5 Unhealthy Ways to Deal with Anxiety

Anxiety can be crippling for many people. Whether the anxiety is caused by work, bills, family or other outside sources, people turn to many unhealthy coping mechanisms. Please note that these are examples of things you should not do — that is, if you wish for your anxiety to ever cease.

1. The Ostrich Method

Like an ostrich, some people bury their heads in the sand at the first sign of trouble. Perhaps the thought is that if they can’t see their problems then their problems can’t see them. Perhaps these people believe that by ignoring their problems, they will solve themselves. A lot of people do a very good job of pretending stress factors don’t exist. This is an especially popular tactic for financial woes. Credit card bills, for example. Be warned. By ignoring these problems, they only get worse. Take your head out of the sand before these stress sources become insurmountable.

2. Obsession

This is the polar opposite of the ostrich method. Rather than pretending their problems don’t exist, these people obsess over them. Sources of anxiety become the focus of these poor souls’ every waking hour. If this method helps you actually take steps to remove the sources of anxiety, then by all means, go for it. If this obsession keeps you from enjoying anything in life, however, maybe it’s time to to start thinking of something else — like solutions.

3. Retreating to Comforts (The Bad Kind)

Overeating, smoking, drugs, alcohol, and other bad habits are other ways people unsuccessfully deal with stress. Take for example the CEO who when hearing crippling financial news immediately states he needs a cigarette break. Many overweight people with anxiety about their size may end up overeating as a result, thereby making the pattern self-perpetuating. Not only do these unhealthy habits not solve your problems, they can also give you all new ones. Lung cancer, for instance.

4. Moodiness

People with large amounts of anxiety in their life tend to be grumpy. Asking them how their day is may yield a rude response. Perhaps you know people like this. Maybe you are one of these people. If so, then stop immediately. Not only are you hurting yourself, but you are also making it extremely uncomfortable for everyone else around you. Be kind and courteous. The end result might be that others may actually attempt to help you solve your problems.

5. The Big One

Breakdowns. Each above unhealthy anxiety habit, if left unchecked, can potentially lead to a breakdown. A breakdown is an ugly thing full of aggression, screaming, crying and uncontrollable angst. You may completely withdraw from the world around you. You may throw objects across the house. You may do anything, because you have completely lost your temper. Breakdowns may be short-lived, or they may change your life in unalterable ways. The best thing to do is to stop the unhealthy habits before they lead here.

If you are experiencing any of these behaviors, it may be a good time to find a therapist who you feel comfortable in speaking with.


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