On their own, the symptoms of anxiety are bad enough. But if combined with certain habits, they can be made a lot worse.
In some cases, changing these habits alone might be enough to make your anxiety go away. Or at least reduce it to subclinical levels.
Here are some of the habits you should avoid:
1 – Being too isolated
Humans are social creatures. You’ve heard that before. What you may not have realised is how bad the statistics for loners are. Isolated people are at a higher risk of death from all sorts of causes, from heart attack to car crashes. If you are chronically lonely, you’re also at a higher risk of suffering from stress, depression, and — of course — panic attacks and anxiety.
The good news is that being social is a skill you can learn. You can go at it on your own by joining group activities and trying to build a group of friends, or you can hire professional help from therapists in order to help you get started. Behavioural therapy is fairly effective in helping people break out of their shells, as a good therapist will help you break down social interactions to its basic components and help you practice each step. That gives you a structure you can rely on as you go about your day.
2 – Drinking coffee
Caffeine is a known anxiogenic (a substance that causes anxiety); it makes anxiety symptoms worse. If you can, you should avoid it by drinking decaf coffee or no coffee at all. Caffeine is also found in chocolate, energy drinks, and weight-loss supplements.
3 – Constantly checking your phone
Phones grab our attention so much; you’d think they are making us happy. But in fact, studies have linked constantly checking your notifications with high levels of stress across the board. If you can’t get off your phone when you are anxious, considering disabling its notifications, the internet connection, or even just turning the phone off.
4 – Skipping meals
One of the ways you can reduce your anxiety symptoms is by staying well fed. Maintaining levels of blood sugar can aid mood regulation and help you stay calm. Drops in blood sugar levels, however, lead to mood crashes and worse anxiety symptoms. What you eat is also important; stay away from processed foods and look for foods with a lot of protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates. These are digested more slowly, which helps your blood sugar levels stay more steady.
5 – Not having a sleep schedule
Anxious people often experience being unable to sleep due to their symptoms. It can cause insomnia in general, or even just before big events. The tragic irony is that while anxiety makes it harder for you to fall asleep, not sleeping makes your anxiety symptoms worse.
Among the many functions sleep has in the body, one of them is reducing the volume of stress hormones in our bloodstream. Less sleep means more stress and worse anxiety symptoms.
There are many things that can be done in order to help you get better sleep. One of them is maintaining a regular sleep schedule, as that makes sleep easier to come by.
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder that constantly keeps you awake, using sleeping pills or a natural remedy like CBD might help you. If you haven’t heard of CBD, you can check this link.