Anxiety: Things you didn’t know were stressing you out
Have you had those moments when your heart starts beating rapidly, you feel like everything has become a worry. You can’t relax or sit still because you feel like something awful is going to happen and absolutely everything and everyone irritates you? These are common symptoms of anxiety, which can affect your thoughts, behaviour and even the way you feel about pizza. Sometimes, no amount of yoga, meditation or green tea can calm you down. The best way to solve your anxiety is to remove the sources of your stress. We’ve put together a list of things you might not have known were stressing you out.
6 things you didn’t know were stressing you out
Living in chaos can cause anxiety
When there is clutter or a disorganised space, the chaos can really mess with your head. It can take time away from your already packed schedule to find things. Getting organised can be as simple as dedicating a place for everything or throwing some of the useless stuff out! Take some time to clean out and organize your space.
The people you hang out with are stressing you out
The people we spend time with have a great impact on how we’re feeling and even how we deal with the daily stressors of everyday life. These people could be your roommates, friends, co-workers and everyone knows how stressful family can be. If you feel drained after spending time with someone or you feel like you can’t be yourself, they could be stressing you out.
This form of anxiety can make you feel uneasy and miserable. It might not even be because they intend to cause you harm. Unintended stressors can creep into our lives and take over before we wise up to their existence. While you can’t pick your family, you can choose the situations you place yourself in. Review all your relationships and decide which ones to keep and which ones to bid adieu. Always remember that to beat anxiety, depression or stress, you need to place yourself first.
Spending too much time on social media
More Australians are on social media than ever before. In fact, in 2016 Australians spent more time online than they did at work! But can you blame us when there’s so much content online? From pictures, tweets and videos to memes, articles and other useful content, there’s just so much to read! The trouble is when you focus on content that can make you feel bad about your own life. For example, instead of a useful, motivational quote, you spend all your time stalking that seemingly perfect couple. The problem with social media is that it is curated. That means you only see what people want you to see. This can be dangerous if all you see is perfection and that makes you feel anxious or stressed about your own life. Surround yourself with good things and good things will come to you too!
Comparing yourself to others
Have you ever done something and then said to yourself, “I’m such an idiot”? These small, maybe even innocent remarks to yourself can be detrimental to your self-esteem. Similar to number 3, comparing yourself to other people, online or in real life, can be a dangerous anxiety-inducing habit. The more you tell yourself that you are dumb or fat or unworthy, the more you start to believe it, even if it is subconscious. This can affect your mood and how you deal with stressful situations. Don’t compare yourself to others because most of the time we only see what we want to see in others. Yet, we all have our own pace, different experiences and situations. Spend your energy improving yourself instead of creating anxiety for yourself. Focus on building on your talents, strengths and interests.
Not exercising enough
Exercise has been shown to have a host of beneficial effects, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Although you might be tired immediately after exercising, it actually reduces fatigue, improves alertness and focus, and helps with your overall cognitive function. A 10-minute walk is enough to stimulate the anti-anxiety effects that you need to feel better! If you need help with your anxiety, set small daily goals, such as walking for 30 minutes every day. The key is frequency rather than quantity.
You’re not eating right
While anxiety is not caused by food, what you eat does affect how you feel and how you cope. Eating clean can help you keep your anxiety in check. For example, cut out fried foods, alcohol, coffee, dairy, refined sugar and acidic foods for a month and see how much better you’ll feel. Replace these foods with healthier options such as fresh fruit, vegetables, water, tryptophan-rich foods, magnesium-rich foods and omega-3 fatty acids.
You’re not sleeping enough
We’re busier than ever, especially if you have to juggle multiple responsibilities. However, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you can reduce your stress coping abilities. Unfortunately, anxiety can also lead to a lack of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. The causes of this are body stress, brain stress, hormonal changes, physical symptoms, anticipatory anxiety, stress and even adrenaline. The inability of your body to relieve stress means that your body is unable to:
- repair itself;
- neurons are unable to regenerate, decreasing cognitive functioning;
- regulate hormone changes;
- fight off infection or maintain body conditions leading to headaches and illness;
- regulate the level of anxiety, leading to anticipatory anxiety;
- control sleep which can make people angry or irritable, especially because they can’t get to sleep; and
- monitor adrenaline levels so that you can get to sleep.
