Top 11 Anxiety Causes and How to Manage Them

Jul 6, 2021 | Anxiety, Blog

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Anxiety causes? I’ve got you.

We all experience anxiety in our lives. It is a natural reaction to fear, pain, or uncertainty. Anxiety can be caused by many things such as changes in routine, stress at work or school, environmental factors like noise and crowds, or even just not getting enough sleep. It can also have more deep-rooted causes.

anxiety causes

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

In order to get anxiety under control, it’s essential to know the different anxiety symptoms and causes. Symptoms of anxiety can include an intense feeling of dread or a sense that something terrible is about to happen. It can be worrying about the future or having intrusive thoughts. Physical effects may be headaches, sweating, dizziness, trouble breathing normally, and more. The intensity of these feelings is usually linked to how anxiety causes are dealt with.

Some of these causes are more common than others, but they all need attention when dealing with them, so you don’t end up suffering unnecessarily from anxiety any longer!

Click here to get your FREE Anxiety Toolkit

What if I have anxiety for no reason?

You may feel as though you have anxiety for no reason. The truth is, that if you do some digging, you’ll likely find one or more factors that give you insights into your anxiety causes. Usually, there is no single anxiety cause but a range of reasons that come together to create anxiety.

By reading on, you’ll get ideas on what causes your anxiety and how you can start to manage it.

Biological anxiety causes

This type of anxiety can be related to a medical condition that needs treatment. The most common anxiety cause in this category is hyperthyroidism, though other illnesses like diabetes and asthma can also be the root of your anxiety symptoms. If you think it might be related to something physical, please speak to your doctor to see if anxiety can be treated through medication or other treatments. Always talk to your doctor if you suspect this.

Genetic causes of anxiety

It’s estimated that around 23% of anxiety is down to genetic factors, the rest is down to life experiences and lifestyle factors. So even though genetics play a role, it’s certainly not the only cause. Just because you have a parent with anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean you are destined for anxiety too or that the anxiety will always be with you.

lifestyle anxiety

Lifestyle causes of anxiety

Lack of sleep is a common cause of anxiety. It can be a vicious cycle since anxiety can lead to a lack of sleep, which leads to more anxiety…and the cycle continues.

Having a newborn baby at home or working shifts can disrupt one’s sleep cycle, which can lead to feelings of anxiety.

When we’re tired, we produce more adrenaline, which can lead to us feeling on edge.

Anxiety can also make you feel tired – it uses up a lot of energy to be in fight or flight all the time!

If insomnia is the cause, look for ways to improve your sleep hygiene. Making sure the room is dark, cool, quiet, and comfortable are simple steps that make a big difference. You could also try listening to a sleep meditation or hypnotherapy session to help you to switch off and sleep – try this one I made by entering your details below to get a FREE Hypnotherapy Mp3 to help you to relax and switch off.

Click here to get your FREE Anxiety Toolkit

Social anxiety causes

This anxiety is often related to performance, social situations, or public speaking. it’s a fear of being judged by others. Early life experiences can cause it – say you got up to speak at the front of the class and garbled your words and everyone laughed. This event could stay with you, and your nervous system responds by putting you into fight or flight in similar situations when you have to speak to people. Social anxiety can make us want to avoid situations that trigger anxiety, but it’s important not to avoid them! The anxiety will be worse if you avoid situations because you are affirming to yourself that that’s a dangerous situation that you should steer clear of! Instead, find ways to challenge yourself to face your fear slowly. Soon, your nervous system will learn that social situations are safe for you and your nerves will calm down.

