Lately, I have been seeing so much anxiety in my clients that I wonder how much of that is coming from me. I am aware that a lot of what is going on inside myself is reflected in my clients – giving me a chance to look at myself as well.

However, unless I am overdosing on caffeine, I am not feeling particularly anxious these days. So, what is really going on? Is it the environment? What they are eating (definitely contributes to anxiety)? Or has it become normal to feel anxious most of the time due to the proliferation of social media, extreme comparisons, continuous self belittling?

As you can guess, I am opting for the latter. When my clients, as well as myself, stop wasting time going down social media rabbit holes or watching a lot of news, I notice how much less anxious everyone is. The continuous comparisons to what you think others have or what you are supposed to have or be at a certain time in your life is utterly draining.

It could possibly be motivating to get you off your hind quarters to move, in the event you are not moving in your life. But, overall, that is not the case. I do find that most people, especially young people, spend way too much time on their phones, playing digital games, being indoors, continuously on their electronics and not enough time outside, in the fresh air, with friends or even talking one on one to someone. People are lonelier than ever. Community is very narrow. How can you really find community on Facetime or Instagram. YOU DON’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE. All this contributes to intense feelings of anxiety.

If you are a shut in – unable to get out in the world – these media sites can be a godsend and give you ‘friends’ no matter how remote. But, if you are feeling lonely, anxious and continuously comparing yourself to what you believe others have and that they are all happier than you, close down your computer and your phone for a day – okay how about for 8 hours.

I know that I look at my phone and check my emails, etc., way too many times a day. And, yes, it can make me anxious too. Especially, if I believe someone has not answered my text in a prompt way. (“Damn them, why haven’t they responded to me. I sent that text 5 minutes ago. Just because they are working or maybe doing something important, why haven’t they answered me?”)

If you can see how silly and anxiety producing this last statement is, you may be on the road to a less anxious life.

So, put away the phone – especially before you go to bed. Charge it in another location and not by your bed. Don’t watch the news before bedtime – ever. You will have bad dreams. Get out for a walk. Call (yes call) a friend. Have lunch or a break with a real human. Give yourself the intention of making one friend or a new friend once a week or even once a month. It will change your life. Volunteer anyplace at least one hour a week (this is a marvelous way to get out of your anxious feeling and help others).

If you have questions or are concerned about your anxiety, there are other methods you can try before either taking medications or hiding away.

Let me know if I can help.

Take care of yourself.