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"5 Surprising Habits That Can Worsen Your Anxiety and Tips to Make Changes"

Sometimes we become so set in our ways that we don't realize that our habits might not be the healthiest and might actually be worsening our anxiety! Awareness is the first step to making change!

1. Not getting enough sleep

People who do not get enough sleep over time, can experience more anxiety. Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and leads to anxiety! "Enough sleep" can look different for everyone, so make sure you notice how much sleep works best for you. You can keep a log of how many hours you sleep each day and what your mood is like for the rest of your day. You might notice a pattern after a while!

2. Avoidance

A lot of people try to avoid situations and people that trigger their anxiety. If the grocery store triggers your anxiety because there is too much going on, you might order your groceries instead. This might seem like a simple solution, but over time it reinforces the anxiety. Soothing the anxiety in the moment isn't necessarily what's best in the long term. You can work with a therapist to find healthy ways in managing your triggers for anxiety and reduce avoidance behaviors.

3. Coffee first thing in the morning

Who else reaches for that hot cup of fresh coffee the moment they open their eyes in the morning? I know I enjoy to do that! However, coffee on an empty stomach can speed up the absorption of caffeine, increase cortisol, and spike anxiety! You might try experimenting with different sources of caffeine and wait some time after waking up before reaching for that cup of joe!

4. Spending too much time on social media

When people spend a great deal of time on social media, they often experience an increase in anxiety. People start comparing their worst days to the best days that others share on social media. Think about it. How often do you share that argument you had with your partner or your struggles at work on social media? Even though most people understand social media isn't always reality, when we spend too much time scrolling, we start to believe what we see. You can try a social media fast for a day or decide ahead of time how much time you're willing to spend on social media and use apps to hold you accountable.

5. Not getting exercise

A sedentary lifestyle can often trigger anxiety. Getting out all that extra energy with exercise can be really helpful. Exercise doesn't need to be getting on that treadmill if that's not your thing! Exercise can be dancing in your living room, going on a walk with a friend, or chasing your dog around at the park!


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