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How To Break Anxiety Insomnia Cycle

Habits That Can Trigger Your Anxiety

How to Break an Anxiety Cycle

Sometimes, its difficult to realize which habits trigger your anxiety. We tend to analyze what were feeling instead of what led us to feel that way.

So, what habits can cause anxiety? There are a lot.

Today, well share some of the most common ones.

Unhealthy behaviors

Anxiety has a physiological component. Therefore, taking care of your physical health can help decrease your anxiety.

In addition, its best to:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and psychotropic medications.
  • Walk for at least 15 minutes a day.
  • Do any other form of physical exercise.

Justifying your concerns

One of the reasons people develop anxiety habits is that they believe their concerns are justified. For example, people with anxiety are caught in an anxious loop because they think worrying about this issue will help them avoid it or control the situation.

In addition, they think that by visualizing future scenarios, theyll be better prepared to face them. Also, they try to justify their concern by saying it motivates them. They believe that worrying about the future will motivate them to do the right thing.

However, these are all habits that can trigger your anxiety. Instead of helping, they end up causing the person constant stress.

Taking on too many responsibilities

Your anxiety habits could make you uncomfortable

  • Smoking and drinking alcohol.

Write Down Your Worries On Paper

According to Juanita Wells, director of clinical development at New Method Wellness, putting your thoughts down on paper can help us remain accountable to ourselves, our feelings, our purpose, and plan.

Instead of letting thoughts and to-dos swirl around in your brain, write them down so that your brain has a game plan for the following day. Wells says that writing down your anxious feelings, especially through stream-of-consciousness journaling , can help ease anxiety before bed.

In addition to calming pre-bedtime anxiety, research shows that journaling can also help you fall asleep more quickly. To get started journaling, just snuggle up with your notebook and some cozy pillows and let your thoughts take it away.

When To See A Doctor

Itâs common for a stressful event or change in your schedule to upset your sleep. Short-term insomnia like this often goes away on its own. If your trouble with sleep makes it hard for you to get through your day or impairs your mood, talk to your doctor.

If youâve had disturbed sleep for longer than 3 months, you may want to see a doctor whoâs an expert on sleep. Theyâll do a physical exam and ask questions about your health, daily habits, and any recent stressful events in your life. If the doctor thinks a medical problem, like sleep apnea, is the cause of your insomnia, you may need to do a sleep study to know for sure.

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Health Anxiety: Currently Trending

The internet can help as well as hinder. Despite good advice being available online, Googling symptoms can lead to health anxiety. Can pharmacists play a role in reducing the side effects of Dr Google?

Mental health conditions

MAG / The Pharmaceutical Journal

Erin Hallett was still a teenager when she saw the movie Kindergarten Cop. When it came to the famous Its not a tumour line, voiced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, she remembers thinking, Im going to have a brain tumour. Books could also be a trigger: on reading Deenie, a book by Judy Bloom in which the main character is diagnosed with scoliosis, Hallett developed backache.

If you Google any symptom long enough you come up with imminent death

But it was not until Hallett, now 40 years old and head of alumni relations at Imperial College London, reached her early 20s that her anxiety about her health became more of an issue. She attributes this in part to the rise of the internet. If you Google any symptom long enough you come up with imminent death, she says.

Erin Hallett hopes that by being honest about her condition, people will start to realise that health anxiety is an illness that you can manage like any other

Although she did not immediately accept the suggestion that she may have a mental health issue, Hallett believes it set her on the right track.

I think we could help a lot of patients much earlier if they were recognised, says Lisbeth Frostholm, a psychologist based at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Make Your Room Cool And Dark

Better Sleep

One of the best ways to promote good sleep is simple: pull the shades. Investing in blackout curtains is a fantastic choice, especially if you are particularly sensitive to light at night and if you sleep near a street or other outside light source.

You can also wear a sleep mask if you prefer, which will block out everything in the room and outwhich is especially beneficial if you have a partner who wakes early and perhaps turns on the closet or bathroom light to get ready.

