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What Causes Anxiety?

anxiety and stress

What causes anxiety? If you are currently struggling with anxiety then two of the major things running through your mind may be what caused the anxiety and why you are anxious.

And all that uncertainty as to where it came from and why you have anxiety can lead you to feeling even more anxious. Especially because often there is no one thing that you can point to and say ‘that thing caused my anxiety.’

Instead of chasing the answer to what causes anxiety, the key to overcoming it is most often centered around discovering how it keeps itself going and how to change that pattern.

What Causes Anxiety?

Whilst sometimes there can be a specific event, whether something long ago or a major life change, that causes anxiety to start, more often it seems to creep up out of nowhere until you find yourself feeling more and more filled with dread and worry.

There is often a build up of stress and worry that builds up and up and up until you tip over your ability to cope with it all and spiral into the pit of anxiety. It’s like that point where an elastic band gets stretched further and further until just a little bit more overstretches it and it snaps. In this way, anxiety happens when the gap between the demands placed upon you (internally or externally) become greater than your ability to deal with them.

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At that point your mind assumes that all that stress and worry must mean there is some sort of danger or threat going on and starts to prepare you to take action to keep you safe.

And of course, these days that threat is much less likely to be something like a hungry lion and much more likely to be worry, stress and dread fueled by our perceptions, habits and imagination.

Once the anxiety kicks in, your mind can feel like it is in overdrive, anxiously being alert for anything that could go wrong or make you feel bad. And because anxiety doesn’t like a vacuum, your imagination and thoughts will always find something to feel anxious about.

Why Am I Anxious?

Anxiety is created by all that dread, stress and worry, which of course then gets worse and you feel even more anxious. Added to that is the common trait of feeling anxious about feeling anxious because of how unpleasant the symptoms are and how limiting they can be.

Someone with anxiety can spend many hours worrying about why they feel anxious and may be able to suggest a number of possible causes, from parents who had anxiety, to specific events they have experienced.

Yet in most cases it is difficult to point to a moment in time and say with certainty that there lies the cause of your anxiety. Usually it is a build up of stress and worry, which may be combined with issues around low self esteem, worry what others think, poor sleep and so on. Then all it takes is one small tipping point and your mind goes into high alert mode.

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To make it even more complicated to answer the ‘why am I anxious?’ question, there can sometimes be a time delay between all the stress, when perhaps you felt you were coping okay, and the anxiety hitting with full force.

So usually it is far more productive and beneficial to spend less time going over and over the why of anxiety and what causes anxiety, and more time understanding how it keeps itself going now. By understanding the pattern of your anxiety you can start to change it and overcome it.

Anxiety Treatment

Any successful anxiety treatment will include methods and techniques that address the following aspects of anxiety:

  1. Ways To Relax Deeply. Anxiety is physically and mentally draining and your mind needs some time to stop worrying and cool down. Learning to relax deeply also starts to drain anxiety from any of those anxious thoughts and adds a break in the ongoing cycle of worry.
  2. Teaches How To Take Control. As well as resolving the anxiety during treatment sessions, you should also be taught how you can quickly and effectively ‘nip it in the bud’ before it takes hold in future.
  3. Taking Control over Imagination. Anxiety feeds on an active imagination that finds things to feel anxious about. Learning how to imagine things calmly that you used to feel anxious about is vital, as is being able to imagine new, positive, scenarios.
  4. Switching off worries and developing positive, progressive beliefs, behaviours and actions that strengthen confidence, self belief and a positive sense of knowing that whatever happens, you’ll handle any future challenges.

Anxiety Help

Would you like to overcome your anxiety so that instead of being lost in a search for what causes anxiety, you instead get on with doing the things you want to do, whilst at the same time feeling calm, relaxed and in control of your thoughts and reactions?

Then contact me today and ask about booking your complimentary initial consultation. It could well be the first step towards forgetting what caused your anxiety and instead doing what makes you feel better.

To your success,

Dan Regan

Anxiety Management Specialist

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