Not setting enough time aside for yourself
We all have many responsibilities that demand our attention during the day. But what about the tasks that make us happy? What’s one thing you absolutely love doing and when was the last time you were able to do it? It all boils down to what our priorities are. While family, work and children are understandably high on our list of priorities, you should be on that list too! Do something that makes you happy at least once a week to fight off stress and anxiety. If nothing currently makes you happy, go out and try new things. You never know when you’ll find something or someone that changes your life!
20 things you didn’t know about stress
- Money, work, economic outlook, family and relationships were the most cited sources of stress.
- Stress is strongly tied to cardiac disease, hypertension, inflammatory diseases and compromised immune systems
- Stress can literally break your heart
- Cortisol is responsible for many of the ill effects – suppresses the immune system, elevates blood sugar and impedes bone formation
- High cortisol during late pregnancy can lower child’s IQ and even be linked to autism.
- Most stressed city in Australia is reportedly Melbourne!
- The least stressed city in Australia is Sydney, which is also one of the least stressed cities in the world!
- Eat more complex carbs like those in carrots and potatoes for stress relief and cognitive functioning. Unfortunately, the carbs in cakes and cookies don’t count.
Harmless things that might be creating stress and anxiety
- Open plan offices
Knowing what everyone is doing and knowing that everyone knows what you’re doing can create a lot of anxiety. It might not be similar to the stress of putting your sleeping child down without waking them up, but the anxiety of being on YouTube while your boss tours the office is real. Studies have also shown that, with open plan offices, employees are subconsciously also paying attention to everything that’s happening around you. This means that there is a constant source of distraction. It can create anxiety and stress when you realise you haven’t gotten your work done or when you’re spending all your time watching your cute co-worker out of the corner of your eye.
- Background noise
Small background noises like the hum of the air conditioner, that incessantly chirping cricket that never dies or your child trying to get your attention are all examples of background noises that can be causing you stress or anxiety. You may think that you’ve become immune to these noises, but this low-level of noise can have an impact on your blood pressure. When it comes to chronic exposure to noise and stress, you could find that later on, you have serious health problems such as strokes, ulcers and a weaker immune system.
- Little light in your bedroom
Unless you live far out in the outback, it’s unlikely that your bedroom is completely dark. Streetlights, the light from your phone charging or even your cat’s weird glowing eyes are all sources of light that can be causing you stress and anxiety. This doesn’t even include the anxiety that you might have because you think your cat wants to kill you. A study recently found that light at night can cause damage to your brain, which makes you more aggressive and anxious. Basically, you need darkness to generate enough melatonin, a hormone, to get a good quality of sleep.
- Geomagnetic field
Geomagnetism is increasingly gaining attention for its link to stress, anxiety and even depression. Over the past 50 years, suicide rates and geomagnetism has been shown to be related. Research has suggested that the geomagnetic field affects the pineal gland, which produces melatonin in our body. Because melatonin regulates our internal body clock, it affects our quality of sleep.
- Your phone
Have you ever thought you felt your phone vibrate or thought you heard it ring, only for it to all be in your head? The extreme connectivity we enjoy today has a downside. People now expect to always be able to reach someone. The stress of being contactable means that you also feel the need to constantly be checking your phone for texts or emails. Our fear of missing out can cause us to be distracted from the tasks we have at hand. We also create stress and anxiety because if you add up all the time you spend ‘quickly’ checking your phone, you might find that you’ve wasted hours of productive time!
Most stressful jobs
- Police officers
- Event coordinator (don’t anger your wedding planner!)
- Public relations executive
- Senior corporate executive
- Taxi driver (be kind, don’t abuse your taxi or Uber driver)
There are many other sources of stress that could be affecting your life on a daily basis. Luckily, there are many ways you can combat these negative effects and cope. One of those ways might be to take a quick holiday somewhere relaxing! But holidays can be expensive and the last thing you need is financial stress adding to your anxiety levels.
Head over to Good People Bad Credit to find out how we can help you go for that relaxing getaway! Our short-term loans are available for people with bad credit. The bad times don’t last forever and having bad credit on your record shouldn’t hurt you. We want to help you turn your life around, even if that’s a short respite from your life!