A lot of times we do things in life that actually fuel our own anxiety. It is obviously something that’s easily missed otherwise it wouldn’t happen. Did you know that toxic behaviors can not only fuel your anxiety but make it 10 times worse than what it already is? It’s crazy. It’s something you’re probably experiencing right now but don’t even know it.
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Here are five toxic habits that are fueling your anxiety:
1. Putting everyone else before yourself.
It took me a long time to stop doing this. I’m not sure why but this way it always seemed right. That was before I understood the value of self-care.
You need to put yourself first. Worrying about everyone else and their needs will only stress you out. And plus, when will you have time to tend to yourself? And worry about your own needs?
You matter. And your mental health comes first before anyone.
Learn how to say no. You will feel empowered while still maintaining relationships with others. Saying no only helps you establish healthy boundaries and that’s something you will need to work on if you want to stop fueling your own anxiety.
2. Negative Self-talk
Didn’t you know that the way you talk to yourself matters? Your mind listens and records all of it and eventually starts to believe it. Don’t fill your mind up with negativity because then that’s all you will ever know.
Try being kind to yourself. Be gentle. I know how tough it can be to get out of negative self-talk especially when depression and anxiety hits. But luckily, reciting affirmations will do the trick. Just like with the negative talks, your brain will start logging down your positive talks with yourself and eventually believe it.
It’s all about how you talk to yourself.
I honestly love reciting affirmations to myself now because they help me get through tough days and they may just help you too. Don’t knock it til you try it!
3. Lack of Sleep
I know what it’s like trying to shut down an anxious mind at night. As I type this, I am currently struggling at work because I stayed up almost the whole night. (I work 5a-5p by the way) I even started cleaning and decluttering things at 2:30 am. Ridiculous right? I know. And I definitely know that’s one thing for sure that fuels my anxiety because right now I’m paying for it.
Sleep deprivation will worsen your anxiety. There I said it. Find a pattern, a routine, something and stick with it. If you’re like me and work a crazy schedule, such as days and nights, then yeah… good luck to the both of us.
But if you have the opportunity to sleep, please do it. Don’t overwork yourself for anything. Give your body what it needs – sleep.
4. Too Much Social Media
Believe it or not, we are humans and we as humans compare ourselves to others whether we want to do it or not. Too much social media can fuel your anxiety just by simply seeing old friends from high school “living it up” and you may ask yourself… well why can’t I do that? Sometimes seeing people in relationships on social media can fuel your anxiety if you are single. You may see happiness and start questioning yourself and/or feel inadequate.
Today, everything revolves around social media. People don’t realize it but it is all a huge fantasy. You can literally be whoever and whatever you want on social media. You can get people to believe this and that and whatever else. So the majority of the things you are dwelling on and questioning yourself about are probably not even true.
That’s sort of why I don’t get on social media a lot anymore. Not because of comparing myself but because nothing is genuine anymore. So why would I stay on social media 24/7 giving myself the opportunity to want to compare myself to someone and their life?
5. Holding on to perfectionism can be pretty toxic
I had a bad habit of this. I used to set the most unrealistic expectations for myself that would stress me TF out. It would stress me out so much until my eyes were red and I had terrible migraines.
Perfectionism is the need to be or appear to be perfect or even to believe that it’s possible to achieve perfection. It is typically viewed as a positive trait rather than a flaw.
We all know that no one is perfect… but try telling the old me that. I needed to have everything perfect and done a certain way. I also tried to stay on top of everything which triggered my anxiety a lot. Sometimes life can’t go that way. Sometimes you are just going to fall short.
Being a perfectionist will definitely fuel your anxiety!
Signs you may be a perfectionist:
- Unable to perform a task unless you know it is done perfectly.
- Procrastination; Not starting something unless you know you can do it perfectly.
- You are constantly looking to improve something.
- You see success and failure as the only two options.
Behaviors of a perfectionist:
- Spending 20-30 minutes rewriting a 5 sentence email.
- Making a 98 out of 100 on a test is a sign of failure.
- Comparing yourself unrealistically to others.
- Focusing on the end product rather than the process of learning.