1. Having low blood sugar.
If you find your anxiety is at it’s worst as soon as you wake up, it could be because you’re blood sugar levels are low. Essentially, your brain uses sugar (glucose) as fuel. After having gone all night without that, if the levels are particularly low and/or drop too fast, it will trigger a “fight or flight” response that will send cortisol through your body to deal with the threat which, in this case, is low fuel.
2. Lacking structure.
The root of a lot of anxiety is the unknown. Though this often plays out in more generalized, dramatic ways (losing a job, being sick, etc.) having a routine is a simple way to keep your mind “knowing what’s next” and therefore a little less likely to get carried away with “what if’s.”
3. Identifying with it.
How many people do you know say: “I’m an anxious person?” (A lot, I imagine.) The more you identify yourself as being someone who is something as opposed to someone who occasionally experiences something (as we all do) the more it comes about and is harder to let go of. Rather than just being a feeling, it becomes a part of who you are.
4. Ignoring your gut instincts.
We’re so conditioned to deny any feeling that’s not “good” we completely miss the whole point of having a range of emotions. Granted, for some of us, those emotions can be irrationally present in various circumstances, but once in a while we often realize that our anxiety was signaling that something else was wrong, something we weren’t realizing. It’s not to enforce the A-Z logic that comes with panicking, but just to embrace the fact that our bodies give us messages for reasons, and there could be something you’re overlooking.
5. Being afraid to say what you’re afraid of.
A lot of people find one of the most helpful exercises in getting rid of anxiety in the moment is to say out loud what you’re afraid of, and then dig and sift through it, why you’re afraid of it. Say it as a statement, and say it out loud. There’s some power in getting it out there. The more you repeat it, the less scary it becomes. Hidden things hold the most power, especially when they’re negative.
6. Being bored.
Unfortunately, as soon as our minds lose focus on one particular task, they tend to roam and find something else to worry about. We have a hard time just allowing ourselves to be happy, partially because as human beings, we’re animals programmed for survival. If there’s not enough going on in your life, you’ll find something to make a big deal out of to give yourself purpose — to use your “survival instincts” as you are meant to.
7. Engaging with social media too regularly.
When you subconsciously live your life and make decisions based on how they’re going to appear — to other people in your mind and more literally on social networks, you’re bound to have an abundance of anxiety over it. Studies show that social media is directly linked to a very new kind of anxiety, and honestly, it’s no wonder. There are whole anxiety disorders just based around needing to have your phone in your hand! Try dwindling your use or breaking away one site at a time. You’re not meant to live your life for the consumption of others, and never before has this been so readily prevalent as in the digital age.