6 surprising reasons you may be feeling anxious

You may be surprised to know that a variety of factors can affect your body's 'stress response'. From a change in external temperature to physical trauma and chemical toxins. 


There are sometimes glaringly obvious reasons why a person can be feeling stressed, but some may not be so obvious. I’ve addressed six of the not so common ones below.

1. Your chocolate fix

That bar of chocolate may put a smile on your lips, but psychologically it may be more of a foe than a friend. Studies have shown that people prone to depression or anxiety are sensitive to caffeine. So, if you want to avoid the 'caffeinism' effect (which is actually a thing) you may wish to skip that chocolate bar because caffeine is recognised as a potential trigger for activation of the stress response.

2. Your smartphone

Reading emails and responding to your messages at all hours of the night can pile on the stress and interfere with sleep. You will understand that sleep can sometimes be a major issue for someone with anxiety, panic attacks, or stress which sometimes can progress into full-blown insomnia just thinking about what the next day holds.

Incorporating, sleep hygiene practices is key here and I always recommend that my clients utilise the following tricks. 

  • Using lavender essential oil drops on a pillow to improve sleep quality
  • Going outside for at least 30 minutes each day. This is vital during the dark winter periods. Obtaining at least 30 minutes of daylight per day has also been shown to assist the pineal gland in regulating sleep.
  • Another major no-no if you want to get a good night's sleep is scrolling through your phone before attempting to nod off. You require at least one hour minimum of unplugging time from social media to avoid interference with sleep as the blue light may suppress melatonin production which has a direct correlation with sleep.

3. Multi-tasking habit

There is a reason why we do not have seven arms and two heads. Excessive multitasking can, contrary to popular belief, have a negative impact on your productivity levels. It’s nice to know ‘that we can all run the world’ at times,  but even Beyonce needs a day off!

Try to reintroduce some order and balance in your day. Setting yourself some realistic goals whilst including sufficient breaks throughout the day can assist with reducing your anxiety levels. Take each day at a time and try to implement a good work-life balance routine. Live in the present and not in tomorrow or your yesterday.

4. Being around others who are stressed 

If you find that you are constantly around individuals that leave you feeling emotionally depleted at the end of the day, then take a step back and assess these emotions. Consider alternative environments that help to increase your happiness and endorphin levels instead. Even if it means reducing the time that you spend with some of your negative acquaintances.   

Woman walking in woods with children5. Being inactive and living a sedentary lifestyle

Exercise is known to have a great effect on anxiety, self-esteem, and endorphin levels. Try to incorporate daily brisk walks into your routine where possible.  

6. Sugar abuse

Clients are quite surprised when I inform them that hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) symptoms can include anxiety and irritability.

It is therefore important to have a diet rich in whole, natural, unprocessed food (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts).

Hypoglycemia tends to be common in individuals with depression, so it is better to ditch the refined carbohydrates (such as white pasta and white bread) and replace them with complex carbohydrates. 

The stress effect

I always tell my clients to never underestimate the effect of stress on their health. Tailored and personalised dietary changes are wonderful but should never be viewed independently from lifestyle practices and the establishment of general well-being principles. This is why we have the field of study called psychoneuroimmunology. It is extremely true that the consciousness of a client can have a negative/positive impact on their results. 

If you struggle with any one of the above issues and would like to improve your health, feel free to book a free 15-minute discovery call with me so that we can assess your concerns.

To find out more about the services at Nature's Physician Nutrition Clinic and Wellness retreat go to our profile page or subscribe to receive our free immune and anxiety recipe e-book.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Milton Keynes MK10 & Hemel Hempstead HP1
Written by Jeneve Clarke, Nutritional Therapist, DipNT, CFMP, MBANT,,
Milton Keynes MK10 & Hemel Hempstead HP1

Jeneve Clarke LLB (Hons), LPC, GCILEx, DipNT CNM, MBANT, mCNHC is the founder of Nature’s Physician Nutrition clinic and wellness retreat. She’s a fully qualified Registered Nutritional Therapist, member of BANT and CNHC with a specialist interest in mental health, digestive disorders (IBS, SIBO) autoimmune conditions, and weight management.

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