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Whether you realize it or not, there are certain habits you have that are making your anxiety worse.
Think about the music you listen to, the movies you watch, or the drinks you consume.
Everything impacts your mental health in some way.
Continue reading for 10 common bad habits that make anxiety worse.
10 Common Bad Habits That Make Your Anxiety Worse
1. WATCHING CRIME DOCUMENTARIES
One of my favorite things to do is curl up under a blanket and watch crime documentaries.
I become so engrossed in the cases, and I just want to find out the truth.
But crime documentaries are about murder and violence and other heinous crimes.
Watching them makes you more on edge.
You start to think that anybody you know could be a murderer. Every person you run into could potentially commit a crime against you.
And what this does is create more anxiety and more paranoia.
2. WATCHING SCARY STUFF
I know this is a pretty obvious one, but a lot of us love watching scary stuff.
This can include:
- horror movies
- thriller movies
- ghost videos
- conspiracy theory videos
We love the adrenaline these types of movies and videos give us.
However, having an increased heart rate oftentimes makes people more anxious.
Having a high heart rate can mimic feelings of anxiety, and people who are used to having panic attacks can be even more affected by it.
3. LISTENING TO INTENSE MUSIC
Music can have a big impact on our moods and the energy we feel.
Oftentimes, music can cause a sensory overload in people.
Potential music triggers:
- electronic dance music (trap, dubstep, house, techno)
For me, music with a loud throbbing bass puts me on edge and makes me feel tense. Also, a lot of repetition with beats heightens my anxiety.
I recommend listening to my favorite Pandora stations that I use to calm my anxiety.
4. DRINKING CAFFEINE
Caffeine can make your symptoms of anxiety worse.
In fact, many of the signs of having too much caffeine are the same as some symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, restlessness, sweating, nervousness, and dizziness.
If you’re someone who can’t live without coffee, try cutting down the amount you drink and see how you feel.
Some more natural ways to get energy are eating more fruit and vegetables, especially leafy greens.
Smoothies are a great way to get some natural energy in the morning.
If you need some recipes, try one of these.
5. WATCHING THE NEWS
The news is very biased. It hardly ever focuses on the good in the world.
We’ll see stories of fires, car accidents, and murders, among other crimes.
With all these negatives news stories, we’re bound to believe that the world is filled with only evil.
Only bad people with bad morals and agendas. No good in the world.
So every time you watch the news, you are essentially feeding your mind these negative, anxious thoughts.
You may feel like this negative, evil world is your reality.
But the fact of the matter is the news shows only a very small fraction of real life.
6. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is basically someone else’s highlight reel.
We don’t like to admit it, but social media makes it easier to hate ourselves.
It makes it easier for us to compare ourselves to people, especially strangers, online.
We worry we’re not good enough when other people don’t like our pictures or comment on our posts
Social media also wastes valuable time, which can be used to be more productive.
Most of the time you’ll fill out your planner for the week and think you’re being super productive.
But then when it actually comes down to it, you realize you overscheduled.
Now you’re overwhelmed and anxious.
Then you’ll feel bad about yourself for not completing said task, and then you’ll feel even worse about yourself.
I recommend prioritizing what you need to get done first.
Make a separate list of your lower priority, “keep busy” tasks that are on your to-do list.
Once you complete your high priority task, you can choose one task from your low priority tasks at a time.
People who procrastinate create their own stress. And they do it all the time.
Procrastinating is nothing more than putting off an important task.
You tell yourself you’ll do it later. Then you’ll put the task off again and again, until you’re down to the wire.
And guess what you’re left with. Excessive stress.
If you just complete the task as soon as possible, your stress levels are likely to go down significantly.
10. AVOIDING SITUATIONS
You can’t ignore anxiety. You can’t push it aside.
But a lot of people try to avoid their anxiety.
Avoidance might feel better in the moment, but it will create more anxiety and even more avoidance down the road.
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