Your breath is shallow, and your heart is pounding. You feel a tightness in your chest that won’t release. You can’t focus on anything but this feeling, and you just want to check out of reality.
You’re having an anxiety attack.
You never know when it will happen, and they seemingly come out of nowhere……or do they?
Chances are, if you’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long time, then you’ll know some of the things that set it off, but did you know that something like someone else’s emotions could be triggering your anxiety?
I’ve put together a list of ten common, but sometimes surprising things that could be causing your anxiety to go through the roof.
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1. You’re in the wrong career/job
You may not even realize it, but that tightness of your chest, and shallow breathing that you’re experiencing on the way to work, could actually mean something very important.
It could mean that you either don’t like your job, or you don’t like a certain aspect of your job, like a bad co-worker.
Some of you might be saying, well duh…..but hear me out. A huge percentage of the population are on a career path that they think they’re supposed to be on because that’s what their family told them to do, or this is what they thought success was supposed to look like.
Too many people never stop to try to figure out what it is that they actually like to do.
Being in the wrong career can lead to depression, anxiety, and bad decisions that stem from a deep seated unhappiness. All of these awful things can happen simply because people don’t take the time to figure themselves out.
If you think this could apply to you, then it’s time to do some serious soul searching.
2. Toxic Family Situations
This is probably one of the most common causes of anxiety.
You put up with a family member’s awful behavior, or abuse because, well, they’re family, and ultimately you just want their love.
Every time you’re around them, however, you’re faced with those all too familiar symptoms of shortness of breath, and high blood pressure.
Listen, I’ve heard just about every reason in the book for why people put up with their poorly behaved family members…
- they don’t have anyone else
- they’re the only family I’ve got
- I’m the only family they’ve got
- they had a bad childhood and need support
- someone has to help them……..etc
There is NO EXCUSE FOR BAD BEHAVIOR, and there is no reason for you to be abused by someone who is supposed to love you. If they never sought help for what happened in their past, then that’s their own fault. It’s no excuse, and it’s not your burden to bear.
I don’t care if they’re family or not. You absolutely CAN walk away, and NEED to protect yourself. Put your emotional well being first. It’s called self love.
3. You’re in the Wrong Relationship
This one is a little tricky.
We all know that one friend who is in a terrible relationship, but refuses to leave because they say they love their significant other, no matter what that person has done to them.
You’ve probably tried to help them get out multiple times, but they always seem to go back.
Unfortunately, that friend won’t leave until they’re ready to, I know this for a fact, because I was that friend, but that’s a blog post for another time.
But, what if, you are that friend?
What if, the reason you can’t ever get a deep breath, or feel like you can relax, is because the person you think you’re in love with is toxic to you?
No one wants to hear that, or even consider that, but there it is.
You could be feeling anxiety all of the time because you need to get out of your relationship.
4. You Have Toxic Friends
This one goes right along with the last one, but this time, it could be your “squad” that’s causing your anxiety.
You might always feel like you have to prove something, or be “ON,” all of the time.
Or, maybe you’d do absolutely anything for your boy, but he’s never there for you when you need him the most.
If you’ve tried to talk to them about it, but you’re still not seeing any real friendship from them, then you may need to consider making some new friends.
Toxic friendships can cause so much anxiety and unhappiness, and for what? The appearance of having a friend?
Do yourself a favor, and cut the fat out of your life. Make some space for some real honest to goodness friendships. The kind where you can count on them for anything at anytime.
5. You’re Picking up on Other People’s Emotions
This one might surprise a lot of people, but a very large portion of the population can actually feel other people’s emotions as they’re experiencing them.
These people are called empaths.
You could be perfectly fine, and minding your own business, and then all of a sudden….WHAM!
Heart racing, shallow breathing……etc, all because Shelly walked into the room and she’s having a meltdown about her boyfriend. (Shelly is hypothetical….just in case you didn’t know 😉 )
It is possible. I experience it all of the time.