Workplace anxiety causes

This type of anxiety might come from being afraid of losing your job or pressure to do with workload or deadlines. It’s a hugely common one! Perhaps you’re facing redundancy, your workplace is going through ‘restructuring’ or maybe you’re new in your job and feel the need to prove yourself. Workplace anxiety can trigger our fight or flight response because our work is our literal means of survival and paying the bills, putting a roof over our heads, and feeding ourselves and our families. If it’s available, see if your employer offers any support in terms of coaching or therapy. Make sure you’re taking regular breaks at work, getting out and having a walk, and finding ways to switch off after work and relax. Remember that even though your anxious brain may go to the worst-case scenario, the worst-case very rarely happens.

dietary anxiety

Caffiene anxiety causes

Too much caffeine causes anxiety; fact: If you’re feeling anxiety from drinking too much coffee, try cutting back and see if your anxiety subsides. I once had a client who was drinking 7 cups of coffee a day and hadn’t realised this was a big cause of her anxiety. Coffee is a stimulant and increases our adrenaline levels. In people that are sensitive to anxiety, caffeine could be enough to trigger an episode.

Alcohol can also be an anxiety cause.

Sorry, but it’s true. Yes, it may seem to calm you down in the moment as you kick back after work with a glass of Rose, but make no mistake, alcohol is bad news for anxiety. The anxiety may be lessened at the time, but alcohol is a depressant which means it’s dragging you down and slowing your brain. As soon as the effects wear off, anxiety symptoms will come back full force if not worse, than before because of all that extra adrenaline pumping through your body from drinking too much. Not to mention any shame, guilt, or embarrassment you might be experiencing if you overdid it on the booze the night before. Try cutting it out or cutting it down as an experiment and see what impact it has on your anxiety.


Sugar can also be a cause of anxiety, or it can at least make it worse when you eat too much sugar, your blood sugar levels spike. This sudden increase and then inevitable drop-off in blood sugar could make you feel anxious or jittery after the sugar high wears off. It’s important to know how much sugar you’re eating so that this doesn’t happen, so make sure you read the label and check for hidden sugars in food. Hint: anything on the ingredients list that ends in ‘ose’ (eg fructose, glucose) is sugar! Try cutting down on sugar and see if it makes a difference for your anxiety.

Trauma or past event anxiety causes

The experience of anxiety can be a result of past events and trauma. This type of anxiety will usually cause a person to worry about future events or fear that they have lost the skills and abilities they had before their traumatic event. It can cause an automatic response of fear and anxiety when similar situations come up again. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, you may experience anxiety when travelling in cars. The beginning stages of post-traumatic stress disorder often cause a feeling of alienation, detachment, and numbness when faced with reminders of the past event. Always speak to your doctor if you feel you are experiencing trauma.

The first thing to do is to get help from a counsellor, therapist, or psychologist that specialises in trauma. They are able to guide you through your thoughts and feelings while also helping you cope with your anxiety symptoms.

grief anxiety

Grief and loss

Grief is a part of the healing process that allows for recovery from loss, and anxiety can be a symptom of grief that not many people talk about. It’s important to acknowledge that anxious or fearful feelings can be a normal part of the grieving process.

Grief may be felt not only by those who have lost a loved one but those who have suffered any kind of loss such as losing their job or becoming disabled due to illness. This temporary feeling can be very painful and lead some people into depression.

Many people find comfort in expressing their feelings through writing or through creative activities such as painting, drawing, or even singing. Seeking a grief counsellor to help you work through your experience is recommended to not go through the experience alone. Grief doesn’t have a time limit and it’s not something that you should be expected to be over within weeks. Take your time and seek help, you’re not alone.

Big life events

Big life events such as moving house, getting married, having a baby or getting divorced can all trigger anxiety.

It’s important to recognise that normal feelings of anxiety in these circumstances signify that your mind and body are working correctly. It’s not a sign of weakness; change can be scary. Exciting things, like having a baby, can bring along anxiety with it. It’s normal. If the anxiety feels excessive or you’re struggling to cope, seek help. Having therapy can enable you to move through lives changes with more ease.

You’re not stuck with anxiety

The most important thing is to recognise the causes of anxiety, so you can take steps to change it. Anxiety treatment starts with understanding why anxiety might be present in the first place and then finding out how to manage it best for you! Just because you’re feeling anxious now, doesn’t mean you always will be. Many people recover from anxiety and find ways to make it manageable. Anxiety affects people from all walks of life so it’s important to know that anxiety is not a sign of weakness.

Click here to get your FREE Anxiety Toolkit

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