1. Criticizing Yourself for Feeling Anxious
Beating yourself up when you begin to feel anxious only creates more anxiety, you begin to have anxiety over your anxiety. Sometimes we just don’t feel great. It could be any number of factors making us feel vulnerable, like: being tired, hungry, or socially exhausted. Instead, try to practice “self-compassion.” What would you say to a friend who was feeling this way? What would your favorite person to call when you’re down say to make you feel better? Become a friend to yourself, not a bully.
Anxiety is our body’s response to situations that we perceive as threatening and it prompts our body’s “fight or flight” response. Caffeine can also trigger this response, causing you to overreact to situations that aren’t otherwise dangerous. Too much caffeine can also make you irritable and agitated in situations that normally wouldn’t affect you. Try to reduce or stop the use of caffeine, see how you feel after a week of this change. If you have trouble sleeping, it may be attributed to caffeine, not directly related to anxiety. Don’t have caffeine at least five hours before going to bed.
Catastrophizing is a term therapists use to describe a thought pattern that some people even without anxiety have. It means that a small, non-threatening situation becomes the worst-case scenario. An example is if you were to get a headache you might think you have a serious illness and this is the first sign. When this thought pattern occurs, there are many ways to combat it, but it takes practice so remember not to criticize yourself for doing this and not fixing it immediately. One way to combat catastrophizing is to check the facts. Fact 1. You have a headache. 2. I didn’t sleep well last night. 3. I am hungry. 4. I don’t seem to have any other signs of illnesses.
4. Ignoring Your Self-Care
Whether you suffer from anxiety or not, people will have trouble feeling and functioning their best if they are not taking care of themselves. Our bodies know what they need and send signals to us all the time to tell us. When we are hungry, our stomach growls. When we are tired, we yawn. Listen to your body! Get adequate sleep, drink water, take breaks from work or school and do something fun!
5. Unhealthy Habits
Unhealthy habits can include many things but for this section we are talking about drinking, drugs and self-harm. Things that may make your situation temporarily more tolerable may only cause further damage. In the moment you may find relief, but you are not working on the real problem. You are only sweeping it under the rug for a few hours and creating a whole new set of issues that need to be dealt with. Addiction is a much more difficult “habit” to break then the habit of catastrophizing and bullying yourself.