9 “Harmless” Habits That Fuel Your Anxiety

Girl in anxiety

There’s no doubting that anxiety may have a significant impact on your life. Anxiety may be exhausting in and of itself. It has the potential to alter your mind, body, emotions, and even your soul. Anxiety can have an influence on your life that appears to be unrelated to your anxious sensations and thoughts. It has the potential to put you in a negative mood that affects every aspect of your life. Anxiety:

  • Prevents you from taking risks.
  • Stops you from enjoying neutral events.
  • Makes it difficult to find happiness in your day.
  • Causes short and long term physical health issues.
  • Reduces your ability to cope with life events.

Your quality of life worsens when you suffer from anxiety. That is why it is necessary to address the causes of anxiety. These are sometimes substantial life changes, such as the loss of a serious relationship or finding a new, better job. Other times, the adjustments you need to make in your life are much smaller, and they may be something you didn’t know were causing you anxiety in the first place.

How We Affect Our Own Anxiety

In life, you’ll find that you have a lot of different habits. While many of these habits may seem harmless, often times they only serve to fuel your anxiety and cause it to get progressively worse over time. Below are several examples of habits that may seem harmless but are actually causing your anxiety to get worse.

1. Staying Indoors

Have you ever felt a little sad and anxious, and decided that the best thing for you to do is spend some time alone? According to research, that is one of the worst things you can do for your anxiety. Being outdoors and spending time with others keeps you active, focuses your mind on productive tasks, and helps to stimulate pleasant feelings.

Getting out of the home and into nature, helps us relax and clear our brains. Both of these advantages are especially beneficial in a world where we are expected to be efficient, hyper-connected, and always vigilant on several fronts at the same time. A morning walk might provide the boost we need to keep our moods up and our health in control.

Read also: 10 Awesome Indoor Activities for Kids

2. Coffee

Coffee may have some health benefits, but caffeine itself is a fuel for anxiety. It is not that coffee is causing the anxiety itself. Rather, it is increasing the effects of the physical symptoms, which cause you to experience your anxiety in a worse way, which increases your overall anxiety.

Caffeine use encourages the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. As a result, the body experiences a mild panic attack. This reaction will be associated with worry and unpleasant sensations such as mood swings for some people. Caffeine can also have an effect on our sleep. Indeed, even if you take a cup of coffee in the morning, it can affect your body throughout the day, including at sleep.

Coffee may not be that bad for you, but when you have anxiety it can make it harder to recover. Caffeine might affect your mood and well-being if you suffer from anxiety problems on a regular basis. Caffeine boosts cortisol release in the body, thus any drink containing it might raise your stress level and have an effect on your neurological system.  Cutting out coffee from your daily diet is an important first step in dealing with severe anxiety.

3. Shopping

Many people self-medicate their anxiety by buying something expensive that they believe will bring them happiness. Going shopping for clothes or electronics is a good way to dull any negative emotions, but shopping as a solution to anxiety will only make you temporarily happy. Once the joy of buying something new wears off, you will be exactly in the same place you were, and several hundred dollars poorer.

Agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder characterized by a dread of events or locations from which it is impossible to flee, keeps sufferers away from crowded areas such as grocery shops and shopping malls. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1.3 percent of American adults suffer from agoraphobia at some point in their life, which means that the same number either avoids grocery shopping or suffers from it.

Read also: 7 Ways to Reverse Your Overbuying Habits Using Psychology

4. Music that Matches Your Mood

It’s well known that music can influence your mood. What is less well known, however, is that listening to music that matches your negative mood can actually cause your mood to be worse. Several studies have shown that listening to sad music because you’re sad will make you feel worse, not better. You should listen to music that represents the mood you wish to have, not the mood that you want to avoid.

5. Complaining

It’s important to talk about your problems, but it’s not a good idea to merely complain about your problems. If you do nothing more than complain, it only leads to feelings of regret and negativity. Your goal is to reduce your anxiety rather than fuel it, so rather than just complaining about what bothers you, talk about what bothers you while looking towards new ways to change it.

6. Skipping Meals

Breakfast is not just the most important meal of the day. It is also a tool to help you improve your anxiety. By skipping breakfast you are making your body work harder, which increases your anxiety and promotes greater physical symptoms. It is for this reason that crash diets, skipping meals, fad diets and anything that prevents you from getting a complete meal should be avoided.

A proper diet, enough sleep, and daily exercise are the foundations of good health and well-being for everyone, but they’re especially vital when it comes to recovering from anxiety. When you skip meals during the day, your blood sugar levels drop, causing anxiety and irritation. Many people miss meals as a consequence of anxiety-related nausea and other stomach problems, and in the misguided notion that skipping meals will help them lose weight. When nausea is caused by the flu or food poisoning, not eating makes things worse, but when nausea is caused by anxiety, it makes things worse.

