Five Behaviors That Keep Us Anxious

Although there is no magic wand to wave and dispel chronic anxiety, we can do our best to avoid habits that make anxiety worse.

By continuing with habits that create or perpetuate anxiety, we cannot hope to ever be free from the symptoms. Anxiety behaviors also cancel out some of the benefit we get from counseling and, if we use any, medication.

Anxiety-promoting habits reinforce any brain wiring that makes you susceptible to anxiety. The only way we know of to naturally rewire the brain is to engage in behaviors that build the brain circuitry we want and weaken the circuits we dislike through disuse.

Five Behaviors to Avoid

1. Stuffing Yourself with Stimulants
You know that if you are anxious, ingesting stimulants will make you feel worse. If you take them continually, your body can never fully relax. This puts a strain on not only your mental health but your physical health as well. To reduce or avoid tobacco, caffeine (coffee, chocolate, soda, tea), alcohol, and illegal substances.

2. Surrendering Your Lifestyle to Symptoms
Adjusting your lifestyle to the idea that you are a victim of anxiety will naturally keep you a prisoner of the symptoms. Although the feeling of anxiety can be intensely uncomfortable, even make you feel sick, it is important to maintain lifestyle habits that counter the symptoms. Make sure you spend time with people you enjoy, engage in fun activities, learn new things, and make sure there is laughter in your life.

3. Too Many Late Nights
Even the healthiest people get cranky and over-emotional when they have not had enough sleep. Getting enough Z's is crucial to our mental and physical health. Anxiety can make falling or staying asleep tricky, but there are things you can do to help yourself get enough rest. For instance, religiously follow a simple bedtime routine, exercise regularly, retire and rise at the same times each day.

4. Being a Couch Cucumber
All of us need to stay active for good physical, mental, and emotional health. Exercise does not have to be vigorous, although for some individuals vigorous exercise is essential. Others do well with activities such as fast walking, bike riding, yoga, Tai chi, housecleaning, and gardening. It is unimportant what keeps you moving, just that you move.

5. Listening to Negative Thoughts
Instead of trying to fight off negative thoughts, you can notice them when they enter your awareness and then let them go. You might mentally tell them, “Thanks for stopping by, but it’s time to leave.” You can throw them into an imaginary circular file or put them in an imaginary helium balloon and watch them drift away. Also, read inspirational materials, watch life-affirming movies, and spend time with people who care about you.

Photo: Pixabay

More Articles

Why is Celexa prescribed?

Celxa or Citalopram, is used to treat depression. Citalopram is in a class of antidepressants (mood elevators)...

Anxiety is a normal reaction to certain situations, and in some instances can be very beneficial. The proper amount of anxiety experienced at the...

Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic drug approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but it is increasingly being prescribed off-label...

According to research published in the journal Science, the drug ketamine can repair brain cell connections that have been disrupted by depression...

Everyone who lives with bothersome anxiety symptoms should have a pouch or pocket in their bag or backpack that is an emergency calm-kit.

...

More Articles

Norpramin is a tricyclic antidepressant that is approved by the FDA to treat depression and also prescribed off-label for the treatment of some...

Supervisors who demean, insult, or otherwise abuse their employees may simply not be getting enough exercise. A new study from Northern Illinois...

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you may occasionally experience an anxiety attack.

An anxiety attack is described as a sudden...

According to new research, T cells—best known for their role in fighting infections—may be one of the key players in elevated blood pressure...

Specific phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorder that is defined as an irrational fear of or aversion to a situation or specific...

Self-help books for anxiety are very popular--so popular that the sheer number of books available can be overwhelming. All those choices mean that...

If you're contemplating starting medication for an anxiety disorder, you no doubt have discovered that there are literally dozens of prescription...

Serax® is the brand name for the drug oxazepam, a benzodiazepine that has been in use since the 1960s.

Serax is used primarily for the...

All children experience fear and anxiety. They might get upset when separated from caregivers. They may be fearful of the dark, monsters in the...

Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, sounds like a good name for an avatar in a fantasy game, but it is already the name of an herb...

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, no matter how severe it is, you know the detrimental effects it can have on your mental state.

...

Lexapro is an SSRI antidepressant that is FDA approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is one of the antidepressants...

Women might have a leg up on men when it comes to interviewing for a job, say researchers at the University of Western Toronto. The data from a...

There are a number of anti-anxiety medications available, and they can be classified into several different categories of drugs. Not all...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (ODC) is, as its name implies, characterized by a combination of obsessions and compulsions. Most of us know at...