Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It has its hold on more than 40 million adults over the age of 18, which equates to roughly 18 percent of the population.
Not only does it affect millions of people, but it’s also responsible for more than $42 billion each year in mental health bills. Those figures alone are enough to trigger anxiety in a person.
Since so many people suffer from anxiety, it makes sense that we should identify the most common triggers of the disorder, and figure out a way to avoid them completely.
Here are seven habits that will make your anxiety worse, and most importantly, how to avoid them.
People who suffer from anxiety have a fear of the unknown. They have their own expectations for everything, and when those expectations don’t align with reality, their anxiety becomes much worse.
You can avoid this trigger by living in the present moment; don’t put all your energy into the future, which is outside the bounds of your control.
Overthinking only creates problems that don’t need to exist.
Even if the problems you’re worried about do exist, dwelling on them won’t make them go away.
The more you think about things, the more exaggerated they become in your head, and in turn, the worse your anxiety becomes.
You can avoid overthinking by setting some boundaries. Give yourself a time to worry each day, and then stop once that time is up.
Denying issues that need to be addressed will only exacerbate your anxiety and stress you out. If you choose to deny your issues before you confront them, the confrontation will only get worse.
Avoid denial by accepting what you need to overcome, and then do what you need to do to overcome it.
4. Relying on Medication
Medication can be a great tool in order to help you overcome your anxiety, but it shouldn’t be the only tool.
Anxiety is created by you, not by an outside force, which means that the power to rid yourself of anxiety is already within you.
Studies have shown that meditation can be equally as effective for anxiety as prescription drugs, so give it a try.
5. Extreme Control
People with anxiety usually get worse when they are confronted by something outside of their control.
The world itself is outside of our control, so to assume that we can control everything is like throwing resources into a black hole; it’s a complete waste.
Save your energy and stop trying to control everything and your anxiety won’t get worse.
6. Substance Abuse
People who can’t cope with their anxiety sometimes turn to substances like alcohol or drugs in order to bury their feelings.
This might be a temporary fix, but it will only make things worse in the long term. When you feel the need to self-medicate, use that moment as a learning experience and examine your feelings.
Identify exactly why you feel that way and find a new outlet.
When you have anxiety, avoiding it seems like a good fix, but it really just makes everything that much worse.
Repressing emotions or feelings is never a good solution because you’ll just have to confront them later. Accept that you have anxiety and that you need to work on getting better.
Never avoid something because you don’t want to face it; you need to work through it to get over it.
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