Six things to stop doing when you're feeling anxious

Sara Barnett

Posted on March 16 2020

Six things to stop doing when you're feeling anxious

Life can feel extremely overwhelming at times, and with the current anxiety levels in our community, now more than ever. It is so important that we look after ourselves & our mental health during this time. It is so easy to get swept up in the fear that is being spread through some media outlets, and to hear the facts through so many opinions. With everything around us heightened, it is important to implement strategies to keep our anxieties at bay. We have listed our top six things to stop doing when you're feeling anxious:

  1. Comfort eating - It may be tempting to reach for comfort foods when you’re not feeling 100% but more often than not these foods leave you feeling worse than when you started - Bloated, lethargic, uncomfortable and unmotivated. Next time you reach for comfort food think about the last time you ate that food & how it left you feeling after. Just like your love life, you should be in a healthy relationship with your diet and indulge in the foods your body loves - in return your body will love you back.
  2. Drinking coffee/other stimulants - Limit yourself to one or two coffees a day. Caffeine is a stimulant and has the same jittery effects that anxiety has on our body, so it’s important to limit your caffeine intake when you’re experiencing bad anxiety. Coffee is like throwing petrol on the anxiety fire.
  3. Alcohol - This is a bit of a no brainer, but alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. You may also feel more anxiety once the alcohol wears off, this can last up to several hours after you’ve been drinking. If you are going to drink, try to limit your intake to 1-2 glasses.
  4. Responding hastily- There’s nothing worse than sending a message you’ll later regret. It’s important especially when you’re feeling anxious to stop & think about your messages/emails before hitting send on them. It’s very easy to fire off a quick response in the moment. If you’re feeling anxious and not in the right headspace to respond to a message then don't, sit on it and respond once you’ve had time to process & think about your response. It's easy to think that in the world of instant messaging that we have to respond straight away, but this is absolutely not the case.
  5. Scrolling your social media feeds - This has been said 100 times before but that’s only because it’s SO TRUE! Get off your phone when you’re feeling anxious. The only thing you’re doing on social media when you’re anxious is fuelling the beast! You will be sitting there comparing your reality to everyone else's highlight reels. This will leave you feeling like crap & feeling inadequate. You will begin to question everything, when really all you are looking at is everyone’s curated realities. 
  6. Stop saying yes when you want to say no - Give yourself more boundaries! Stop saying yes to things you feel like you should do, and only say yes to what you really want to do. Say no, have respect for your time and energy. Decline the offer, politely. You don’t even have to give a reason, just a simple no is just fine. You will quickly realise that the more things you say no to, the more you will enjoy the things you say yes to, and the more present you will be.

Make sure you are looking after yourself and your loved ones during this crazy time. Do not forget to stay fit and healthy to help keep your immune system fighting. 


If you are struggling with your mental health please seek professional medical advice - Beyond Blue, Lifeline

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