Why Has My Anxiety Gotten Worse? What To Do When It Becomes Overwhelming

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Anxiety is a normal human emotion used to help us identify possible environmental risk factors. In some situations, it can be helpful, alerting us to dangers and preventing accidents or injury. When symptoms of anxiety start to be felt in cases where it is not necessary or becomes more frequent or constant, this is considered an anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety can often come in waves, and people with anxiety disorders may experience periods of low stress followed by heightened anxiety. This can be distressing and frustrating, as anxiety often makes it hard to live our lives. 

Understanding why anxiety can worsen and what to do when it does is invaluable to help you overcome the condition.  

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Understand What Causes A Spike In Anxiety 

Many things could cause a spike in anxiety; likewise, anxiety could increase again for no discernable reason. You might be experiencing new stressors, struggling to get enough sleep, or not being as active as you could be. 

Lifestyle can make a big difference to your anxiety and stress levels, so it could help to work on improving these areas.  

Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms. Physical symptoms include shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, sweating, and coldness. 

Because these symptoms can be linked to several health conditions, it is a good idea to get a health check to ensure that the sudden onset of anxiety symptoms isn’t a sign of an underlying condition.  

Talk To Your Doctor 

Once you have ruled out physical health conditions, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about the changes in your anxiety symptoms. 

They may recommend a different medication or dosage to help combat your anxiety, or they may refer you to a mental health specialist. 

It is best to keep your doctor updated about changes to your mental health, so they can help you identify patterns or treatments that may help.

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Assess The Recent Changes In Your Life 

If you think your increase in anxiety might be related to a change in your life, it is a good idea to try and pinpoint what this could be. Sometimes it may be obvious, like having a baby, starting a new job or organizing a wedding. 

Other times it might be harder to identify a cause for your increased anxiety. You could consider keeping a diary or journal of your daily activities and corresponding anxiety levels. This could help you identify any patterns causing your anxiety to spike. 

Find A Therapist 

Therapy can be one of the most effective solutions to anxiety. If your anxiety has been lower for a while, you might have reduced your therapy frequency or stopped your sessions altogether. 

An increase in anxiety could signify that you should see your therapist urgently or more often, or if you haven’t yet seen a therapist, start looking for someone to help. 

Therapy can be an excellent way to work through your emotions and concerns, helping you to find healthy coping mechanisms and get to the root cause of your anxiety.  

Keep Busy 

Keeping busy can be an excellent way to manage anxiety, helping take your mind off your worries and prevent anxiety from getting out of hand. 

The catch-22 of anxiety is that often, you won’t have the energy or motivation to help you stay busy and distracted. It can help to develop a routine, one small step at a time. It may also help to ask your loved ones to help you with this and keep your motivation high. 

An excellent place to start is by taking the time to do things you enjoy; this could be reading, going to the cinema, going for lunch with friends, or a bike ride.  

Start A Regular Workout Routine 

Exercise is another lifestyle element that has been shown to help reduce anxiety. You don’t need to start training for a marathon to see the benefits either; just 10 minutes of daily exercise can have an impact. 

You could start small by going for a short walk around a local park each day or streaming an exercise video at home. Improving your fitness levels will also help you feel more confident and capable and improve your anxiety levels. 

It may help to ask a friend or relative to start a workout routine with you. 

This way, you will have companionship while you work out and someone to motivate you to continue when you cannot motivate yourself.  

Connect With Your Loved Ones 

Anxiety can be an isolating mental health condition to live with. Many people find themselves withdrawing from social situations because of worries they will cause them more anxiety or stress. 

This is an understandable impulse, particularly for those who experience social anxiety more keenly. 

However, becoming isolated is more likely to cause an increase in anxiety over time. It is a good idea to keep seeing your loved ones when you can but adjust the situation to better help your anxiety. 

For instance, you could see people one-to-one rather than in large group situations.  

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Improve Your Sleep 

Poor sleep has also been linked to increases in anxiety. People need good quality rest to function correctly during the daytime, meaning that poor sleep can exacerbate or even cause increases in anxiety. 

You can improve your sleep by upgrading your mattress and pillow, keeping smartphones and other electronics out of the bedroom, and sticking to a scheduled time to sleep and wake up.  


Anxiety is a harsh condition to live with, and when you experience a recurrence of overwhelming anxiety, you might feel hopeless. However, help is available, and some tools and techniques can help anyone manage their anxiety and continue living their lives. 

Here at Rest Equation, we look into various techniques, tools, products, and self-care ideas to bring our readers the latest options to manage their anxiety. 

Take a look at our extensive resources today to help you get your anxiety under control. 


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