Humans are creatures of habit, and every one of us has formed a plethora of habits over our lifetimes that affect both our physical and mental wellness. For people with mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, creating healthy routines can be very beneficial when it comes to managing these disorders. Simple, daily habits — like journaling, or taking five minutes to practice deep breathing — can help ease anxiety and other symptoms. Other habits, though, such as overthinking, avoiding stressful situations, or ruminating on anxiety, can make the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other disorders worse. While people may develop these habits because they ease discomfort in the moment, they often have a negative impact on anxiety levels in the long-term.
Though it's not always possible to control what affects your anxiety, or how intense your anxiety is, examining your lifestyle habits can have an impact on how much anxiety you are experiencing. And fortunately, once you recognize the habits that are contributing to your anxiety, it's possible to make subtle changes that will positively impact your mental health. These mental health experts weighed in on the seven habits that may be increasing your anxiety, and the changes you can make to help.