Surprising Things That Increase Anxiety

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.

16 responses to “Surprising Things That Increase Anxiety”

  1. Yes, these surprising factors fit with my own personal experience as an anxiety sufferer. In fact, what I had somewhat mistakenly misdiagnosed as depression, before I became aware through therapy that anxiety was much closer to the center of my mood disorder, was an almost continual feeling of depression and disappointment that adulthood was not bringing me enough enjoyment: “homesickness” for the joys of college, resentment at my failure to have a very full dating/life, realizing I was not and could not make myself a “career climber” destined for management-level salaries … all of this got me down, but, as you outline above, was really doing a number on how anxious I was to change any of my circumstances. Thank you for this clear and concise explanation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this here. I get where you coming from. I am going through the journey myself.

      Take Your Time”

      In a society that is all about ‘going’ and ‘getting things done’ and ‘time-saving’, many of us (whether we have anxiety or not) feel bad when we are not being as ‘productive’ as we feel we could be. Anxiety-sufferers often feel burdened to get over anxiety attacks as quickly as possible. It is therefore important to let them know that there is no time frame with anxiety. If they are having a panic attack, give them the time they need to pause and get back to their normal equilibrium. If they are struggling with a more long-term anxiety spell, assure them that they have all the time in the world to recover, and you will be there for them if/when they are ready.


  2. I do agree. Because of the type of disability I have, I have a side order of General Anxiety Disorder. Although there is medication that helps, there are nasty side affected I experienced while taking the prescription. I weened myself off of it and have opted for cognitive “tricks”. Life gets a little easier as I learn more about the “tricks”.

    Liked by 1 person

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