When it comes to life, knowing how to pick your battles, manage your stress and “not sweat the small stuff,” can be crucial to your happiness and overall well-being. Sometimes crappy things happen that merit a stressed response, but other times anxiety is self-induced. In fact, making a few minor lifestyle changes like reducing your caffeine intake , getting more sleep, and exercising regularly can really help you become a calmer, less stressed person. Here a few self-induced ways you may be causing yourself unnecessary anxiety.
Drinking Too Much Caffeine
We all love our morning cup of Joe as well, but when it comes to caffeine (like most things), moderation is key! As you may or may not know, caffeine affects your adrenaline and literally triggers the “fight or flight” response in your body. That’s why a caffeine buzz can be exhilarating or make you anxious and jittery. For this reason, it’s best to limit your daily caffeine intake to two 8 oz. cups or less to avoid getting anxious or too wired.
Exercising is not only amazing for your physique, but it helps release stress and relieves anxiousness. If you’re feeling anxious, going for just a 10 minute run or doing a short yoga session can help alleviate your worries. Lack of exercise contributes to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. So, next time you’re feeling anxious, get moving!
Also known as being a worry wart, Negative Ned, or Negative Nancy. If you find your mind always wandering to the worst case scenario, you may need to start thinking about positive outcomes over negative outcomes. While anxiety serves a purpose in protecting us and even motivating us, always being a pessimist and focusing on the worst can cause you undue stress. It also makes you unpleasant to be around and can hurt your relationships. Next time you find your mind focusing on negativity, remind yourself to look on the brighter side.
Being A Control Freak
The stark truth is that some things are simply out of your control. You can only control your own actions and reactions. You can not control other people’s actions, thoughts, feelings or outcomes. You can express your feelings and thoughts and hope they understand you, but you can never force someone to do or be what you want. Realizing you can only control one person -yourself- will not only make you a happier person, but a less anxious one as well. It will also make you a better friend, partner, and employee, because it’s no mystery that most people don’t like someone trying to control them.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep makes everything feel 10 times worse than it is. Have you ever noticed how much more emotional, overwhelmed, and short-tempered you are when you haven’t slept? Yes, not sleeping causes your body and mind major stress and can actually increase your risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression and whole host of other health problems. So, next time you’re especially anxious and stressed out, take a nap or hit the sack early. You’ll feel so much better!
Too Much Social Media/Never Unplugging
The internet is a wonderful thing -until it’s not! Everyone needs a break from work emails, social media notifications and content overload. If you find yourself on vacation sitting on the beach in Fiji constantly checking your “likes” on Facebook and Instagram, it’s time for an internet time-out. While staying connected to friends online is great, it can also cause stress and anxiety. Whether you find yourself comparing your life to others’ seemingly “better” life or stressing out over an “oversharing” faux-pas, sometimes staying off social media is the best thing you can do. Take time out to shut your phone down and unplug when you’re stressed out. Sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do to relax.
Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine – RCpsych
Social media linked to student anxiety – The Columbia Chronicle
Is Anxiety Really About Having Control Issues? -Healthplace.com
Sleep Loss Increases Anxiety — Especially Among Worriers -PsychCentral
Exercise for Anxiety -Psychology Today