14 Things NOT to Do if You Have Anxiety

It’s the companion you never invited. It’s the weight on your shoulders you can’t seem to shake. It can knock you off your feet and quite literally knock the wind right out of you. And it can sometimes strike out of nowhere. It’s anxiety, and it’s no joke.

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It can manifest in various ways, from generalized anxiety disorder to social anxiety, panic disorder, or specific phobias. While it’s essential to focus on what you should do to manage anxiety, it’s equally crucial to recognize the actions and behaviors that can exacerbate the condition.

In this blog, our anxiety therapists in Simi Valley explore 14 things you most definitely DON’T want to do if you have anxiety, as well as the alternatives to help you lead a calmer, more fulfilling life.

1.   Neglecting Self-Care

Neglecting self-care is one of the most detrimental things you can do when you have anxiety. Skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, and not taking time for yourself can all increase your stress levels and worsen your anxiety. Prioritize self-care by establishing a routine that includes proper nutrition, exercise, and relaxation techniques.

2.   Avoiding Professional Help

One of the most significant mistakes individuals with anxiety make is avoiding professional help. Anxiety is a treatable condition and mental health professionals can provide valuable tools and strategies to manage it effectively.

Two women sat on chairs speaking to each other

At Simi Psychological Group, our caring professionals understand just how hard it is when you’re living with anxiety. Therapy for anxiety is intended to help you gain insight into what your body is trying to tell you. To learn more about when to seek professional help for anxiety check out our blog post here.

Anxiety therapy in Thousand Oaks can help you reclaim your life. Don’t let stigma or fear prevent you from accessing the help you need.

3.   Suppressing Emotions

Suppressing your emotions is a common coping mechanism for anxiety, but it can be counterproductive in the long run. Trying to bottle up your feelings can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Instead, allow yourself to feel and express your emotions in healthy ways, such as talking to a friend or journaling.

4.   Isolating Yourself

We get it. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, the thought of being around others seems impossible. Isolation can be comforting when you struggle with anxiety, as it provides a sense of control over your environment.

However, excessive isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and worsen anxiety. It also reinforces anxious thoughts and feelings.

Make an effort to maintain social connections and reach out to friends and family when needed. Doing so goes a long way in reducing that sense of isolation and reminding you that you are not alone. Read our blog on managing anxiety at social gatherings here.

5.   Overusing Stimulant

It may or may not be something that people with anxiety are aware of, but stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. They can increase heart rate, trigger restlessness, and interfere with sleep patterns. Limit your intake of these substances and consider alternatives like herbal tea or decaffeinated coffee.

6.   Dwelling on the Past or Future

Anxiety often causes people to dwell on past mistakes or worry excessively about the future. This habit of overthinking can be exhausting and fuel anxiety. Ruminating on past mistakes or traumatic events only intensifies anxiety. It’s important to acknowledge your past but focus on the present and future. Practice mindfulness and focus on the present moment to reduce anxiety’s grip on your thoughts.

At Simi Psychological Group, we can help you break free from the grip of past anxieties.

Our anxiety therapists in Thousand Oaks are process-oriented and work with you to see the whole picture, as one area of life affects all of the others. We incorporate cognitive behavioral techniques to help you gain tools that can help you overcome what’s holding you back.

7.   Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing involves imagining the worst possible outcomes in any situation. While it’s easy to fall into this trap, this negative thinking pattern can intensify anxiety and make you more risk-averse. Challenge these thoughts with evidence-based thinking and consider seeking therapy to learn effective cognitive-behavioral techniques. At Simi Psychological Group, we offer state-of-the-art anxiety therapy and other services aimed at helping you live your best life.

8.   Excessive News Consumption

Man screaming with hands over ears as phones and megaphones surround him

In today’s digital age, the constant stream of news can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. Avoid the urge to obsessively consume news, especially when it relates to distressing events. Limit your exposure and choose reliable sources to stay informed without becoming overwhelmed.

9.   Avoiding Challenges

Avoiding challenging situations or tasks can provide temporary relief from anxiety, but it reinforces avoidance behavior in the long run. Gradually confront your fears and challenges, seeking support if necessary. This exposure can help you build resilience and reduce anxiety over time. Reach out today for anxiety therapy in Simi Valley for more support on how to overcome the avoidant behaviors that are exacerbating your anxiety.

10.                  Self-Medicating with Substances

Woman in blue jacket pouring red wine into a glass

Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may seem like a quick fix for anxiety, but it can lead to a vicious cycle of dependency and increased anxiety. These substances can provide temporary relief but often lead to increased anxiety in the long run.

Seek healthier coping mechanisms, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, movement or hobbies you enjoy.

11.                  Comparing Yourself to Others

In the age of social media, comparing ourselves to others is almost second nature. However, constantly comparing yourself to others only fuels feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, contributing to anxiety. Everyone’s journey is unique, and external appearances can be deceiving. Focus on your progress and personal growth instead of comparing yourself to others.

12.                  Ignoring Physical Health

Your physical health has a direct impact on your mental well-being. Neglecting exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can worsen anxiety symptoms. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, which can boost your mood, while a healthy diet and sufficient rest can help regulate your body’s stress responses.

13.                  Overloading Your Schedule

A hectic schedule with no time for relaxation or downtime can intensify anxiety. Avoid overcommitting yourself and prioritize your mental well-being by scheduling breaks and leisure activities. Remember that it is not only okay but necessary to set boundaries and say “no” to things in order to maintain balance and prevent burnout.

14.                  Allowing Negative Self-Talk

Be mindful of your inner dialogue. Negative self-talk can be a destructive force in the lives of those with anxiety. Challenge and reframe negative thoughts with positive affirmations and self-compassion. Consider practicing mindfulness and meditation to gain more control over your inner dialogue. Professional support, such as the anxiety therapy in Thousand Oaks, can be an invaluable resource for changing these harmful thinking patterns.

Living with anxiety can be challenging, but avoiding these 14 common pitfalls can significantly improve your ability to manage and ultimately overcome it. Prioritize self-care, seek professional help, and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage anxiety effectively. Remember that recovery is a journey, and it’s okay to seek support and make gradual changes. By avoiding these harmful behaviors and adopting healthier strategies, you can take control of your anxiety and work towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

If you are looking for anxiety therapists in Simi Valley, then look no further than Simi Psychological group. Our team of therapists specialize in anxiety treatment, trauma therapy, and more, and are here to support you in your journey towards optimal mental health and emotional wellness. Reach out today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.