Way too many people don’t know that they can do this, and fewer still can put a name to what this ability is called. It’s not woo woo magic, it simply means that you’re more in tune with your surroundings and people.
It also means you’re going to have to learn how to recognize it and shelter yourself from it…..I’m sorry…..this can definitely be hard.
6. You’re Not Being True to Yourself in Some Way
Deep down inside, underneath all of the outside influence, your subconscious knows something very important.
It knows exactly who you are. It knows things like, what you’re perfect job is, what your perfect kind of relationship looks like, your favorite hobbies….and so on and so forth.
If you’re experiencing anxiety with no real reason as to why, it could be because you’re doing something out of alignment with your soul or subconscious. It could be trying to tell you to listen up.
I’m in the process of writing an entire ebook about this, so keep your eyes peeled.
Your subconscious is giving you a wake up call, but doesn’t know how to tell you to pay attention. It only knows that it has a message for you, so maybe your anxiety is telling you to listen up.
7. You’ve Taken on too Much Responsibility
Raise your hand if you’ve done this….I mean hellooooo….who hasn’t?
We think we can do it all, however, our anxiety is here to tell us that we in fact, cannot.
It’s a lovey little tool that our body uses when it’s time for us to slow down, unload some responsibilities, and take some time to relax. There’s absolutely no shame in saying “I can’t do it all.”
You deserve to take care of yourself more, and other people less. Never forget that.
8. You’re Ignoring a Tough Decision.
This one can go along with having to remove some toxic people from your life, and not wanting to do the dirty work.
It can, however, also relate to something like, needing to break down and buy a new car, or moving out of your parents house, or needing to look for a new job.
Basically it’s your subconscious’ way of telling you that you’re standing still when you should be moving on to a new phase of your life.
We are evolutionary beings. We are not made to stay in the same place or way of thinking for the entirety of our lives. We are supposed to grow and evolve. So, do it.
9. You’re not Taking Proper Care of Yourself
This one could go hand in hand with taking on too much responsibility, but it could also mean that you’re not taking enough time out of your week to just be.
When was the last time you did something that you loved to do, instead of something you had to do? Parents and caretakers suffer from this the most.
You spend all week tending to other people, and running them all over creation. By the end of the week you’re too exhausted to pick up that hobby that you enjoy so much, and before you know it, you’re an anxiety ridden mess.
Make time for yourself. There’s no point to life if it’s all obligation, and no fun. Humans need balance, or we lose our happiness.
10. You’re Not Being True to Yourself in Some Way
Something is wrong in your world.
Yes, it could be any of the things I mentioned above, but it could also be that you’ve chosen something that isn’t in alignment with your soul or subconscious.
Remember, I said that your soul knows exactly who you are. You’ve grown up in a world where everyone and everything around you are trying to tell you who you should be. We learn to quiet our subconscious, and listen to everyone else as time goes on.
Your anxiety could be your souls way of making you see that you are doing something out of alignment with your true self.
This could be anything. You could have chosen a hobby that doesn’t actually make you happy. Or, it could be that you’re in the wrong job or relationship as I’ve covered above.
You could be living in a huge house, thinking that’s what success is supposed to look like, when actually all you need, to make you happy, is a tiny house.
The possibilities are endless.
The point is, that it’s time to start digging, and uncover who you really are.
You can learn to fix your anxiety.
Contrary to popular medical belief, anxiety and depression are not always clinical. It’s generally your bodies/subconscious way of telling you that something is wrong in your environment.
I hope you find this helpful, and can apply some of this to your life.
If you would like a deeper understanding of your anxieties or your fears, check out my “Targeting Your Fears Workbook,” on Etsy.
These 15 journal exercises are designed to help you understand why you’re not moving on in your life, and why you’re afraid. They also help you to make some super awesome plans for the future.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to know that you could have everything you’ve ever wanted?
Don’t be afraid to take your life by the horns, and it could all start with these journal exercises!
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Stay Courageous My Friends,