Making sure to eat every meal of every day (nutritionally balanced, of course) is important if you hope to fight anxiety symptoms.

7. Working in the Bedroom

Many individuals are working from home during the covid pandemic, primarily without a dedicated desk, and notably on their beds. When working from bed may cause a slew of health issues, particularly in the areas of work and sleep.

Sleep is an important tool for combating anxiety. Yet going to sleep at night is one of the most common times for men and women to experience severe anxiety. One of the primary reasons for this is that the bedroom is supposed to be a place that is only associated with sleep. Although working from bed is easy and comfy, the bedroom office is detrimental to your mental and physical health. The more time you spend awake in bed, the more difficult it is to switch off and relax at night. This is due to the fact that you begin to link your bed with awake rather than restfulness.

Read also: 7 Simple Steps For Your Most Restful Sleep Ever

Yet many people watch TV, do work, pay bills or play on their phones in their room and/or on their bed. All of these things create energy and stress, and those start to become associated with being in your room. Work within office hours and don’t allow work interfere with your personal life. Cover your laptop or computer with a throw blanket so you can’t see it when you get into bed; make your bed first thing (when you wake up) so there’s no temptation to get back in and work there. Your room should be your sanctuary, nothing more, and anything that causes you stress should take place elsewhere in the house.

8. Internet and Social Media

These days many people practically live their lives online. Yet the Internet and computer do nothing to cure your stress or anxiety. Although they may be a slight distraction, they are not a substitute for activity and in person social experiences. One recent study found that more screen usage is linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression. Your computer also causes you to focus your eyes on light while remaining immobile – two things that keep your mind too activated, and can lead to anxiety later on in the night.

Read also: Can Children Be On Social Media Without Their Parent’s Knowledge?

It’s crucial how we utilize social media. Making comparisons is in our nature; we do it in real life and online. However, we frequently compare our reality to an illusion, an image of a life, an image of perfection, while we are online. “We know the photographs are manipulated, therefore it doesn’t really effect us,” many students tell me. In the same breath, people tell me that they employ filters on their photos on a regular basis and that they snap many photos from various perspectives before selecting on the “best” picture to post –we are always searching for perfection.

If you’re socially nervous, avoidance of social media and online contact isn’t the answer. The cost may be too high. As many social arrangements are frequently made online, and being well-connected online is essential for many jobs. If you’re too nervous to engage, you risk being isolated and lonely at a moment when you most need it. Instead, you could benefit from some help and advice on how to utilize social media effectively. Even if you don’t have anxiety in your face-to-face conversations, you may find that nervousness online is limiting you from revealing more of yourself or forming good and deeper relationships with people.

Read also: 10 Things I Learned When I Gave Up Facebook

9. Letting The House Get Dirty

Dirt, clutter and allergens may seem fairly harmless, but the more disrepair and filth that builds up around you, the more you will find yourself unable to appreciate your home and its décor. A dirty house creates anxiety, and your own worries about how other people see your home can only serve to fuel it further.

It may appear like bursting cupboards and stacks of paper placed throughout the house are harmless. Disorganization and clutter, however, have a cumulative effect on our brains, according to study. Our brains like order, and repeated visual reminders of disorganisation deplete our cognitive resources, making it difficult to concentrate. Clutter’s visual distraction causes cognitive overload and can impair working memory.

Read also: 10 Essential Habits To Instantly Become A Highly Organized Mom

According to a 2016 poll of persons with mild to severe clutter difficulties, their disorganized living environments had a negative influence on their view of their house and general happiness. It’s essential to understand that clutter may be both a cause and a consequence of mental health issues when it’s excessive.

Decluttering frequently serves as a catalyst for bettering other elements of our lives, in addition to enhancing our mood and attention. It’s the same as removing files on your computer to free up disc space by cleaning unnecessary objects from our houses. Suddenly, the entire operating system is more efficient… this reduces stress and promotes personal and professional performance.

Read also: 13 Destructive Habits That Cause Anxiety

Making the Little Changes

Anxiety is not only caused by serious life problems. Sometimes anxiety can be fueled by something as simple as a missed breakfast, or listening to music that puts you in a fouler mood. While an important aspect of reducing anxiety comes from making some major life changes, other times you may simply need to change some of your habits.

Natural anxiety solutions are worth exploring, either on their own or in combination with standard treatments (if you are getting professional care, talk to your doctor first). A regular meditation practice, physical activity, spending time outside, or making a few dietary switches are all examples of lifestyle modifications that might help reduce anxiety over time. Others, such as deep breathing and distraction strategies, can offer natural anxiety relief when the mind sends an SOS signal.

In addition to the above list, spend some time reflecting on your daily life and see if there is anything that contributes to your anxiety. You’ll find that you likely have many habits that seem harmless, but in the end make your anxiety worse.


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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