5 Surprising Things that Cause Anxiety

Many of the activities that we do and the environments that we live in, which are part of our daily life, can cause anxiety, but we don't even think about them. It's better to learn how to identify them to find a solution to the problem.
5 Surprising Things that Cause Anxiety

Last update: 13 June, 2021

Anxiety is fear, uncertainty, and anguish. This psychological condition is characterized by a mental and physical state of great wear and tear, which we don’t always know how to manage.

One of the most common characteristics of anxiety is the thought that future misfortunes will happen. Therefore, although it’s a normal response of the body in times of emergency, this emotion often gets out of hand.

If we suspect that we’re going through this complex personal universe, the best thing to do is to ask for expert help. There are practices that can be used to treat this disorder; therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, can be helpful in these cases.

It’s also important to change lifestyle habits, improve mental focus, and be clear about those triggers or states that, at a given moment, can cause anxiety. We’ll now discuss some of the most frequent ones.

1. A passive attitude and anxiety

Sometimes, when life becomes complex, demanding, and chaotic, we opt for the easiest response: Passivity. However, we must be clear that these passive attitudes end up shaping what’s known as learned helplessness. Sooner or later, we end up thinking that, no matter how hard we try, nothing will change.

Sedentary behaviors increase the risk of developing anxiety. We must be clear: Non-action, surrender, and passivity intensify discomfort and could end up making us sick.

We must take action. This means facing out problems and applying a more active mental approach. A key aspect that we can’t overlook is that physical exercise is very suitable for reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

For example, a study published by Clinical Psychology Review ratifies the anxiolytic effect of aerobic exercise. Now you know: Get out of the sofa-bed routine, there’s a world to travel and many things to do!

2. Living in a city can cause anxiety

Yes, even if you don’t believe this, urban city life, the constant moving around and hustle and bustle can really push your buttons. If the noise and people don’t affect you, you must watch out for the city’s air. This is because environmental pollution can also cause physical and emotional exhaustion.

Studies have been carried out which have shown that those who live in the countryside are less prone to suffer from anxiety than people who live in the city. Cities, whether we love them or not, are often scenarios that affect health.

Researchers believe that environmental factors can influence brain activity, mainly in the amygdala, and thus intensify anxiety. A good option could be to establish regular getaways to natural environments where you can disconnect from the city and its stresses.

3. Economic problems, gender, and living in an unpleasant environment

A woman counting coins.

The study conducted by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology reached some incredible conclusions. This was because it indicated that women who live in cities in low socio-economic conditions have a higher possibility of developing anxiety. 

Disadvantaged environments and economic problems are those triggers that tend to affect the female gender to a greater degree. This doesn’t mean, however, that men don’t feel the impact of these factors.

The conclusion of the study cited above implies only that, in general, women’s minds tend to experience greater worry. In turn, and beyond the fact that it’s unfair in many cases, it’s normal for them to have more tasks and responsibilities: Childcare, dependent family members, work, etc.

4. Eating fast food

It’s ironic to think that eating quickly can cause anxiety and even stranger to think that it can also cause depression. However, a study published in the Journals of Fundamentals of Mental Health found that a group of students who regularly consumed fast food were seven times more likely to suffer from anxiety than young people who ate better.

If you tend to resort to these foods, reduce your consumption and follow a healthy diet. Consulting a nutritionist to plan a balanced diet is also highly recommended. You’ll see your nerves diminish as you begin to eat better.

5. Living in noisy areas can cause anxiety

A woman meditating as she looks out at the city skyline.

Anxiety is also caused by daily noise, such as from a factory or noise coming from children constantly screaming at school. Believe it or not, this type of noise can make you nauseous and give you headaches.

If you work in such places, find a space to be in peace and quiet. Meanwhile, if you’ve just moved to a new house very close to a busy road, the airport, or the subway and have started to have problems, perhaps this is the cause, as indicated by a study published by Environmental Health Perspectives.

You probably can’t move, but it’s advisable to look for an option that can help calm your nerves. How about practicing yoga in a park without so much noise? According to research published by Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, regular yoga practice can “significantly” decrease the level of anxiety.

Tackle the possible cause for your anxiety

The burdens of work, taking care of the children, or meeting the various obligations of everyday life are enough on their own… But add on an environment with noise or environmental pollution and it’s a recipe for disaster.

It’s not always easy to deal with all these daily enemies, we know, but many times we’re forced to get used to and accept them. We must be creative to find escape routes and take care of our body and mind.

Co-workers feeling stressed at work.

In short, whether we like it or not, anxiety is a dimension that is and will be part of life. We must accept it, deal with it, manage it, and always use it to our advantage. In this sense, consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist is more than advisable.

Take care of your health, live calmly, and maintain a balanced diet; for the latter, visiting a nutritionist can be an excellent measure. Remember that the body’s reactions are a product of what happens inside the body.

Finally, if the nerves appear frequently, it’s possible that the problem is greater: Take the necessary measures and don’t forget to consult your doctor.

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