5 Biggest Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects as many as 3 out of 4 people at some point in their life. Unfortunately, that number is increasing as the stress of modern life builds and becomes more challenging.

And while everyone’s unique situation varies, and the cause for individual stress is different, ultimately anxiety often comes down to the same root causes. If you’ve been feeling anxious and you’re not sure what the reason is, here are some of the most common explanations you might want to consider.

Lack of an Outlet

We can only take on so much as human beings. At some point, we need an outlet to let all of the pressures of modern life go. Whether it’s creating art, going for a run, or spending time with people we love, we have to have a way to release this tension if we hope to be our best selves. Otherwise, it will build and build until we find ourselves past the point of no return, also known as burnout. Without anywhere to place this emotion and frustration we often find ourselves maxed out.


Sometimes our anxiety is a result of good old-fashioned stress. Whether it’s pressure from school, the workplace, or your family life, ongoing stress can start to take its toll on your mental health and result in an anxiety disorder. If you consider your lifestyle to be hectic, then it’s likely the cause behind your feelings of anxiety.


Sometimes we’re stressed out for reasons totally beyond our control. Everything can be going swimmingly, yet we have this impending sense of doom that we can’t seem to shake off. For many people, this is due to plain old genetics.

Believe it or not, your genetic makeup can play a role in how susceptible you are to anxiety disorders.  People who have a family history of anxiety are at higher risk than those who don’t. Yet, it’s important to note that genetics don’t guarantee anything, they can simply play a role.

Substance Abuse

Although substances like alcohol and drugs can be a temporary escape from our worries and anxieties, the comedown is often even worse than our anxiety in the first place.  For one, alcohol can significantly disrupt our sleep cycles making us even more susceptible to panic and anxiety. Although we may have the impression, we’re falling asleep faster under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the truth is they inhibit us from staying asleep.

If you can manage to cut back or eliminate all substances from your life, you’ll find a significant drop in your overall anxiety.


While life is never easy, there are some events that are more difficult than others. They’re so painful to recall, that they can lead to long-term anxiety, and misplaced anger. In more extreme cases, people may even experience flashbacks and require hospitalization.

If you suspect that one of these reasons may be the cause behind your anxiety, talk to your healthcare provider about what they suggest. Whether they recommend ongoing therapy or even medication— whatever their conclusion is, it’s important to listen to your doctor’s advice. The first step is recognizing your anxiety disorder and taking proactive measures to heal it.