5 Ways to Address the Causes of Anxiety

While knowing the exact cause of your anxiety isn't necessary to overcome it, understanding what's underlying your worries and fears can help you address the causes of anxiety and provide insight into what might be holding you back from living a full life unencumbered by anxious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Now we'll look at five ways you can address these anxiety causes to start to take back your life. 

Common Causes of Anxiety

Just for reference and convenience, here's a recap of the eight common causes of anxiety examined in the last post:

  • Biology
  • Brain chemistry
  • Learned behavior
  • Traumatic events
  • News and social media exposure
  • Adjustment difficulties
  • Daily Stressors
  • Existential matters

Keep in mind, there is so much more to anxiety than what causes it. Often, people reduce anxiety by working on the effects it's having on their lives. When you know that one or more of the above factors are causing problems, though, you can dive in, address the causes of anxiety, and stop anxiety at its source. 

5 Ways to Address the Causes of Anxiety

Use these approaches to customize your plan to minimize anxiety's interference in your wellbeing and quality of life.

  1. Cultivate awareness--When you know one or more of the factors contributing to your anxiety, spend some time with it. What, specifically is going on now or, if it's something from your past, what precisely happened? The more you can flesh out details of the cause--the more awareness you have--the better able you'll be to understand your emotions and thoughts about the issue. Deeper awareness lets you pinpoint and intentionally face and deal with the problem. 
  2. Perspective--Whether or not your anxiety cause can be changed (a current stressor might be alterable, but something from your past or your genetics probably is not), you can develop healthy new insights. When you can accept certain elements of your anxiety, you can more easily separate yourself from them. Knowing, for example, that your anxiety skyrockets in certain situations can help you remember that your anxious thoughts don't represent the real you. 
  3. Lifestyle changes--If you can identify certain stressors (a difficult relationship, a toxic work environment, financial difficulties, or new life transitions, for example) that are exacerbating your anxiety, you can take action to address them. You might be able to change a situation completely, but even if you can't, you can make small changes that add up to big improvements. Further, building stress-relieving self-care practices into your daily routine makes you better able to handle anxiety-provoking situations. 
  4. Therapy--Working with a therapist can go a long way in helping you reduce anxiety. A therapist can assist you in identifying the root of your anxiety and then targeting those causes to minimize their impact on your life. Digging into the causes of anxiety can be uncomfortable and often increases anxiety at first. Having the support of the therapist can make you feel safer as well as more effective. 
  5. Medication--Depending on anxiety's cause, antianxiety medication can be very useful for some people. Medication can't change your past or present circumstances, but it can soothe and regulate activity in your brain. This can directly improve the symptoms of anxiety. Further, with your neurotransmitters behaving properly, you might be able to more intentionally and productively increases awareness, shift your perspective, and make lifestyle changes--with or without the help of a therapist. 

Systematically addressing the causes of your anxiety can help you loosen their hold on you so you can break free from anxiety's grasp. 

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, June 18). 5 Ways to Address the Causes of Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of numerous anxiety self-help books, including The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal, The Mindful Path Through Anxiety, 101 Ways to Help Stop Anxiety, The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal, The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, and Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps. She has also written five critically acclaimed, award-winning novels about life with mental health challenges. She delivers workshops for all ages and provides online and in-person mental health education for youth. She has shared information about creating a quality life on podcasts, summits, print and online interviews and articles, and at speaking events. Tanya is a Diplomate of the American Institution of Stress helping to educate others about stress and provide useful tools for handling it well in order to live a healthy and vibrant life. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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