When it comes to anxiety, we often think about things that we can add to our lives to minimize it. But what about behaviors that we should avoid?
In truth, there are several things that you may be doing that could actually make your anxiety worse. That’s because certain behaviors have the ability to fuel anxiety itself.
Check out these five things to avoid if you have anxiety. You just may be surprised.
Sure, it’s easy to use the Internet to research that medical condition that you think you just may have. But if your anxiety centers around medical fears, this might not be the best choice. In fact, it could lead you down a terrifying path.
Not only do you run the risk of thinking that you have every condition that seems to come with similar symptoms, you’ll drive yourself bonkers in the process. So save your sanity and make an appointment with a doctor instead.
Too Much Caffeine
It’s no shocker that too much caffeine can rev us up. But did you know that there’s an actual anxiety disorder based around this concept? According to Today, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders actually lists a condition called “caffeine-induced anxiety disorder.”
But how much caffeine is too much?
The Mayo Clinic says that we can safely consume 400 mg of caffeine on a daily basis. That translates to about four cups of coffee or two energy shot drinks. Anything more than this is considered excessive.
But remember that we all react to caffeine differently. So keep note of how you feel after every cup of coffee. And don’t forget that caffeine stays in your system for hours-meaning that a little goes a long way.
Failing to Meet Nutritional Requirements
Though we don’t often think about it, nutrition and anxiety can actually be linked. In truth, this all starts with good old vitamins.
According to Today, vitamins are a key factor to consider when it comes to this concept. Specifically, we need adequate amounts of B complex vitamins as well as vitamins C and E. This is because B vitamins are a mood booster, and vitamins C and E are needed by the nervous system in order to function properly.
In addition, it’s important to include sufficient amounts of magnesium and selenium in your diet. As Today notes, selenium is needed by the neurotransmitters found in the brain. And magnesium is a natural stress reliever.
Further, ramp up your omega-3 intake. Studies show that insufficient amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can actually elevate your chance of suffering from anxiety in general.
It’s no secret that sugar makes for a tasty treat. But too much of it can be an anxiety sufferer’s worst nightmare.
According to Psychology Today, though the typical diet consumed by Americans isn’t seen to be a cause of anxiety, it can actually make anxiety worse. Part of the reason for this is that sugar can make us tired and foggy.
As a result, we run the risk of misidentifying symptoms of sugar overload with those of a panic attack. In addition, when sugar wears off, the body can be thrown into a state of limbo, which can also make us anxious.
Research backs this concept up. As Psychology Today notes, a 2008 study conducted on rats found that sugar binges followed by a fast resulted in anxiety in general. In short, keeping sugar in check just may help you to better manage your anxiety.
Not Getting Enough Water
According to Today, researchers have connected mood with fluid intake. In fact, a 2009 study conducted by researchers at Tufts University linked mild dehydration in athletes to anger, confusion, tension and fatigue.
To combat this, it’s essential to drink plenty of fluids daily. Experts say that a good number to shoot for is eight eight ounce glasses of fluid. This is what’s called the “8 by 8” rule.
And don’t think that this is just an “old wives’ tale.” Research also back this concept up.
A 2009 study at Tufts University found a clear link between hydration and mood. Researchers discovered that student athletes who were mildly dehydrated reported feeling angry, confused, tense and fatigued.
So make getting those 64 ounces of fluids a priority on a daily basis. And if plain old water bores you, consider adding lemon or lime for taste. Green tea is also a power-packed choice.
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