What am I doing to make my anxiety worse
Anxious thoughts hide in our unhealthy habits. The habits that create our anxiety can tell us a lot about getting out of it. Having healthy habits can help us cope and break the negative spiral that feeds anxiety.
When you can develop healthy habits, you can calm down and restore mental balance; anxiety subsides. But when we end up more anxious, overwhelmed, procrastinating, and consumed with worry, the habits that we are using are unhealthy and make the problem worse.
Peoples anxious coping behaviors can promote illness, addictions, compulsions, self-hate, insomnia, and unhappiness. Anxiety can hide in many things you do without you being aware of it. You and I have specific habits that we use to cope when we feel anxious.
Understanding how you cope with anxious thoughts can help you discover ways to release anxiety and stop its spiral.
Fear has purpose
In our current times, a lot of our deepest fears have risen. Fears are not the same as anxieties. Fear can come up and enable us to protect ourselves or someone else from danger. Usually, after that, the fear subsides. When anxious thoughts come up, the brain begins a negative connection pattern that keeps you trapped. It keeps going around and around, looking for more information, asking never-ending questions.
Information is part of the problem
Possibly you can relate to the experience of constantly looking for answers on the internet, searching, and getting more worried. Instead of feeling calm, you create more worries and predict worse catastrophes. Finding more information doesn’t stop the worries and anxious thoughts.
In your anxiety, you talk to a friend, hoping to get more information to stop it. Instead, the friend shares the same worries. The cycle continues and maybe even feels worse. Your friend put another concern you have not thought about before the conversation. A worst-case scenario that gets you deeper. Anxiety is contagious and will continue staying alive based on our social interactions.
Our anxiety gets manifested through our emotions. When the stress of it becomes too frequent, and it is too much, it triggers panic. It feels out of control and overwhelming in the mind and body.
The more uncertain your feelings are about the situation tied to your anxiety, the more your brain struggles. The brain feels lost, and it’s harder to cope. To stop anxiety, it could be helpful to develop more awareness when the cycle is beginning. It could be handy to realize when your pressure is preventing the spiral and panic.
Also, the more you can understand how your habits can promote more anxiety, the more you can stop the cycle. Knowing that your brain is thinking you are in danger and triggers an alarm in your body can alert you to get the reigns back without spiraling out of control.
The most unhelpful thing we do
Worry is the habit that is possibly triggering most of your anxious thoughts. You can begin looking at it as an unhelpful habit. Most of our worries will never happen. So why we need to go through a worthless exercise of catastrophic scenarios with no end for no good reason.
Redirect with a question
Instead of worrying about why find something else to do. I want to consider asking yourself a question. Engaging the brain in another problem to solve can snap out the mental activity that feeds your anxiety. Please consider asking the following question:
What can I do right now to stay calm and feel safe?
Get grounded and calm
You can have a list of things you like to do that bring you back to feeling settle, centered, and at peace. Your list could be to pet your cat, meditation, yoga, bath, a cup of tea, hug a loved one, call a friend that helps you feel safe and positive.
Worrying will continue endlessly, and you will spend all your day and the following reinforcing more anxious thoughts. Your worries can become an addiction. If your anxiety takes too much of your mental energy, consider finding positive ways to charge it, stop drain to with worrying.
Identify your anxious coping
Another important aspect of your anxious thoughts is the behaviors that we do when they arise. Think about this question: What are the most common behaviors that you do when you feel anxious?
Do you open the fridge or go to the pantry? Do you grab your phone? Do you search in google for answers? Do you hang out with anxious friends? Do you drink or shop? Do you procrastinate and push people away?
These habits give you an erroneous signal. They misguide you and make you feel momentarily ok. But the anxiety is still hidden in these habits. They are unhealthy and will contribute to helping it alive. These are not positive ways to cope with it. You could create illness, more worries, addictions, self-criticism, and unhappiness.
Also, there are negative long-term consequences to these habits. Right now, they might be ok, but in the future, you are weakening your mental and physical health. Nervous habits are temporary distractions, not the solution.
Break the anxious mental habit
How to do it?
Stop finding your whys and break the thinking addiction.
Anxiety can make you feel like more time you spend overtaking, that one day you will come up with a solution. You can believe that if you repeat the worry in your head, you will find the why of your anxiety and get it to stop.
I’m sorry, but the answer is no.
Cut off the root
Anxiety has become a habit. Your worries are feeding the addiction. Your brain will continue to find an endless list of why’s. And will continue to the anxiety loop.
Instead, ask yourself: What if I stop caring about why you are anxious?
Allow yourself the opportunity to cut off the root the keeps getting your mind hook on anxious thoughts. The thinking addiction attaches to feeding worries can become a complete stop if you are ok with not knowing. Not having answers to all the worries that pop in your head can set you free.
If you keep feeding your why’s, you continue the cycle—It all begins with being ok with not having a solution. Not having control of situations is part of living. Our brain doesn’t like it. I know! But we can begin to let go of this constant craving for feeling in control.
Trying constantly to fix ourselves, fix others, fix the world is exhausting. Trying to figure out why you are anxious has not worked, and it looks like it is not the answer.
Mindfulness to the rescue
When you feel anxious, thoughts kick in. Take a pause when you notice the alarm ringing. Bring your attention to your breathing.
Take some prolonged deep breaths and calm down. Don’t spend any time exploring more worries.
Look inside yourself and observe your emotions arising. Notice your body and keep breathing. Relax the body and carry on.