Anxiety is a common problem in this country, but many people suffer in silence as they don’t know where to go or what to do for help. Why is there still a stigma around mental health issues when there’s help readily available? There’s no reason to choose to be miserable when you can make your life and this condition better.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there’s an estimated 40 million adults in this country that suffer from some anxiety disorder. Anxiety can affect how you think take care of your home, work, relationships, and overall well-being. It’s time to understand this condition and bring things to the forefront so that more people get the help they need.
Ten Causes of Chronic Anxiety
When anxiety is persistent, it becomes chronic. Chronic anxiety is an episode that lasts for six months or more.
While you know things like stress and social situations can cause you to be anxious, did you know there are some other triggers that you may not realize are affecting you? Here are some causes of anxiety that many people don’t consider.
1. Relationships with Toxic People Can Cause Chronic Anxiety
Negative people are toxic to your life. They bring you down and can make you view things in a pessimistic way. It can be pretty overwhelming when you hang around with someone who gossips, is manipulative, and always talks about their troubles.
The next time you avoid a phone call or try to ditch a date with someone that makes you feel uneasy, it could be that this person has a dark cloud of depression that’s making your anxiety worse. Please make sure you choose your friends wisely, as they can undoubtedly have a dramatic impact on your mental health.
2. You’re Spending Too Much Time Alone
While it’s good to have some time alone to recharge your batteries, spending too much time alone can be counterproductive. Nothing good happens when you isolate yourself behind four walls, and it causes you to dwell on things that may or may not ever happen. Don’t spend your time overthinking things when you can get out and do something productive.
3. You’re Not Eating Properly
Did you know that some things you consume can increase your anxiety? Things like caffeinated foods and beverages are notorious for surging feelings of angst. The good news is that you can eliminate all those extra sodas and coffee you drink, or you can switch to a caffeine-free beverage.
Another primary consideration is consuming sugary foods and carbs. They influence your blood sugar levels, which can cause you to feel ill. When you feel off and dizzy, your body can react to these scary feelings with anxiety, and if you consume these foods regularly, your chronic stress can link directly to it. You will feel a significant difference in your mind and body when you switch to eating healthy foods; ask anyone on the keto diet.
4. You’re Deficient in Vitamins and Minerals
Okay, so now you know that eating right is imperative for your health. However, you could suffer from anxiety when you don’t get enough vitamins, specifically B6, B12, and magnesium. Your brain needs these vitamins to keep things functioning and thrive, and if you’re lacking, you can be stressed, achy, and irritable.
5. Bad Memories
Everyone has a past, which can be overwhelming to manage at times. If you’re constantly ruminating on things that happened to you, then you’re not living in the here and now.
You can feel a great deal of anxiety when you hear a song you shared with your special someone or pass by a restaurant where you went on many dates. Anything that brings back painful memories can contribute to your feelings of angst.
6. Click Bait and the News Can Cause Chronic Anxiety
It’s no secret that the world is a melting pot of trouble. Natural disasters, crime, and economic situations can weigh you down. Even if you try to keep on the sunny side, there’s always a way to stumble across current events.
Social media is supposed to be a fun place to connect with family and friends. However, many entities take out clickbait ads to lure you in. Even if you’re not looking for the latest news, it’s scrolling on the side of your screen.
Some folks are overwhelmed by reading about the world’s happenings, which can trigger your anxious nature.
7. You’re Dehydrated
You’ve heard a thousand times that you need to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. If you’re deficient in your supply of H20, it can significantly impact you. There’s a direct connection between hydration and your mood, as your brain cells need water to operate.
If you’re dehydrated, you’re not getting the unwanted toxins out of your system. It would help if you were drinking at least 11-15 cups of water each day, depending on your gender. According to Harvard Health, dehydration causes a deficiency and the inability to carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells, and you’re also not maintaining your electrolyte balance.
8. You’re Living for Others
Sometimes there are people in your life that like to control things. These people can be your spouse, parent, friend, or relative. You can’t live your life trying to please everyone else, or it’s going to make you miserable.
When you have a thought pop into your mind, it’s either going to increase your insecurity or increase your confidence, but the choice is up to you. Don’t worry if someone looked at you and whispered, as they may not have even been discussing you. If you continue to over-analyze everything that others say and think about you, it’s going to drive you mad.
9. Social Situations Can Underly Chronic Anxiety
Chronic anxiety can be caused by the inability to deal with social situations. Social anxiety is a genuine problem, and it can be crippling if you don’t get it under control. This is also known as agoraphobia, where your angst turns into a full-blown phobia that rules your life.
People with social anxiety find it hard to go to school, enjoy a trip to the mall, watch a movie at the theater, or any other situation where many people are involved. According to the National Library of Medicine, Agoraphobia creeps in when you start avoiding these places so that you don’t have these intense feelings of anxiety. Any situation where you feel you can’t escape quickly will be avoided, and some even become housebound because their fears dominate every aspect of their life.
10. You’re Full of Self-Doubt
Have you ever seen those cartoons that depict an angel on one side and a devil on the other? While it’s a humorous attempt at your inner voice, it’s based on many truths. Anytime you’re faced with a choice in life that requires thought, you hear the good and bad voices telling you what you need to do.
Your inner voice can be pretty loud, and it might be enough to make you have self-doubts. The world has a lot of negativities in it, so if you ingest this pessimism all day long, it’s only natural that the fears are the things your inner voice talks about. You must learn how to control this small voice inside you and look at things through optimistic views.
Self-doubt will destroy your esteem and keep you from the job of your dreams, buying that new home, or starting a relationship that will fulfill you. Additionally, if you’re constantly thinking about all the things that you can’t do or that might harm you, then it’s the perfect breeding ground for chronic anxiety.
Final Thoughts on Causes of Chronic Anxiety
Dealing with anxiety or any mental illness is no fun. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to help you get through this challenge. The good news is that anxiety is a highly treatable condition, especially when you learn how to change some of the things listed above.
Anxiety can be medically-based, or it can be circumstantial. Some folks will notice their anxiety increases when dealing with a medical illness or going through a divorce. For other folks, it’s the nagging inner voice of self-doubt or a diet rich in carbs and sugars that’s causing them to feel anxious.
Chronic anxiety is a growing problem that must be treated. Did you know that many people addicted to drugs and alcohol often have underlying mental health conditions like depression and anxiety? These folks suffer from poor coping skills, and they turn to unhealthy ways to try to self-medicate the pain away.
You can try things like meditation, yoga, exercise, eating a plant-based diet, and getting out in nature more to control the angst you feel. Counseling is another excellent option to help with these feelings, especially if you’ve been through trauma, abuse, or suffered from childhood neglect.
What changes can you make today that can help with your chronic anxiety? Rather than popping a pill to mask the issue, why not get to the core of the matter that’s causing the overwhelmed feelings? You can start working on these emotions and problems that are likely at the root of how your angst.