Anxiety is a sensation that most of us will experience at least once in our lives. For around 18-percent of Americans, it also becomes a diagnosis. Whether it’s a fear of socializing or a persistent feeling that something bad will happen, remaining in an anxious state is far from pleasant. While most people associate it with mental health (and they’re not wrong), physical sensations play a role too. Understanding lifestyle-related anxiety triggers could help you keep frantic feelings at bay.
Say goodbye to nicotine
If you’re a smoker, you probably reach for your cigarettes when bad feelings start to grumble. Unfortunately, nicotine is a potent stimulant. Alongside the carbon monoxide cigarettes produce, it forces your heart to beat faster.
When your heart is beating faster, the physical sensation you induced compounds the racing heart that accompanies anxiety. Ditching smoking in a bid to control your anxiety comes with a wealth of health perks. It’s one of the few anxiety triggers that can have far-reaching consequences, so pursue smoking cessation for better long-term health.
One of the most popular anxiety triggers is the worst
Hands up who reaches for a cup of coffee within moments of waking? While you probably enjoy the transient perk that comes with feeling a little more awake, the physical sensations that follow aren’t fun. Just like nicotine, caffeine stimulates the racing heart rate that feels like anxiety. Even worse, it’s going to make your stomach churn.
Hopefully you can see why overdoing it on the caffeine front is going to make your anxiety worse. If not, consider this: caffeine has a half life of around six hours, which means it’ll lurk in your system for a while. If it’s still working its magic when you’re due to fall asleep, you’ll find that your anxious mind is awake and going into overdrive. If you can’t halt your caffeine habit, make it an agreement with yourself to not drink any after midday.
Too many late nights will lead to a negative mindset
In a hectic world it’s easy to argue that we simply cannot get as much sleep as we need. But, if you analyze your way of life, can you honestly say you’re incapable of getting another hour of shuteye? Failing to get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night on average significantly elevates your risk of developing an anxiety disorder. As you may have guessed, more anxiety leads to less sleep. Eventually you’ll find yourself in a chicken and egg situation, which becomes difficult to manage when it spirals out of control.
While there are no guarantees you’ll achieve a perfect night’s sleep every night, there are steps you can take towards making it more likely. Consider learning a little more about sleep hygiene, burn off energy during the day with exercise, and try stress-reduction therapies such as meditation. If sleeping becomes one of the anxiety triggers you can’t control, discuss medical interventions with your doctor.
Many of us have anxiety triggers that are unique. That means it’s difficult to cover them all here. With that in mind, try taking some time to write down what your anxiety triggers are and list ways to work around them.