Also referred to as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), chronic anxiety disorder is a condition that leaves a person feeling anxious for no reason. And this anxiety often is experienced more than it isn’t. People with chronic anxiety may suffer from symptoms for days or weeks at a time, but they may also just experience anxious episodes here and there at random.
Symptoms of chronic anxiety disorder include…
- Physical Tension,
- Trouble with Concentration and Focus,
- Constant Worry,
- Restless Sleep, and
Many of us who have suffered from anxiety disorders are aware of the physical symptoms that usually come along with them. From panic attacks to shortness of breath, the physical symptoms of anxiety can be awful. Chronic anxiety disorder, however, is much more mental than physical.
Experiencing chronic anxiety disorder can feel a lot like fear without a real concrete source. Maybe you worry about something that might happen or have a sense that something is wrong without knowing what these “somethings” even are.
What Causes Chronic Anxiety Disorder?
What chronic anxiety disorder actually stems from actually isn’t completely understood. Some scientists speculate that it could be a part of a person’s genetic makeup, or it may be caused by the way the person was brought up. Basically, if your parents were anxious, there’s a big possibility that you’ll experience chronic anxiety disorder at some point during your lifetime.
4 Factors that Contribute to Chronic Anxiety Disorder
These are four common factors that contribute to generalized anxiety disorders:
1. Long-Term Stress
If you’ve gone through long periods of sustained stress, chronic anxiety may be something you’re familiar with. Experiencing stress over the long term changes your hormone production, which, in turn, changes how you deal with anxiety
2. Lack of Exercise and Improper Diet
Exercise is crucial if you want to live life with less anxiety. If you’re lacking in the exercise department and experiencing anxiety, that lack of exercise could have a lot to do with why. The body needs exercise; without it (or with very little of it), anxiety will play a very big role in your life.
An unhealthy diet also has the potential to trigger generalized anxiety. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed fast-foods, salt, and certain additives all have the potential to initiate that uncomfortable, restless energy chronic anxiety disorder creates.
3. Experiences Faced in Life
As we all well know, life can be an experience of many ups and downs. After a while, the simple experiences we face in life may prove to be causes for chronic anxiety disorder.
From the way we were raised and how we were treated when we were young to how confidently we were able to face certain circumstances, there’s always the potential to feel anxiety. Depending on the level of one’s coping skills and experience, some people tend to have more anxiety than others.
4. Imbalance of “Feel-Good” Brain Chemicals
Neurotransmitter imbalance could be a huge contributor to chronic anxiety disorder. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that regulate a bunch of different things including mood, energy, libido, and cravings. They’re also responsible for the way we handle stress.
It’s estimated that over 80% of Americans have imbalanced neurotransmitter function. Our modern lifestyles are to blame with stress, toxins, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine all throwing neurotransmitters out of whack.
How Can I Control Chronic Anxiety Disorder?
If you suffer from chronic anxiety disorder (and have had enough of living the reoccurring nightmare of anxiety that comes and goes as it pleases) there are plenty of natural approaches you can take to manage it. You don’t need to take prescription medication to get a handle on your anxiety; you just need to know what works best for the type of anxiety you experience.
Different types of anxiety call for different kinds of anxiety relief techniques. If you feel you’ve got generalized anxiety, there are natural approaches for relieving anxiety that you can incorporate into your life. These will help you manage your symptoms and get a handle on the way you feel.
Natural Relief for Chronic Anxiety
Some natural solutions that will allow you to take control of that exhausting anxiety that seems to show up whenever it pleases include…
Getting Frequent Exercise
As lack of exercise is one of the biggest reasons people suffer from chronic anxiety disorder, it only makes sense to counteract this by getting plenty of exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is a powerful force, and your body and mind will respond positively when you make a point to exercise most days.
Take a break a couple days a week if you must, but maintaining a habit of consistent exercise will greatly help reduce feelings of chronic anxiety disorder. Find different activities that you love, and you’ll start to look forward to exercising every day.
Embracing Healthy Eating Habits
Not only will establishing healthy eating habits help you look and feel your best, but it will do wonders to regulate your mood. Our bodies weren’t designed to live off the plethora of processed foods that have become a part of our normal diets.
Fake food can make for feeling awful in more ways than one. Processed foods and additives like artificial flavors and colors, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils can take a toll on our mental state as well as our physical health.
Make a commitment to eat whole, natural foods including fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. After an initial detox, you’ll notice that anxiety that comes and goes is showing up a lot less.
Avoiding Alcohol, Sugar, Caffeine, and Nicotine
The vices we associate with making us feel good are actually doing anything but. While a couple glasses of wine after work every night might make you feel good in the moment, once happy hour comes to a close, you could be left feeling anxious on an all-too-regular basis.
Alcohol, sugar, caffeine, nicotine and other drugs all do a very good job at messing with the neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel good. When chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine are disrupted (thanks to these outside toxins), it’s difficult to control anxiety and regulate our moods.
Avoiding things that disrupt the brain’s natural ability to make us feel good is something everyone should embrace, not just those with generalized anxiety. When we limit or forgo these things altogether, we give ourselves more room to feel good naturally.
Regularly Using Relaxation Techniques
If you find you’re experiencing chronic anxiety disorder frequently, embracing and regularly using different relaxation techniques could make all the difference in the world. Anyone who’s experienced this angst knows how desperate they can sometimes be to find ways to calm anxiety, and relaxation techniques could be just what they’re looking for.
Meditation and gentle yoga are both excellent ways to help someone relax and can be wonderful for soothing the anxious soul. Warm baths; peaceful, relaxing music; and quiet contemplation are all also excellent as well. Just five minutes of meditation each day can dramatically change your life; it’s one of the best known natural methods of dealing with anxiety.
Chronic anxiety disorder doesn’t have to ruin your life. Not only can it be easily controlled with all-natural methods, but it doesn’t have to continue to be a part of your life when you know what to do. Eating right, getting plenty of exercise, and learning how to regularly relax can be all you need to keep your anxiety in check.
We’ve found that chronic anxiety doesn’t have to linger for a lifetime and hope to inspire others to live a life free from the stress of habitual feelings of generalized anxiety. Do you regularly experience chronic anxiety? Have you found ways to deal with it that have been particularly beneficial? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.