Anxiety is a state of constant anguish and fear that makes an individual feel lopsided. It often arises from a certain emotional trigger. While it’s normal to feel anxious sometimes, a recurrence of anxiety may result in anxiety disorder.
Consequently, an anxiety disorder may lead to poor mental health. Our immediate environment, whether at home or workplace, plays a huge role in our well-being. Several factors in our internal and external environment can increase anxiety feelings.
Below are some environmental factors that affect your anxiety level
1. Social Factors
It refers to issues surrounding your immediate family and community in general. Some social situations in your life can make you anxious. Depending on the magnitude of anxiety, your mental health may be affected too.
Some of the social situations that can increase your anxiety and hence impact on mental health include:
Stigma: Suffering from stigmas like racism or homophobia can make one anxious, potentially increasing the risk of mental illness.
Abuse: It can be in the form of sexual, physical, or emotional and when encountered regularly, it may cause anxiety
Poverty: It is difficult to meet your needs, thereby causing stress, frustration, and anxiety.
Toxic relationships: Low self-esteem cause anxiety, depression, and trauma
2. Physical Factors
It includes physical environmental factors such as noise and pollutants, among others. They may cause an increase in your cortisol hormone levels and stress. Thus, exposure to them can cause anxiety, negatively impacting your mental health.
For instance, a hazardous working environment that causes substantial body or mental strain can cause stress. Therefore, you will be anxiously working in such an environment.
Similarly, extreme weather, like perpetual coldness, can be stressful. Physical factors like sleep deprivation and environmental pollution can cause depression and anxiety.
3. Environmental Factors
Anxiety is a complex state of mind that affects your physiological and behavioral changes. It is a way of preparing for everyday happenings that seems intimidating. Your interaction and experience with negative environmental factors can lead to a feeling of anxiety.
If you had bad environmental experiences like a poor upbringing in childhood, you might develop high anxiety levels. Childhood trauma and sufferings usually recur later in life hence anxiety symptoms in adulthood.
4. Medical Factors
You might develop anxiety if you suffer from a serious underlying medical condition. Again, a previous bad experience from a medical situation may make you worried about your general health. As a result, your perceived ill health may trigger anxious feelings.
5. Genetic Factors
Some people are born with natural tendencies to feel anxious. So, such people may have genetic factors that increase anxiety levels. These genetic factors often come into action with a slight environmental trigger.
6. Taking Recreational Drugs
Taking recreational drugs is gaining popularity as a way to spend leisure for many people. Recreational drug use can cause both depression and anxiety feelings. Some of the common recreational drugs include cocaine and marijuana. However, it is also true depression and anxiety be the cause of using recreational drugs.
7. Culture and Values
Our cultural background and values play a huge part in life. Consider associating with people that share the same culture and values. Consequently, you may develop anxiety if you feel isolated and lonely. People who don’t share your cultural experiences and values may need help understanding you.
8. Association With People
Spending time around people you trust, like a spouse or a friend, brings a feeling of serenity. However, if those around you are undependable, you may be stressed and feel anxious.
Examples of Ways to Change Your Home and Workplace to Help Your Anxiety
How you perceive your environment, whether at home or the workplace, impacts your feelings. A negative perception of your environment may cause anxiety. Thus, it would help if you focused on the positives around you.
You can try to change the landscape of your backyard, repaint your house, add family photos on the wall or even update other interiors of your home. All this in a bid to make your environment more calming. If you are at work and feel frustrated, you can take a walk or talk to a friend during a break.
Other ways you can improve your home and office to help your anxiety include:
Develop a routine
Acceptance of your anxiety
Engage in stress-relieving tasks
Sought professional assistance
How to Make Your Environment Easier on Your Anxiety
Environmental factors often cause anxiety by complimenting each other. For instance, drug abuse may cause job loss, leading to poverty. Hence, if you deal with drug abuse, you may as well have solved the whole problem. If you cannot do it alone, you can seek the assistance of a counselor.
Other ways to make the environment easier on your anxiety are:
Engaging in physical activity
Observer health diet
Create time for self-care
Spend quality time with loved ones
How Anxiety Plays a Major Role in Your Life
Being anxious is natural and necessary as it helps you anticipate and react to emotions. We are always faced with environmental factors like fear and stress that require our responses. Hence, anxiety is a way of responding to perceived and expected threats.
In a nutshell, anxiety ensures that we push on and stay vigilant. Through anxiety, you become aware of threats in your environment. Subsequently, you are motivated to solve whatever problems you face.
We are bound to experience negative environmental factors. The consequences may be negligible and manageable. However, the effects may be too much to bear, causing mental health problems. In such circumstances, you should seek immediate help from a mental health expert.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Created Hardwood