You know that feeling — your chest-tightens, your heart beats a little faster, your palms start to get a little bit slick, and you feel like you're barreling towards a cliff in your car, dodging falling boulders and intermittent obstacles. That ever-so-pleasant feeling often kicks in due to elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Although situational stress and anxiety are likely to strike from time to time, you may actually be unknowingly making it worse. You could, in fact, have some subtle, bad habits that you don't realize make you feel more anxious and stressed. And although no one wants to actively make themselves feel anymore stressed or anxious than needed, recognizing the things that you're doing that could be exacerbating the problem could very well be what ultimately makes you less anxious and stressed. Sounds good to me.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), more adults self-reported being stressed in 2015 than they had the previous year. Additionally, people were more likely to be stressed by familial responsibilities than ever before. Not only that, but women and millenials are more likely to be stressed than other groups. Not good.
Of course, there are experiences that are inherently more stressful: big life events like a major move, planning a wedding, having a baby, getting divorced, or changing careers, an important presentation at work or facing a fear can also allow fear, stress and nervousness creep in. There are strategies you can use to cope with stress and anxiety, but being aware of some of the more mundane, everyday things that can cause you to be more anxious and stressed probably can't hurt. If you're feeling more anxious than usual, keep an eye out for these 11 habits that might be contributing to it.