As part of my health advocacy, the one topic that I focus a lot on is how to deal with chronic stress.
Anxiety is often connected to chronic stress and appreciate Jennifer Scott sharing her perspective. Jennifer researched sources of anxiety and has provided helpful content below. She’s dealt with anxiety and depression most of her life, and has learned that sharing experiences with others is helpful. She is now a mental health advocate. You can learn more about Jennifer at Spirit Finder.
(Photo credit Pixabay)
According to the ADAA, 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders, making it “the most common mental illness” in the country. Although this comprises roughly 18 percent of the population, there are even more individuals struggling with anxiety that’s not associated with a diagnosable condition. Unfortunately, many people accept this as an unchangeable part of daily life and don’t attempt to understand the causes. In fact, there are many unexpected sources that can trigger stress. Here are some surprising sources of anxiety and how to deal with them.
Poor Gut Health
Gut health is a more informal way of referring to the condition of an individual’s gut microbiome. The human digestive tract is home to millions of bacteria that help with the processing of food and other important bodily processes. The interaction between all of these bacteria and the rest of your gut is known as a microbiome. When you eat poorly, your gut health takes a toll and can negatively impact your mood as a result. In addition to not feeling well, an unhealthy gut affects your serotonin production. In order to maintain a healthy gut, make sure to consume foods with live cultures, take a daily probiotic, and limit the use of antibiotics.
Social Media Use
Statista placed the average social media usage at 136 minutes per day for 2018. This number isn’t too surprising considering the fact that many people instinctively check their feeds multiple times throughout the day. What many people don’t realize, however, is how social media use can negatively impact their emotions and contribute to feelings of anxiety. Many studies have found an association between an increase in social media use and anxiety. Limiting your use of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a great place to start in terms of limiting the correlation between social media and stress. If you are motivated enough to eliminate social media use altogether, chances are you’ll be gifted with a slew of wonderful health benefits.
A Lack of Water
Water is an essential resource that helps the body operate at optimum levels. One study from Tufts University was even able to find a link between dehydration and mood. Researchers found that a group of athletes without proper hydration reported feeling tense, depressed, or angry at a much higher rate than the control group that was given enough water. This point is underscored by the discovery that dehydration leads to a rise in cortisol levels, a hormone related to stress. Fortunately, drinking enough water is one of the simplest ways of avoiding symptoms of anxiety. The “8 x 8” rule, or eight glasses containing eight ounces of water, is a common daily metric used to ensure adults drink enough.
Side Effects from Medications or Supplements
If you’ve been experiencing uncharacteristic feelings of anxiety, a recent change in your intake of supplements or medications may be the culprit. It’s not uncommon for over-the-counter and prescription medications come with side effects that can mimic the symptoms of anxiety or induce feelings of uneasiness altogether. Even seemingly inconspicuous ingredients such as caffeine can end up causing anxious emotions. The best way to avoid these side effects is to speak with your doctor to ensure anything you take isn’t causing your anxiety issues.
Stress and anxiety are common feelings that millions of Americans suffer from on a daily basis. To combat these emotions, you must be willing to uncover the root causes. You may have to expand your search to unexpected areas as there are many surprising sources of anxiety.
What is your go-to method if dealing with anxiety?