7 Things You Should Stop Doing If You Have Anxiety

Are you someone who’s easily overwhelmed about the most trivial things? Do you feel anxious so much that you lay awake most nights with thoughts that make you stressed? One of the many reasons why anxiety is hard to cure is because most people suffering from it engage in things that make it worse. Listed below are the common issues that usually aggravate anxiety.

1. Keeping Your Anxiety a Secret

It might feel shameful for you to let people know that you’re suffering from anxiety. You may fear that they’d start avoiding you or treat you unfairly because of it. But the one mistake of people suffering from anxiety is being dishonest about it.

You don’t have to tell the world right now, but the closest people you know, or the ones you spend time with every day is a good start. This will help them understand you, and help you overcome your anxiety.

2. Isolating Yourself

“I feel much better alone, I don’t need anyone else”. Anxious people often distance themselves from other people. And this is very unhealthy. Solitude is good once in a while but too much and it can lead to depression. The thing is: familiarity increases anxiety. The more you stay in the “safe zone”, the more you get anxious when new things come your way.

According to Brianna West, founder of Soul Anatomy, “anxiety is being disconnected from the present moment, other people, or yourself. It is the warning sign that we’re too much in the past or the future so much that it affects the choices we make in the present.”

So stop spending too much time alone. Start doing something different, get out of your comfort zone, and start connecting or reconnecting with the people you have in your life.

3. Validating Your Fears

Imagine if you’re the type of person who gets anxious about traveling by airplanes. You’ll worry about your life so much that you’ll look up death rates for plane accidents. Or if you’re scared of dogs, you’ll read stories about cases of people who got killed by their own pet dogs.

Validating fears is commonly done by people who are anxious about their health. They research to validate their symptoms and worry that they may have a rare disease. Unfortunately, this behavior is not helpful, as it causes more anxiety. And the more you get anxious, the more your anxiety becomes harder to cure.

What you should do is realize that fear is normal and that it’s also liberating. We are all designed to feel fear. But to conquer our fear takes time, and it should be done so with love and understanding for yourself.

4. Lying to Yourself

The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves. People like to cover up truths because it doesn’t sound pretty. Or because it hurts. One of the causes of anxiety is contradiction with ourselves. By lying to yourself, you’re masquerading the truth with lies that hurt other people. Lies that make you create an expectation of yourself that maybe you can’t even achieve. That’s what’s going to make you more anxious. If you want to feel freer, you must accept yourself as you are.

5. Having a Poor Diet

We know how media, especially television, can have a huge influence on our preferences when it comes to the ideal body type. It has affected us so much that most of us feel anxious when we gain weight so we consume much less food than we should. Anxiety can alter digestion and water intake in our intestine which affects how food is transported through our digestive tract. This leads to poor bowel movement, blood in stools, and even diarrhea.

6. Pleasing Everyone

Many people suffering from anxiety have an inclination to people-please. These people want to be agreeable and likable to everyone they meet — and may feel hurt or worried if other people won’t like them. Sometimes they go to great lengths to sacrifice their own needs, both emotionally and physically. And become anxious and guilty if they let down someone.

7. Trying to Be Perfect

Someone who feels too scared of being rejected, or too worried to say something wrong will always feel anxious. Instead of trying so hard to do well and creating pressure on yourself, give yourself the permission to look bad. Allow yourself to be imperfect. Don’t feel too worried to violate any invisible social rules. It’s not the end of the world if nobody laughed at your joke or if you made an awkward comment.

Closing Thoughts

Fighting anxiety is a tough battle. I should know, I’ve been suffering from it for more than 22 years now. But in all these years, I’ve learned that anxiety isn’t something to be tolerated, it has to be cured. And the only way you can do is it by surrounding yourself with love and friendship from people who matter most to you. So don’t let anxiety ruin your life. Learn to form connections, find peace, and be yourself in any social situation.

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