7 Habits That Can Make Your Anxiety Worse Without Realizing It

Anyone who suffers from anxiety knows that the feeling can creep up at any moment. Although you can’t always stop it when the sensation strikes, you can try to eliminate any habits that can make your anxiety worse. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid all situations that make you feel uncomfortable, but a number of everyday habits can worsen your anxiety longterm, and you can work to avoid these.

“Feeling less anxious is all about maintaining lower levels of cortisol in our system,” says Jennifer Weaver, LMHC, CRC over email. “Sometimes, certain events (i.e., making a major presentation at work) will spike our cortisol and leave us with anxiety leading up to the event and residual anxiety after. Other times, though, we slowly build up cortisol throughout our day.”

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, with over 40 million people affected, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Finding ways to treat anxiety is important, and adapting healthy habits can help you naturally fight off those negative side effects. Even if you don’t have a full-blown anxiety disorder, avoiding these activities can help keep your stress levels and mood in check.

If you want to reduce your anxiety symptoms, try to avoid these seven habits that can actually make your anxiety worse.

1. Sitting On The Couch All Day

You might not believe there is a connection between your mood and your physical activity, but research shows that exercise plays a role in your mental health. Even just 10 minutes of exercise can temporarily alleviate your mood, and regular vigorous exercise can reduce your likeliness of developing anxiety and depression by 25 percent, according to the ADAA.