Anxiety may seem like a “modern” disease, but the truth is that it has been around forever, only now we have a name for it and a way to diagnose it. If it seems like the number of people with anxiety is growing every day, it’s because there are so many factors that contribute to and trigger anxiety, including sitting down, according to a new study.
Feelings of unease, nervousness, dread or worry, all fall under the definition of anxiety. These feelings can be triggered by many things, including stress of all kinds (because of money, school, marriage, medication, sickness, work, death and others), emotional trauma, PTSD, etc. At the same time, it can just overcome you out of the blue, for seemingly no reason. Now, according to one study, we can add sitting down to the list of anxiety-inducing activities.
What scientists say
The University of Deakin was the one that conducted the research to support this theory according to which anxiety levels increase when we are sitting down for prolonged periods of time. The scientists who led the study were in charge of the analysis of several studies linking sedentary behavior to higher levels of anxiety. The research was found to overwhelmingly indicate that incidences of anxiety increased proportionally with the amount of time the subjects spent sitting down.
Anxiety has become so common so suddenly, that people have the tendency to dismiss it, but that can be a very dangerous attitude to have. Anxiety is not just about paralyzing fear or over worrying; it also presents symptoms like accelerated heartbeat, headaches and breathing issues. Even more concerning, it has been correlated with cancer and chronic heart disease.
The problem is that the relationship between anxiety and sedentary behavior might result in a vicious circle. Being sedentary causes anxiety, but anxiety causes people to become more sedentary, especially in the cases of people with social anxiety or worse, agoraphobia. But while various studies have confirmed this link, scientists are still unable to explain why levels of anxiety rise with the amount of hours one spends sitting down.
Treating anxiety naturally
Despite the lack of knowledge or insight into what, exactly, causes this sitting anxiety, there are still steps we can take to relieve symptoms or even prevent them altogether. Medication is available, but there are also natural remedies that are very effective:
- Exercise – Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you are experiencing anxiety, but especially for the type caused by prolonged sitting, moving your body for half an hour or even 20 minutes can help calm you down and regain your focus.
- Breathing exercises – Whenever you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, try breathing in deeply and holding your breath while you count to ten. Then, you can exhale and repeat the exercise until you feel better.
- Tea – There are very few things that can calm you down as effectively as tea. Whether you opt for a special calming herb or just plain old tea, taking the time to sip the warm liquid will help reduce your anxiety levels.