Sometimes, we know exactly why we are anxious, while other times, it can be difficult to know where our anxiety is coming from. The good news is anxiety always has a source, and you have the power to find it and help yourself feel better. Anxiety is our brain's alarm system. If we ignore the alarms, they get louder, sometimes even becoming unbearable. However, if we know why the alarm is going off, we can tend to the cause. To help you begin to understand where your anxiety causes, I have put together a list of the eight most common anxiety causes I have encountered while practicing as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Jacksonville. FL:
1. Relationship Conflicts
Humans need fulfilling relationships to feel happy and secure. Our relationships with family, friends, partners, and even day-to-day interactions with colleagues or neighbors - all play a pivotal role in shaping our daily experiences and feelings. Conflicts or misunderstandings in these relationships can disrupt our sense of well-being, leading to anxiety.
It's human nature to sometimes brush these feelings aside, thinking it's best not to let others have so much influence over our emotional state. However, more often than not, these unresolved feelings and unspoken words can weigh heavily on our minds. It is important to acknowledge relationship conflicts as they arise to address the root of your anxiety. Couples counseling and/or individual therapy can be great tools to help support you in this journey.
2. Career Concerns
Our careers are more than just ways we earn a living. They're, unfortunately, how many of us define ourselves, gauge our success, and plan our future. When we encounter bumps along our career path, like workplace conflicts or doubts about our job satisfaction, it can lead to significant levels of anxiety. It's only natural to feel a certain degree of anxiety about career concerns. After all, they're intertwined with our dreams, ambitions, and the lifestyle we aspire to. Recognizing these feelings and where they come from is the first step in managing the anxiety they cause.
3. Low Self-esteem
Low self-esteem is more than just a fleeting feeling of doubt. It's a persistent belief that we might not be good enough, influencing every interaction, decision, and goal we set for ourselves. When we constantly second-guess our worth, it's understandable that anxiety spikes. Every challenge can magnify these doubts, making even straightforward tasks seem daunting. It's normal for everyone to have moments of self-doubt, but when self-criticism becomes louder than our belief in ourselves, it may be time to seek support. Improving self-esteem can lead to increased confidence levels and significantly less anxiety.
4. Body Image Issues
Body image issues are one of the most common anxiety causes I have seen in my practice. Our body is our home, the vessel through which we experience life. When we aren't at peace with our bodies, it's as if we're living in a house where we don't feel comfortable. Body image issues influence our daily actions, decisions, and interactions.
The way we perceive our body's appearance can cast a shadow over moments that should be filled with joy, like a day at the beach or a night out with friends. These feelings can make us second-guess even simple choices, from what to wear to whether or not to engage in certain activities. Understanding and addressing these deep-rooted perceptions is vital. Embracing ourselves, seeking support, and focusing on our body's strengths and abilities can pave the way to a more positive self-image and reduced anxiety.
For many, school becomes a complex web of anxiety-inducing stressors, from the pressure of maintaining good academic performance to the underlying fear of failure. There's the financial burden of tuition, books, and other associated costs. Plus, for some, juggling part-time jobs, extracurriculars, and personal responsibilities can amplify the weight of these stresses.
School's demanding environment often becomes a breeding ground for anxiety symptoms. It's not uncommon for students to lose sleep, experience changes in appetite, or even face physical symptoms like headaches, all linked to the pressures of academic life. By acknowledging the link between school and anxiety symptoms, it becomes easier to seek help and begin feeling less anxious.
Grief is a complex emotion that extends beyond the deep sadness we most often associate with it. While mourning the loss of a loved one, it's not uncommon to also grapple with feelings of anxiety. This anxiety can manifest in fears of an uncertain future or apprehensions about navigating life without the guidance or presence of the person we've lost.
Such feelings can arise from the thought of facing significant life events without them, like birthdays, holidays, or milestones. There might be an overwhelming concern about the void they've left and how to fill it, or even a fear of forgetting cherished memories shared with them.
It's essential to remember that while grief might feel all-consuming, these anxiety symptoms that accompany it are a natural part of the healing process. Over time, as we process our loss and come to terms with our new normal, the intensity of these feelings will change. Seeking support and finding ways to honor and remember our loved ones can help reduce the anxiety symptoms associated with grief.
7. Medication Side Effects
Medications are designed to help us, but sometimes, our bodies may react in unexpected ways. A side effect some individuals might experience is heightened anxiety symptoms. Within my practice, I have witnessed hormonal birth control and certain anti-depressants occasionally contributing to increased feelings of anxiety in some clients.
While these medications offer many benefits, it's essential to be aware of any changes in your mental well-being after starting a new prescription. Everyone's body reacts differently, and what works seamlessly for one person might not work for another.
If you notice a shift in your anxiety levels or experience other symptoms that concern you, it's crucial to speak with the doctor who has prescribed your medication. They can provide insights, adjust dosages, or recommend alternative treatments to ensure your overall well-being is prioritized. Sharing concerns about your symptoms can lead to your doctor better understanding how to provide the best care possible.
Putting things off might seem like a temporary relief, but procrastination often amplifies feelings of anxiety in the long run. Unkept spaces, for instance, can make our surroundings feel chaotic, adding to the stress we feel internally. Avoiding tasks, especially those we deem important or challenging, can lead to an ever-present nagging feeling, making relaxation almost impossible. Then there's the act of skipping social events. While once in a while, it's perfectly fine to take some time for oneself, consistently avoiding social interactions can leave us feeling isolated and exacerbate feelings of anxiety.
Recognizing the patterns and triggers that lead to procrastination is the first step. By addressing each task, space, or commitment, we not only relieve the immediate source of stress but also reduce the chance of spiraling anxiety symptoms.
How to Get Help for Anxiety Causes
If any of the anxiety causes outlined above resonated with you, there is help available. Philosophie Therapy offers online treatment for anxiety to anyone located in the state of Florida. By working with a licensed therapist, you can develop a treatment plan that is tailor-made to address the root cause of your anxiety symptoms. Click the button below to schedule a free phone call with a therapist today!