Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders that Malaysians struggle with. According to a study, 2 out of every 10 Malaysians suffer from anxiety, and the numbers are only rising. The reality is, there isn’t a cure for anxiety, since it’s self-sustaining.
People experience anxiety symptoms that cause them more anxiety, and their thoughts and feelings would make them avoid things that would actually improve the way they feel. Rather, they would engage in things that make anxiety worse. Here are some things people with anxiety shouldn’t do:
Anxiety can feel like the most draining thing to deal with, which can lead to lack of motivation to do any exercise. But lying in bed all day wouldn’t make your anxiety go away. Inactivity often leads to more anxiety, and getting more exercise can actually help you control it. It doesn’t matter how rarely you exercise, as long as you try to keep yourself active, it will make you feel better in the long run.
One of the most common habits that contributes to anxiety is sleep deprivation. According to a study, a sleepless night can raise anxiety levels by up to 30%. So getting enough sleep is a great way to relieve anxiety. However, there are some cases where your stress and anxiety may be keeping you up at night against your will, which starts the cycle of not getting enough sleep and feeling anxious the day after. To help with that, you can consider creating a routine that doesn’t involve any technology before going to bed, writing out your thoughts, or doing more exercise during the day so your body feels tired, making going to sleep much easier.
Alcohol might make you feel better in the moment, but it will worsen your anxiety. Though it can help reduce stress and give you a boost in your mood, you can actually build a tolerance to the de-stressing effects of alcohol, making anxiety and stress even more difficult to deal with. This is because alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, making you feel more anxious when the alcohol wears off. Using alcohol to cope with anxiety could lead to alcohol dependence, which is a whole other problem you have to deal with.
When you’re feeling anxious, everything can feel overwhelming. It makes you wanna be alone and close yourself off to the world. However, this is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. When you’re alone, there’s nothing to distract you from the feeling, and you just keep thinking about how anxious you are. So try to spend time with friends, call up a loved one, and keep yourself busy with fun activities. Staying in your room all day when you’re experiencing anxiety will only make it worse!
Unlike how alcohol relaxes you, caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response. This is because caffeine is a stimulant, and it increases your alertness by triggering the release of adrenaline to your brain, increasing your energy. While it can make you more productive, too much caffeine can actually induce anxiety, especially for those with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. But if you still need caffeine to get you through the day, you could consider milder options such as green tea or just drinking more water.
Looking At Social Media
We all know social media may have a negative effect on our mental health, so don’t go scrolling through your feeds when you start feeling anxious! It’s not gonna distract you from that dreadful feeling; it might even make it worse. Research has shown that social media increases feeling of inadequacy, dissatisfaction, and isolation, which can affect your mood and worsen the symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. Putting focus on what other people are doing with their lives will only bring you more worry, so put your phone away!