What Contributes to Anxiety?: 6 Things You Need to Stop Doing When You Are Anxious

What contributes to anxiety?

Some of the hallmarks of anxiety are uncontrollable worry, over-thinking, and ruminating. If you suffer from anxiety, you may wonder what contributes to anxiety. These six behaviors can exacerbate anxiety, so you may find it helpful to make changes in these areas.


6 Things you Need to Stop Doing When You are Anxious #anxiety

1. Watching the news: The news is mostly bad news. When I watched the 11 O’clock news this week, the headlines were a camp counselor arrest for child porn, a teenager sexually assaulted, and the terrible earthquake in Nepal. Watching the worst of the world can lead to unnecessary worry and insomnia.

2. The internet: Of course, the internet is an amazing resource. But when you have anxiety, researching your worries (such as health concerns) often leads to more anxiety as you find more and more to worry about and not enough information to completely negate your fears.

3. Caffeine (and other drugs): Caffeine is a stimulant which can increase anxiety symptoms.

4. Being sedentary: Exercise is a fantastic aid in relieving anxiety. Sitting and dwelling on your problems will make you feel worse.

5. Procrastinating: The longer you wait to tackle your to-do list, the more anxious you will feel. Get yourself to put in just 10 minutes on a dreaded task and you will feel more hopeful.

6. Late nights: A lack of sleep makes everything harder! Try to go to bed and get up at the same times consistently.

I hope this gives you some new insights into what contributes to anxiety and some simple changes that can help. Please join our mailing list to receive helpful tips such as those in this article.

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in Northern California, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.


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