Likewise, aside from making sure your room is dark, you should also opt for a cooler room. Studies show that the ideal sleeping temperature is in the 60s, with most preferring somewhere around 64 degrees. This allows you to cuddle up under a weighted blanket without getting too hot or too cold.

Since your bodys temperature naturally drops as you sleep, having the colder air around you will help promote sleep. If you have an HVAC system or youre able to set the temperature with a timer, try to gradually warm the room up 5-10 degrees as the night turns to day. This replicates the natural warmth that comes with the sun and supports your bodys natural temperature increase in anticipation of your coming energy expenditure.

When it comes to controlling temperature, choosing a weighted blanket like Corala allows you to switch from a winter duvet to a summer duvet and enjoy great breathability and temperature regulation year-round.

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Set Aside Time For Winding Down

If youve been struggling with sleep anxiety, Dr. Fran Walfish, family and relationship psychotherapist, suggests creating a routine that winds you down and gets you in the mood for sleep. This can include things like dimming the lights, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath.

Walfish also suggests opting for activities like light reading in place of a TV or computer, as using a screen can tend to rev up anxiety and excitatory thresholds versus relax and calm you down.

The best nighttime routine allows your mind and body time to slow down before you turn off the lights. Allot at least 30 minutes to take a bath, read a book, listen to a podcast, or play quiet music. These transition rituals can condition your brain to associate certain actions with preparing for sleep.

What Are The Symptoms Of Nighttime Anxiety

Symptoms of nighttime anxiety take on many forms, as it is experienced differently by everyone. Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, pediatrician and medical consultant for Mom Loves Best, says, Before bedtime is no different than anxiety during the day. The difference is that you may be more aware of anxiety at night as fewer other stimuli are co-occurring.

While sleep anxiety is individual to each person, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Nightmares and night terrors
  • Hypnic jerk

Another symptom of sleep anxiety is panic attacks. This involves an episode of extreme fear thats characterized by a sense of doom, increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, and a feeling of detachment that could occur before or during sleep. After experiencing a nighttime panic attack, there can be anxiety about getting another attack, making it harder to fall asleep.

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How To Cure The Self

The most common form of insomnia is psychophysiological insomnia. Put in simple terms, this is learned insomnia or insomnia caused by insomnia. Frustratingly, this is a self-sustaining cycle in which an individual experiences a night of insomnia and feels tired the next day. As bedtime approaches, the individual becomes increasingly anxious and stressed about being able to sleep that night. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, the individual does not sleep and the next day becomes more anxious and more stressed about being able to sleep. This can be an extremely stressful and difficult cycle to break, often requiring intervention. The bad news is it is often caused by only one night of anxiety induced insomnia, meaning it can happen to anyone and often strikes at the most stressful times in oneâs life. The good news is although individuals might feel their insomnia is incurable or permanent, it is far from it. Here are some great ways to break the cycle and get back your full nightâs rest.

Identifying When Your Fear Is Real Or Imagined Helps Break The Anxiety Cycle

How to break the cycle of negative thinking | Social anxiety self-help

Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

What places, people, and situations do you fear? Do you suffer from some type of post-traumaticstress that is triggered by a stimuli associated with an environment or location where you experienced something terrifying? I do.

In 2003, I was jumped and beaten up by three guys while walking home from dinner at Petes Tavern through Stuyvesant Park to my apartment in the East Village. For months after the incident, whenever I passed the fountain where they kicked my body and pounded my head, I had a neurobiological response that caused my levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol and adrenaline to skyrocket. I describe the incident in my first book, saying:

I was like a punching bag at their disposal, facedown at first and then curled up in a fetal position, getting kicked primarily in the torso and head. The feeling was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It felt like being in an industrial washing machine with about eight cinder blocks. Your whole life really does flash before your eyes when you think you’re going to die.

Most likely, these neurobiological responses are part of an evolutionary survival mechanism to protect someone from revisiting life-threatening situations by deeply embedding a traumatic experience and flagging the memory for importance.

Overcoming the Fear of Fear

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Your Anxiety Habits: How To Break The Cycle

Written and verified bythe psychologist.

27 May, 2022

Most people experience certain levels of anxiety in their day-to-day lives, so your anxiety habits might be normal. After all, it makes sense that were constantly thinking about the future.

