Anxiety is such a common ailment but it is surprisingly difficult to pinpoint exactly why it occurs.
Of course, anxiety itself is a natural emotion that has protected humans from danger for millions of years. But when the feeling of anxiety becomes commonplace in the mind, this is referred to as an anxiety disorder. The origin of anxiety disorders has perplexed scientists and psychiatrists for decades. The brain is a complex structure that science is only starting to understand.
When the actual cause of a mental ailment cannot be identified, a good way to alleviate symptoms is to study the lifestyle choices that make anxiety worse. Here are four such habits that are detrimental to you if you want to beat anxiety.
1. Smoking Cigarettes. The negative physical effects of cigarettes are well-documented. Unfortunately, they don’t do much good for anxiety either. Many anxious people are under the impression that a cigarette helps to calm them down.
The problem is that nicotine, a key ingredient in cigarettes, is actually a stimulant that can heighten feelings of anxiety. Cutting out cigarettes is one of the best choices you can make if you want to feel calmer and healthier.
2. Drinking Too Much Alcohol. Having a few drinks is often seen as a great way to unwind and relax. The issue for anxiety sufferers with alcohol is that they are more susceptible to drink more, simply because tolerance to alcohol’s relaxing effects can often build-up quickly.
Another problem with alcohol is hangovers. The neurochemical changes and stress on the body from over consumption can wreak havoc of anxiety. Try to limit the amount of booze you consume at one sitting – alternating between alcoholic beverages and soda is a good choice.
3. Lack of Exercise. Anxious people often live quite sedentary lifestyles. The effects of anxiety on the mind can be quite taxing and leave you feeling lethargic. The problem with neglecting physical exercise is that you are missing out on a powerful anti-anxiety remedy.
Sitting on the sofa distracting yourself with television programs might seem like the easy choice, but exerting yourself for 30 minutes every day will reap huge benefits. A bonus is that you’ll sleep better if you exhaust your body – no more nights spent lying awake worrying about life’s problems.
4. Too Much Caffeine. Whether in the form of coffee, soda, or energy drinks, consuming excess caffeine is a nightmare people with anxiety. A morning coffee can provide a much-needed boost for a mind that has been worn out by over-thinking, but anything more than that can make you feel jittery and wired.
Anxious people tend to be more sensitive to the stimulant effects of caffeine. Your friends or work colleagues might get away with drinking five caffeinated beverages over the course of the day, but that’s not a good idea if you want to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
5. Overwhelming Stress. Oxidative stress is when your body is producing free radicals and can’t repair from the damage the free radicals have done, which has been shown to be the cause of many serious diseases and ailments. Stress fuels anxiety and dealing with stress and being able to reduce oxidative stress (the kind of stress that can kill you) is imperative to a healthy body.
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Now that you have a clearer picture in your mind of the kinds of lifestyle choices that make anxiety worse, you can plan to build a healthier way of living that will ultimately reduce your anxiety symptoms. If you ever feel that anxiety is becoming too difficult to handle, get in contact with your doctor who can advise you on treatment methods such as medication or cognitive behavioural therapy.