This is a common question I hear. This can be answered a number of ways however from my perspective there are certain things that we are aware of that increase levels of anxiety.
First of all it is important to point out that anxiety in small quantities is good for us as it propels us to move and act. However high levels of anxiety can be crippling as they can stop us from acting. Prolonged anxiety can have a detrimental effect on our thought patterns but also on our physical health due to suppression of the immune system when our fight or flight response is on all the time.
Let’s look at what types of things cause anxiety.
- Anxiety is a learned behaviour, if parents are anxious then children see this as a template for their own behaviour.
- For those of us who are in a situation where we are in physical danger or in danger of neglect, anxiety can become a way of life. Unpredictable situations make people anxious because they cannot be sure of what is going to happen.
- Having a high level of choice is anxiety provoking-once we choose what we want, we are often in a state of anxiety regarding the things that we didn’t choose.
- The increased availability of news and information, mostly negative that is constantly being fed to us through the news and social media channels create a sense that the world is a very dangerous place. The feeling of safety is the number one human need and we are constantly evaluating its status.
- Contemporary science has indicated the direct connection between the gut and the brain via the vagus nerve. This means that many of the (processed) foods that we eat do not complement our biological make up and lead to a range of stomach and constipation issues. This level of discomfort and the toxins produced from the foods in our stomachs is communicated to the brain via the vagus nerve and can lead to high levels of anxiety.
Let’s Talk About It
What causes anxiety in your home and then your children?