Specialists describe anxiety as a defensive and preparatory response. Thats because it allows you to look ahead and rehearse scenarios.

However, when your anxiety causes constant worrying or other problems in your life, it may be overwhelming. Regardless of your situation, its important to know some exercises that can help you manage your anxiety habits.

Keep reading to learn more!

Panel : What Is Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is only a recent diagnosis, says Peter Tyrer, a community psychiatrist at Imperial College London. It is beginning to replace the term hypochondriasis, which is still listed in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision, but has been removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition , published in 2013.

Peter Tyrer, a community psychiatrist at Imperial College London, led a randomised controlled trial into a modified cognitive behavioural therapy programme designed especially for health anxiety

Instead, the DSM-5 includes two new concepts somatic symptom disorder and illness anxiety disorder. The differences between these conditions, and whether they are truly separate diagnoses, are still being contested. This is perhaps why many people prefer to use the broader term health anxiety, which encompasses both.

We have different names and different ways of diagnosing health anxiety, so it is a confusing area, acknowledges Lisbeth Frostholm, a psychologist based at Aarhus University in Denmark. While there is more work to be done in firming up the diagnosis, many people in the field agree with Joy McGuire, a cognitive behavioural therapist working in the NHS and the private sector, that hypochondriasis is a stigmatising term. I dont think anybody would have felt happy about having that label applied to them, she says.

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Dietary Supplements For Insomnia

There are many dietary and herbal supplements marketed for their sleep-promoting effects. Although they may be described as natural, be aware that sleep remedies can still have side effects and interfere with other medications or vitamins youre taking. For more information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

The Sleep Workbook : Easy Strategies to Break the Anxiety ...

Dr. Nikki Lacherza-Drew, licensed psychologist and owner of Vici Psychological Care, suggests engaging in proper sleep hygiene to help get better sleep. Lacherza-Drew says, If you have a routine and engage in appropriate sleep hygiene on a consistent basis, your mind will be less likely to go down the rabbit hole of anxious thoughts.

Sleep hygiene refers to various habits that are necessary for good sleep quality. To practice good sleep hygiene, Lacherza-Drew suggests:

  • No major physical activity or heavy meals close to bedtime
  • No caffeine or alcohol near bedtime or after a certain time in the afternoon

Other easy ways to practice good sleep hygiene include:

  • Soaking up the morning sun
  • Limiting power naps to 20 minutes
  • Keeping your bedroom dark and cool
  • Following a consistent bedtime routine

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Coming Out Of The Dark Happier And Healthier

As a person gets clean and sober, their brain chemistry will begin to normalize, and the old addiction pathways in the brain which caused strong cravings will become less active. This is part of the healing and recovery process, and a positive indication that the brain is healing some of the damage done by drugs.

You or your loved one will benefit greatly from developing healthy lifestyle habits, including a schedule that dedicates at least 7-8 hours a night for sleep. While their body adjusts to the new schedule and lifestyle, they may experience some transient insomnia.

Sometimes this can be addressed by developing good sleep hygiene, or practices that are known to promote sleep, including not using technology an hour before bed, eliminating artificial light from the bedroom, and developing a nighttime relaxation ritual that cues the body and brain for sleep.

Suggestions For Improving Sleep

There are several strategies for helping you avoid behaviors that get in the way of good sleep. You can develop good sleep habits by practicing some of the below:

  • Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety at bedtime. Other relaxation techniques include taking a warm bath or meditating prior to going to bed.
  • Controlling stimuli such as using the bedroom for sleep only and not allowing other stimuli such as electronics in. This will help you dissociate your bed as a place of busy activity.
  • Setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time can help you train yourself for consistent sleep.
  • Avoiding naps and similar sleep restrictions can make you feel more tired at bedtime which can help improve insomnia for some people.
  • Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime can help you be physically ready for sleep. Your doctor might also recommend avoiding alcohol close to bedtime.

Your doctor may suggest other strategies tailored to your sleep environment and lifestyle that will help you learn and develop habits that will promote healthy sleep.

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