Anxious Habits That Are Ruining Your Day

Anxious Habits That Are Ruining Your Day

Draven Jackson
Blogger | Teacher

Anxiety is the worst day-ruiner: it pushes you down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts, kicks you when you’re down, and convinces you that you deserve it (which you don’t, of course – none of us do). We’re our own worst enemy, and anxious habits are leading the army of negative feelings in an attack against our mental health. How can we stop these feelings of being less than or secretly hated?

It can be exhausting to allow your anxiety to take over your day. While it may seem silly to do, it’s important to remind yourself what is just your anxiety and what is something you should worry about. Don’t let your anxious habits continue to ruin your week and instead take care of your mental health by learning to separate reality from anxiety.

Overthinking small blemishes

Anxious Habits That Are Ruining Your DayOne of the worst anxious habits for many people is overthinking small blemishes or physical “faults.” We look at the mirror and pick apart our appearance: our eyes are mismatched, or maybe our lips are chapped, or god forbid there’s a breakout happening on our backs. Each small imperfection is added to the checklist of things to worry about as we convince ourselves that everybody else can see these “faults” too.

In all reality, most people don’t notice the things about us that we think are so horribly obvious. And even if they did, the truth of the matter is that small blemishes and imperfections are incredibly human. Allowing your anxiety to manifest into nitpicking your physical faults will only make you feel worse about yourself and your life, so remind yourself that these little things are all a part of the human experience and they are nothing to be worried about or ashamed of.

Worrying about external perception

Picking apart your physical features is only one of the anxious habits that can ruin your day – another connected habit is worrying about external perception. How do people think about me? Do they notice the zits on my face? I bet they think I’m dumb, do they think I’m dumb? What if they don’t like me?

These worries about how we’re being perceived by others can be debilitating and make it feel like we’re always being watched. It’s terrifying to think that other people see you the way you see yourself. But really, more often than not other people see us completely differently from how we think they do. They don’t notice all our little flaws and they are more likely to see the positives of our personality than the negatives. It’s sad to think about how others are nicer to us than we are to ourselves.

Questioning all of your interactions

For me, the worst of my anxious habits is overthinking and questioning all of my interactions with other people. I overanalyze tones and text messages, wonder if silence means anger, and constantly convince myself that I said the wrong thing. It’s something I am actively working on changing because it makes it difficult to have faith in myself and my relationships with others.

Overthinking all of our interactions is neither productive nor helpful to you. For one thing, the interaction has already happened – therefore there is nothing you can do to change it, so there is no point in wondering whether you said the wrong thing or if you could have done it a better way. Worrying about something that has already happened is a waste of your time and energy, and it will only add to your overall anxiety. Let things that have happened be and if you did say the wrong thing…well, everyone does sometimes.

Invalidating your own feelings

It’s ironic, really, that one of the anxious habits that can ruin your day is invalidating or belittling your anxiety or the things that stress you out. While sometimes your anxieties are built on worries that are mostly in your head, you should still allow yourself to work through those feelings and emotions. Bottling them up and ignoring them will only make your stress worse in the long run.

Also, if your anxiety stems from someone else’s actions, it’s okay to be upset or even angry about those things. The way you feel about your life and the people around you is valid, and if someone is doing something to make you uncomfortable or upset, you’re allowed to tell them. What you feel is valid and your overall comfort is important.

Believing that a mistake equals failure

Anxious habits like to convince us that even the most human mistakes are somehow our greatest failures. If you’re like me, then your anxiety comes with a piping hot side of perfectionism that makes it difficult to accept less than the best. However, there are times when you may not be able to do everything completely right the first time, and small mistakes and errors are an inevitable part of life.

Don’t let your anxiety blow a small molehill into a mountain of negativity. It’s okay to make a mistake or to ask someone else for help. You’re still doing a great job and these small errors aren’t signs of failure. You simply need to dust yourself off and try again.

Saying “I’m okay” and moving on

Going back to the topic of invalidating your own feelings, saying “I’m okay” when you’re not and trying to move forward is a surefire way to ruin your day. You don’t have to be superwoman and no one expects you to be peachy-keen all the time. Not to mention, refusing to acknowledge when there’s something wrong or neglecting help when you need it is only going to make you feel worse over time.

It’s important to recognize when you’re not feeling your best and take the time to care for your mental or physical well-being. Don’t let your anxiety tell you that moments of weakness mean you are less than or a failure. Everyone needs to take time to care for themselves every now and again, so it’s alright to admit that you’re not okay or that you need help.

Do you know of more anxious habits that could be ruining your day? Tell us in the comments!

Draven Jackson HeadshotAbout Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.


7 Comments on “Anxious Habits That Are Ruining Your Day”

  1. This article does pertain to me in more ways than one; especially overthinking everything and always trying to be the perfectionist. I need to learn to not let my anxiety control my life and thoughts, that mistakes are inevitable, I’m only human and to not dwell on things that have already happened.

  2. This is me to a “T”. I have had terrible anxiety all of my life, but more so since my husband passed away 1 1/2 years ago. I have printed out this article & maybe it will help me to let go!

  3. This article touched on so many ways that I feel when it comes to anxiety. I cannot remember a day as an adult when I am not worried about something or someone. I am starting to slowly believe that making mistakes does not mean failing. It is hard though after spending so many years of doubting myself to final begin to believe in myself.

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