Sometimes you just don’t know why you’re anxious.
It seems like things are going pretty well in your life (or at least there aren’t any noticeable bumps in the road), but still, you feel a little anxious all the time. Here’s what to do when you don’t know why you’re anxious.
When You Don’t Know Why You’re Anxious
It’s like having a slight headache all the time. Just always there in the background, regardless of what you’re doing, but not like a fire that needs to be put out immediately.
And it feels like there’s nothing causing it.
But usually, there is.
Usually, there’s something going on quietly in the background of our lives causing that constant low level of anxiety, so even when things appear to be going well, we still feel anxious.
Your anxiety could really be caused by so many different things, because everyone’s lives are different and you have different responsibilities, interests, and commitments.
One way to help pinpoint what’s causing your anxiety is to take notes throughout your week of when you feel anxious. If you start feeling anxious, write down what you’re doing or were just doing. It might not be caused by that exactly, because there could be a delay in when you actually react to something, but you can see in general what days or activities are giving you anxiety.
For example, maybe you observe that you feel really anxious during the week but then you’re completely relaxed on the weekends. That would mean that there’s something going on during the week that’s causing the anxiety (such as work, school, etc).
For a while a few years ago I was keeping track of my moods because I had a lot of ups and downs and didn’t know what was causing it. It felt like I was getting anxious all of a sudden for no reason and it was very frustrating. For about a month I kept track of my moods and anxiety and I started to notice that my moods plummeted around Tuesday and Wednesday. It was such a weird pattern, but then I realized that I was doing all my freelance client work during that time, and after Wednesday I would usually take a few days off. After Wednesday, my moods would always improve.
It was kind of funny to discover this but also a relief because it was something I could change about my life to improve my moods and lower my anxiety. And it worked.
Maybe you start to feel anxious after hanging out with your friends, even if you have fun. It could be that you have a little social anxiety or being around people for too long tends to make you anxious without realizing it.
Or maybe you’re just anxious about life because you don’t really know what you want to do with your life and it seems like everyone else has it all figured out. So you’re kind of anxious all the time but it feels like it doesn’t have a specific cause (but it probably does :)).
Take notes on your moods and write down your observations. You can also rate your anxiety from 1-10 after particular events throughout your day.
Sometimes it’s not obvious to see what your anxiety is caused by, because you just feel slightly on edge or a little nervous all the time, but usually there is something sneaking around in the background giving you anxiety that you don’t even think about.
You just have to figure out what it is.
You may also be interested in our class Slow it Down about reducing anxiety and stress in your life. 🙂