If your anxieties constantly get the best of you, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

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There’s a fine line between managing your anxieties and letting them control you.

Often, it’s your own behavior that tips the scale in anxiety’s favor. You might not even realize it, but certain habits can amplify your anxious feelings and make them harder to shake off.

If anxiety frequently gets the upper hand, it might be time to take a closer look at your behavior patterns.

In this article, we’re going to dissect which behaviors might be feeding your anxiety and how letting them go can help you regain control.

In simple terms, it’s time to ditch what doesn’t serve you and embrace what does. Ready to dive in?

1) Overthinking

Newsflash: Overthinking kills!

Overthinking is like a hamster wheel in your mind that just keeps spinning. It drains your mental energy and amplifies your anxiety to unbearable levels.

The tricky thing about overthinking is that it can feel like problem-solving. But there’s a huge difference between finding solutions and endlessly ruminating on what could go wrong.

If you’re caught in a cycle of overthinking, it might be time to step back and break the loop.

2) Avoidance

There was a time when I thought avoidance was the best way to deal with my anxieties.

If something made me anxious, I’d simply avoid it. If I was afraid of social situations, I’d skip the party. If work stressed me out, I’d procrastinate. It seemed like a foolproof plan, right?

Wrong.

Avoidance might seem like an easy solution, but it’s actually a trap. The more you avoid what scares you, the scarier it becomes. It’s like giving your anxieties a free pass to grow and multiply.

A few years ago, I decided to face my fears head-on. It was scary and uncomfortable, but it was also liberating. I gradually realized that the situations I feared weren’t as terrifying as I’d imagined.

The lesson here? Avoidance is not the answer. If anxiety is constantly getting the better of you, it might be time to face your fears instead of running from them. Trust me, it’s worth it.

3) Lack of self-care

Self-care is not just about bubble baths and spa days. It’s about taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Did you know that prolonged stress can actually alter your brain structure and function? Research shows that chronic stress can shrink the prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for memory and learning, while enlarging the amygdala, which triggers fear and anxiety.

Neglecting self-care can exacerbate your anxiety. When you’re tired, malnourished, or in poor physical health, you’re more prone to feeling anxious. If you’re constantly skipping meals, staying up late, or pushing your body to its limits without giving it time to recover, you’re practically rolling out the red carpet for anxiety.

Therefore, if you want to keep anxiety at bay, prioritizing self-care is a must. Start with small steps like eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and incorporating some form of physical activity into your daily routine. You’d be surprised at the difference these small changes can make.

4) Perfectionism

Perfectionism might seem like a commendable trait, especially in a society that values achievement and success. But hidden beneath the surface of high standards and flawless execution, perfectionism can fuel anxiety.

The problem with perfectionism is that it sets up an unrealistic expectation of never making mistakes or having flaws. This can lead to a constant fear of failure or criticism, which in turn triggers anxiety.

By pursuing perfection, you’re essentially setting yourself up for disappointment because, let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. And that’s okay.

Learning to accept imperfections and mistakes as a natural part of life can help in reducing anxiety. It’s about striving for progress, not perfection. 

5) Negative self-talk

We all have an inner voice. The way we talk to ourselves can either boost our confidence or fuel our anxieties.

Negative self-talk is a nasty habit that can keep your anxiety afloat. If you’re constantly beating yourself up, doubting your abilities, or expecting the worst, you’re essentially feeding your fear.

It’s like having a personal bully in your head, constantly pointing out your flaws and magnifying your worries.

But the good news is, you have the power to change the dialogue. Start by noticing when you fall into negative self-talk. Then, try to replace those harsh words with more compassionate and realistic ones.

6) Ignoring emotions

Feelings are a part of being human. They’re our mind’s way of responding to what’s happening around us. But sometimes, when emotions like fear, sadness, or anger become overwhelming, we might choose to ignore them, hoping they’ll just disappear.

However, ignoring your feelings is like putting a band-aid on a deep wound. It might cover up the problem for a while, but it doesn’t heal it. In fact, bottled up emotions can create a pressure cooker situation inside you, causing your anxiety to skyrocket.

It’s okay to feel your feelings. It’s okay to cry when you’re sad, to express anger when you’re wronged, and to admit when you’re scared. These emotions don’t make you weak; they make you human.

7) Lack of boundaries

For a long time, I struggled with setting boundaries. I’d say yes to everything and everyone, often at the expense of my own well-being. I thought being available and accommodating would make me likable and appreciated.

But all it did was leave me emotionally drained and anxious.

Setting boundaries is not about being selfish or unkind. It’s about respecting your own needs and making sure others respect them too. It’s about understanding that your time, energy, and well-being are valuable.

When I started setting boundaries, I noticed a significant decrease in my anxiety. I felt more in control of my life and less at the mercy of others’ expectations.

If you’re constantly feeling anxious, it might be worth examining your boundaries. Are you taking on too much? Are you neglecting your own needs to please others? Remember, it’s okay to say no sometimes. It’s okay to prioritize yourself. You’re worth it.

8) Living in the future

It’s natural to think about the future. We all do it. We plan, set goals, and dream about what’s to come. But when you’re constantly living in the future, worrying about what might happen, you’re inviting anxiety to take over.

Living in the future means you’re missing out on the present. And while it’s important to plan for the future, it’s equally important to live in the here and now.

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help you focus on the present moment. It’s about acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgement, and without getting swept up in what might happen next.

9) Not seeking help

One of the biggest misconceptions about anxiety is that it’s something you have to deal with alone. But the truth is, it’s okay to seek help. Whether it’s confiding in a trusted friend, joining a support group, or seeking professional therapy, reaching out can make a world of difference.

Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. It shows that you’re taking control of your mental health and making your well-being a priority.

If your anxieties are overwhelming you, don’t hesitate to seek help. You don’t have to do this alone. There are people who care and resources available to help you navigate through this. You’re worth it, and you deserve to feel better.

Awareness is the first step in healing

Tackling anxiety is not about overnight transformations or quick fixes. It’s about acknowledging your feelings, understanding your triggers, and gradually changing habits that no longer serve you.

And while the journey may not always be easy, it’s important to remember that every step you take towards managing your anxiety is a victory.

Whether it’s saying goodbye to overthinking, setting boundaries, or seeking help, these changes can empower you to regain control of your life. Letting go of what no longer serves you is the first step towards embracing a future filled with greater peace and fulfillment. 

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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