Does it seem like more people are anxious and strung-out today? Anxiety and causes of chronic anxiety are commonly googled phrases about mood issues and their connection to further mental health problems. Learning about managing persistent anxiety and effective anxiety management strategies may help.
Understanding Persistent Anxiety
Anxiety disorders, which affect more than 280 million people worldwide, have a genetic foundation. Individuals in families can inherit the genes for anxiety. Furthermore, those experiencing one subtype of anxiety disorder also show a tendency to have another anxiety subtype.
Researchers recently made a significant breakthrough by identifying two gene clusters in areas of the brain already identified as linked to anxiety disorders. So, while the brain circuitry connected with anxiety is now known, the gene expression link still needs investigating. This may provide better insight into chronic anxiety causes.
Anxiety Disorders That Cause Chronic Anxiety
Several types of anxiety disorders may cause individuals to experience chronic anxiety. These include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder (SAD). GAD is the most common mental health disorder in adults in the U.S.
Chronic Anxiety Causes
Experts say anxiety tends to originate from several factors in combination. There is the genetic component, with a family history of anxiety disorders increasing heritable risk.
Environmental factors play a role in common chronic anxiety causes. Those who experience significant or recurring trauma, chronic stress, and other adverse environmental elements may develop chronic anxiety.
Trying to deal with challenging or worrying social issues can aggravate existing anxiety or precipitate the onset of chronic anxiety.
There is also evidence that personality traits as a child may be influential in developing an anxiety disorder as an adult.
Signs of Chronic Anxiety
Worrying about your ability to pay monthly bills doesn’t mean you’re chronically anxious. Nor does the occasional anxiousness about a health condition. Most people have these concerns. Chronic anxiety is persistent and unrelenting and typically exists for a long time. Often, the roots begin in childhood. It is characterized by several symptoms that may include the following:
- Anxious thoughts that won’t go away
- Difficulty relaxing
- Disturbed sleep
- Dry mouth
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Feeling fear or panic
- Inability to control anxiety
- Muscle pain or tension
- Rapid heartbeat
- Repetitive and obsessive thoughts
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
- Worry that’s excessive and without basis
It is essential to recognize that the symptoms of anxiety don’t remain constant. They may be more physical in nature at times, while they’re distinctly psychological at other times. Furthermore, the kinds of symptoms can vary depending on the anxiety disorder type.
Common Triggers for Chronic Worry and Anxiety
While persistent, unrelenting anxiety is a sign of significant psychological distress, someone experiencing increasing anxiety should pay heed to common triggers. Knowing what precipitates chronic worry and anxiety can be helpful in managing persistent anxiety.
Triggers may include:
- Chronic stress
- Unbalanced diet, skipped meals
- Underlying health issues or dealing with chronic illnesses
- Excessive caffeine
- Mounting financial problems and debt
- Increase in negative thinking and self-talk
- Escalating conflict in a relationship, including arguments and disagreements
- New or unfamiliar social situations
- Public speaking, events, or performances
- Reminders of traumatic events, memories, or experiences
Many people experiencing chronic anxiety say they notice multiple triggers that worsen their emotional state. Sometimes, feeling constantly anxious isn’t due to anything they consciously recognize. In this case, they may have undiagnosed generalized anxiety disorder since constantly feeling anxious without a known reason is one of the symptoms of GAD.
Health Strategies for Managing Long-Term Anxiety
Despite the distress chronic anxiety causes, there are effective ways of managing persistent anxiety. These include some well-known strategies for dealing with stress that work equally well for anxiety.
Eat, Move, and Sleep Better
You Are What You Eat
Maintaining a healthy, smart diet can do wonders for your emotional health and constant worry. What you eat directly affects successful coping with long-term anxiety. While it may take some effort, isn’t being less anxious all the time worth whatever it takes to achieve this healthier mental state?
Here are some healthy eating tips you can use today:
- Include the rainbow of colors in your daily diet. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are not only healthier, but they’re also delicious. Think in terms of the number eight. Eat some combination of fruits and vegetables daily that add up to this number.
- Concentrate less on what you’re eliminating from your daily eating regimen, and more on what you can add that optimizes overall well-being.
- Be sure to stay well hydrated. A healthy mind that’s less prone to anxiety is what you’re after. Your body and mind function best when you drink plenty of fluids—especially water.
Get Outside and Move
The world awaits outside your door. If you’re serious about dealing with the disruption chronic anxiety causes, you must become more physically active. This doesn’t mean you’re destined to spend countless hours in physical exercise. Make it fun. Remember that physical activity is one of the best anxiety management strategies you can employ. It’s inexpensive, readily available, and provides many mental health benefits.
Start with these tips to move more:
- Allocate 15 minutes to a half-hour daily for a brisk walk outside. As a neighbor, friend, or family member to accompany you on your walk. That keeps you busy and engaged, and the time will pass quickly.
- Remember to keep your heart rate up. This increases the endorphins released and helps naturally boost your mood. If the weather isn’t conducive to an outdoor activity, climb the stairs, walk in the mall, or march in place. You’re still getting exercise instead of being sedentary. Any amount of this kind of movement will be beneficial in managing persistent anxiety.
Get Better ZZZs
Did you know that sleep is one of the pillars of a treatment strategy for dealing with chronic anxiety causes? This pertains to high-quality sleep or sleep that is uninterrupted. How does sleep affect the ability of coping with long-term anxiety? Quality sleep affects memory, focus, problem-solving, energy, mood, and eating habits, to name a few.
Need help getting better sleep? Try these suggestions:
- Try some white, pink, brown, or green noise. Soothing sounds can help you drift off to sleep and stay asleep.
- Create a welcoming sleep environment. This means a cool temperature in the room, sufficient darkness, no blue light from electronics, comfortable bedding and bedclothes, and silence.
- Resist the temptation to keep your smartphone beside the bed — or in the bedroom (unless it is powered down).
- Go to sleep at the same time nightly, if possible. Maintaining a consistent sleep routine helps with managing persistent anxiety. Itwill also be beneficial for your emotional health and constant worry.
Stay Connected with Others
The worst thing you can do when you’re coping with chronic anxiety causes is to isolate yourself. You may think you are better off being alone. Yet, what you need most is to be with those who support and encourage your efforts to overcome anxiety.
Why is connecting with others essential in managing persistent anxiety? None of us has all the answers to problems, mainly how to deal with long-term anxiety. You need to be able to express your feelings freely. Do so with those you know and trust. Your friends, family, and loved ones are your go-to support network. Lean on them for emotional encouragement when you feel most anxious.
Also, consider joining a support group devoted to helping people cope with chronic anxiety. If you’re uncomfortable doing so in person, research online support groups focused on mental health and wellness. Anxiety and depression support groups are available through the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Mental Health America, and SMART Recovery.
When to Seek Professional Help for Persistent Anxiety Symptoms
Are you experiencing anxiety that has worsened and now creates problems in daily life? it may be wise to consider seeking professional help coping with long-term anxiety. Persistent anxiety symptoms that aren’t controlled worsen emotional health, and constant worry becomes permanent.
When life is out of control due to chronic anxiety causes, you don’t have to continue to live this way. Anxiety disorders of all types are treatable. Our mental health experts at Restore-Mental Health are available to discuss your concerns and how our treatments and programs may provide the help you need in managing persistent anxiety. Contact us anytime to get started with proven anxiety management strategies and treatment.