7 Habits That Can Make Your Anxiety Worse Without Realizing It

5. Staying Up Late

“Getting enough sleep has a significant impact on mood,” says Martinez. “When we are not getting enough sleep, it puts pressure on all systems of the body. Our mental and immune system chemicals are not replenished.” Research from the Journal of Neuroscience found that when people are sleep-deprived, they experience a surge of anticipatory anxiety, as lack of sleep triggers the areas in your brain responsible for emotional processing. The study also found that people who are already prone to anxiety experience are likely to develop full-blown anxiety disorder from lack of sleep.

6. Procrastinating

Sometimes it is anxiety itself that causes procrastination, but putting things off can make your anxiety worse, as you always feel like there is a task looming. If something is overwhelming, break it up into smaller projects, and get rid of distractions that are holding you back. Reaching a goal releases dopamine in the brain, the chemical responsible for experiencing pleasure and reward, so accomplishing your tasks head on can help quell your anxiety.

7. Staying Home Alone

Your anxiety may lead you to want to spend time by yourself, but spending time around other people — as awful as it can seem — can actually help make you feel better. According to research in the journal PLoS One, social support helps individuals experience less anxiety and stress, helps them with better social functioning, and improves their overall health. Maintaining close relationships is key to experiencing less anxiety, so try to get yourself out there whenever you’re feeling up to it.

Not all of these activities are triggers for everyone, but try cutting out some of these habits to see if they help with your overall anxiety levels.

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