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It’s important to remember that anxiety is treatable, even if it doesn’t feel that way. In this post I’ve compiled a list of 10 things you should stop doing if you have anxiety. These, along with professional help from a doctor or therapist, could help you take control of your anxiety and start living a happier life.
You don’t have to stop doing each and every one of these things, but part of managing your anxiety is trying out new things and seeing what works for you. If stopping one of these things doesn’t work for you then that’s fine. The important part is that you tried.
10 Things You Should Stop Doing if You Have Anxiety
1. Drinking Caffeine
Nobody wants to hear it, but caffeine can be a huge anxiety trigger. Side effects of caffeine include insomnia, irritability, and heart palpitations – which conveniently coincide with the side effects of anxiety.
If you’re a coffee drinker then try cutting down on your intake and recording any changes in your mood. It may also be worth cutting out caffeine completely, at least for a few weeks while you see how your body reacts.
You could also consider switching out coffee for tea. Unlike coffee, tea naturally contains L-theanine, which is an amino acid that allows you to feel the effects of caffeine without the jitteriness.
2. Drinking Alcohol
If you’ve ever experienced hangover anxiety (or ‘hanxiety’) then you’ll know the effects that alcohol can have on your mental health.
Alcohol is a known depressant and can have both short and long term effects on your mental health. If you’re a regular drinker, try cutting down on your weekly intake or cutting out alcohol completely.
3. Avoiding Your Fears
Avoiding things you don’t want to do is the easiest way to deal with your anxiety. But it’s also the one of the worst.
The more you avoid your fears, the scarier they’ll become. Try to push through your anxiety as much as you can, even if it’s hard. Commit to doing something that scares you at least once every day or every week.
4. Isolating Yourself
It’s incredibly easy to fall into the habit of isolating yourself, particularly if you have social anxiety. You may feel like a burden on the people around you, and that your friends hate you and don’t want you around.
But having a strong support network can ease some of your anxiety, so try your hardest to maintain your relationships and even form new ones. Volunteering is a great way to get out and meet new people with similar interests.
5. Suffering in Silence
It’s easy to feel ashamed of your anxiety, but anxiety is extremely common and you likely know at least one person who understands how you feel.
Reach out to your friends and family if you can, and don’t be afraid to see your doctor or a therapist if you haven’t already. There’s help available for you everywhere, but you do have to go out and get it.
6. Using Your Phone Before Bed
Getting enough sleep is important, and sleep deprivation can be a major cause of anxiety. The only issue is that anxious thoughts are notorious for keeping you up for hours at night.
Try putting your phone away an hour before bed and instead doing something stress free and relaxing. Not only do bright screens interfere with your sleep, but social media can be a stressful environment, especially if you already suffer from anxiety.
7. Comparing Yourself to Others
You may feel that your anxiety is getting in the way of you achieving your biggest goals, and that’s okay. But it may not feel okay if you’re prone to comparing yourself to others online.
Try quitting social media if you know it makes you feel less than great about yourself. Or if that’s too drastic of a step, spend half an hour reflecting on which social media platform has the worst effect on your mental health, and deleting the app off your phone.
8. Letting Others Bring You Down
You’re probably your own worst enemy, so it’s important to surround yourself with as much positivity as possible. If you’re in any toxic relationships with people who like to bring you down, don’t be afraid to cut them out of your life. It’s a difficult step to take but you’ll be a lot happier in the long run.
9. Saying Sorry for Everything
Over apologizing often comes from a place of self-doubt and insecurity. Saying sorry for everything – even things that aren’t your fault – will only reinforce any negative thoughts you have about yourself.
Whenever you feel the urge to say sorry to someone you should instead thank them for their patience. It’s a small change but it makes a huge difference to how others perceive you, as well as how you perceive yourself.
10. Skipping Meals
This won’t be applicable to everyone, but it can be easy to forget about food when you have a lot on your mind.
Neglecting your physical health can have a negative impact on your mental health, so try to eat at least 3 meals throughout the day. You’re more likely to be jittery and irritable if you’re hungry, which will inevitably have a negative effect on your anxiety.
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I hope this post helped you out a little, and that your anxiety eases up soon. If you have any questions or comments then please don’t hesitate leave a comment below, and if you liked this post then be sure to subscribe to The Violet Journal to get similar posts sent directly to your inbox.