7 Fun Things That Are Bad For Your Anxiety
It feels as though anxiety has become a modern day experience a lot of us share. It can take a huge amount of our energy trying to ignore it enough to carry on with daily life and that’s just exhausting. With mental health being more openly discussed, it often seems that anxiety in today’s society is more prevalent than previous generations. But do we really hep ourselves? A doctor once told me it was all the fun things (coffee, chocolate and cheese) that were bad for my migraines and I reckon the same could be said for my anxiety. Here’s 7 fun things that are bad for your anxiety.
1. That Extra Shot In Your Coffee
Many of us can’t quite function properly without that first, morning caffeine injection. But, too much coffee causes the same jittery effects in the body as a scary or stressful event. That’s because caffeine triggers your fight or flight response, making the feelings of anxiety worse. If you’re reading this thinking you’re going to cut out the coffee for your mental health, maybe think again. Caffeine withdrawal anxiety is a thing too!
2. Mad Benders
Counting down the hours til home time on Friday, so you can get off your face, is all good and well until Saturday comes. You may have had 2 of the best hours of your life (the rest is all a blur) but you’ll wake up feeling small and too afraid to tackle the hangover ahead. It’s all in the chemistry. Alcohol changes the level of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. Alcohol can trigger panic attacks because on a physiological level drinking can cause low blood sugar, dehydration, increased heart rate, and increased levels of stress. I’m not one to discourage foolishness, but next time you’re crying in your bed, regretting yesterday’s terrible decisions, you were warned.
3. Group Chats
The build up of endless notifications from an active group chat can be overwhelming. Not to mention the space the constant sending of gifs, photos and screenshots takes up on your phone. You only have to leave your phone long enough to make a drink and you could return so far behind the chat your input is no longer relevant. Our culture has an ‘always online’ expectation we can’t always live up to. Mute those group chats and let go of the obligation to keep up.
4. Maxing Out Your Credit Card
Debt and anxiety come hand in hand. But so do impulse purchases and instant gratification. Sometimes you need a little materialistic pick me up when you’ve had a bad day. Sometimes you need six. That’s probably why so many of us pretend that four figure balance on our credit card bills isn’t real money we owe. 1 in 70 of us in the North West are currently living in debt. And after the excitement of the pretty new things wears off, you’re left with the daily worry of repaying what you owe.
5. Plotting Revenge
However fun it seems, to plan your intricate ways of getting your own back on that one person who really makes your blood boil, it isn’t worth it. You’ll only send your heartbeat rocketing and increase your tension. Remember, what you think becomes how you feel. The negative thoughts around plotting revenge will cause you far more stress than your intended victim. And lets be honest, will you ever actually execute your evil conspiracy?
Having kids, and just being around them. They bring so much joy and a hundred laughs a day (at and with them). But kids stress you out. They need constant supervision, make stupid decisions and can’t keep themselves alive without intervention. And mums, let’s not forget the chaos the hormonal swings of pregnancy and your first post natal year bring to your mental health. Post natal anxiety is real (I wrote about it here), and it hurts!
If you like to shop in an orderly manner and have your personal space respected, avoid December. The gift list is never ending, your budget goes out the window and you will definitely be poorer by the time Boxing Day arrives. The expectation to socialise is non negotiable so if, like me, the thought of being forced into situations where small talk is required makes your chest tighten, brace yourself.