An anxiety condition isn’t developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of things. A number of other factors play a role, including personality factors, difficult life experiences and physical health. Here are five surprising things that can increase anxiety
- Not eating enough – One major symptom of not getting enough food and nutrients can be anxiety. This is often the case if you’re severely restricting your food intake. Your body needs food to function, and when you’re eating less than your body requires, you might experience anxiety and irritability in addition to other symptoms.
- Not doing things you enjoy – If we’re very busy, it’s easy to drop the “unnecessary” things from our to-do list. Often these end up being our hobbies, time with friends, and self care. However, the fun, enjoyable things give us the energy to do the boring things, and when we don’t do things that bring us joy, our anxiety levels can increase, and it’s easy to start heading towards burnout.
- Positive changes and life transitions – When things change and we’re facing something new, it’s natural to experience an increase in anxiety levels, even if it’s a positive change. Happy transitions like graduating, starting a new job, a new relationship, moving to a new place, or even a fun holiday can trigger anxiety. You’re not negative or ungrateful for getting anxious when you experience new things. It’s just your body reacting to an unfamiliar situation.
- Monitoring your body for signs of anxiety – No one wants to be anxious, it makes sense. However, sometimes we can fixate on monitoring our bodies for signs of anxiety, and this constant hyper-vigilance can actually contribute to higher anxiety levels, as our bodies learn to see anxiety as something dangerous.
- Trying to not be anxious – There’s nothing wrong with trying to reduce anxiety, but fear of anxiety and the inability to tolerate discomfort can increase anxiety and make healing harder. If we tell ourselves that anxiety is something that we must avoid at all costs because it’s something we can’t tolerate, it’s easy to get even more anxious about getting anxious. Instead, knowing that anxiety isn’t dangerous and that it will eventually pass if we rise it out can drastically reduce anxiety levels.
Do you agree/disagree? What kinds of things increase your anxiety levels.