phones are a good way to keep your mind busy and interact with people, always using your phone can adversely affect your mental health. This is because of the content that is proliferated on the slew of social media platforms on the internet. Many of these contents can leave you feeling depressed and inadequate, creating an addiction that is difficult to break or make anxiety worse.
7 – Drinking Alcohol
There’s nothing wrong with drinking alcohol if you don’t exaggerate and if you don’t suffer anxiety. But if you battle with anxiety, then you should stay off alcohol because it is a sure way of sending your mental health to the pits. Alcohol can adversely affect your brain and trigger some serious anxiety attacks or depression. Keep off!
8 – Taking Coffee
While there are good ways, coffee can impact your health, regularly taking it when you have anxiety issues can be can make it worse. The caffeine can make you pensive and unable to keep calm, making you too prickly and alert for your own good. So, keep away from coffee or any similar stimulant and prioritise beverages that will relax your body and mind.
9 – Entertaining Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts are one of the main things that can make anxiety worse or even lead to depression. When you are battling anxiety, you have to be conscious and intentional about the kind of energy you let into your life. Shut out anything or anyone that constantly makes you think negatively.
Surround yourself with people who would speak kind and encouraging words to you and make you feel like you are not alone in your struggle. If the news in your country at a particular time is making you entertain depressing thoughts, switch off your TV or watch something that can lift your mood. Prioritise comedy or any other material that can make you laugh regularly. The key to truly winning the battle over anxiety is staying positive no matter what you are facing.
You may also be interested on how to calm down anxiety.