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Psychological Causes of Anxiety: Root Causes of Anxiety Part 1

Article Summary:

In this guide, we will dive into the psychological causes of anxiety to uncover how your thoughts, beliefs, and interpretations about yourself and the world around you create anxiety…

If I were to ask you what causes anxiety, I'm willing to bet you would name your anxiety triggers or common anxiety symptoms rather than the actual underlying psychological causes of anxiety.

Anxiety triggers are specific people, places, things, or anything else that triggers your anxiety.

In other words, things in your life trigger your anxiety process (worry, fear, shaking, sweating, etc.) and often seem to occur automatically or unconsciously.

Anxiety triggers may include: social situations, watching the news, worrying about money, flying, thinking of a spouse or partner leaving you, a job interview, or having to give a presentation.

Triggers are often what you are afraid of and what you very often try to avoid.

Your triggers are what work you up right before you experience anxiety.

On the other hand, anxiety symptoms are your experience of the anxiety itself.

Anxiety symptoms can be physical, mental, or emotional.

The symptoms are often where your focus lands after you are anxious.

By viewing the causes of anxiety by focusing on a symptom or a trigger, you are looking at the end of the chain (the end result).

You focus on what you are anxious about – for example, public speaking – and the resulting symptoms (nervousness, sweating, etc.).

By focusing on the trigger or the symptom, you neglect to look at the actual cause of your anxiety – you see the end result – anxiety, fear, nervousness, etc.

In this article, we will pull back the curtain and look deeper into your mind.

We will dive into the psychological causes of anxiety and the root causes behind anxiety, fear, and panic.

- What is it about public speaking that makes you nervous?

- Why do you feel panic when you are in social situations?

- Why do you have a deep-seated fear of dogs, water, flying, etc.?

- Why do you feel anxious in otherwise non-threatening environments?

In other words, why is the "trigger" even a trigger for you in the first place?

By uncovering the core psychological causes of your anxiety – beyond the triggers or symptoms – you can expose how you create much of your anxiety.

In this series, we will look beyond your anxiety symptoms or triggers. We will be uncovering the core causes of anxiety.

Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of the real causes of anxiety and the necessary changes you can make in your life.

In this article, we will discuss the psychological causes of anxiety and the psychological theories of anxiety.

In the following article, we will dive into the biological causes.

If you are interested in the biological causes of anxiety, you can find the article here: Biological Causes of Anxiety

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"Anxiety Disorders"

Those with anxiety are frequently labeled as having an "anxiety disorder."

But what exactly does that mean?

This broad term is an attempt by doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and others to lump anxiety under a general classification.

While most people will understand the term anxiety disorder, we choose not to use this phrase.

Having anxiety does not inevitably mean you have some disorder.

Labeling your symptoms as an anxiety disorder doesn't get to the root of the problem.

Besides, anxiety is far easier to understand and overcome when not labeled as a disorder or illness.

So let's move away from associating anxiety with a disorder.

Instead, let's focus on the actual root causes of anxiety and develop a better understanding of anxiety.

While the particulars of a person's anxiety can vary – most anxiety stems from the same common core psychological issues and patterns.

Psychological Causes and Theories of Anxiety

Psychological causes of anxiety are related to your beliefs, thoughts, thought processes, feelings, and interpretations of things, people, experiences, or yourself.

This combination of beliefs, thoughts, and feelings helps you to interact with the world (and yourself).

These factors also help form your self-image and self-identity.

How you see yourself and your world and what you believe to be true can determine whether or not you experience anxiety regularly.

For example, many people believe things like perfectionism or obsessive thinking are causes of anxiety.

In reality, these issues stem from the core causes we will discuss.

Most of the issues surrounding anxiety, like obsessive thinking, are not the root cause but a symptom of the cause.

The problem is that you think or feel you need to be perfect or obsess over things.

Perfectionism and obsessing are the symptoms (the result). Which, understandably, leads to anxiety.

So what comes before the symptom?

Why do you feel this need in the first place?

Those are the real causes that we will be discussing below.


Believe it or not – what you believe about the world, society, yourself, and those around you profoundly influences how you see and experience life.

Beliefs are at the core of every psychological cause of anxiety.

Beliefs also underlie nearly every anxiety condition.

  • Generalized Anxiety and Worry: “If I worry about it enough I'll be prepared when it happens”
  • Obsessive-Compulsive: “As long as I perform this (repetitive behavior or thoughts) I'll be safe/in control”
  • Perfectionism: “If I'm perfect others will love/accept me and there won't be any problems”
  • PTSD: “It (traumatic experience) is happening again” or “It (traumatic experience) is going to happen again
  • Catastrophizing & Anticipatory Anxiety: “That (worst case scenario) is bound to happen”
  • Panic: “I'll (go crazy, lose control, have a heart attack) and won't be able to handle it”
  • Social Anxiety: “They are watching/scrutinizing my every action” or “I'm going to embarrass myself”
  • Health Anxiety: “This (physical symptom) is a serious illness/disease” or “I need to stay focused on my body (sensations, pains, etc.) so I'm not surprised with some type of illness”

Beliefs influence your thoughts and feelings – as a result – beliefs influence your actions and behaviors.

The deeper and more entrenched the belief – the more likely it runs in the background of your mind (your unconscious).

These deep beliefs can influence your thoughts and behaviors without being fully aware of why you think or behave in a certain way.

It is essential to understand that your beliefs are your assumptions and judgments about yourself and the world based on your experiences – they are not absolute Truth.

When you see your beliefs as the absolute Truth and unchangeable, you inevitably set yourself up for trouble.

Most of your deepest beliefs were created unconsciously at a young age and based on minimal experience.

These deep beliefs often revolve around safety and acceptance/love from others.

This close association with safety and acceptance can make certain beliefs challenging to change or let go.

You believe these profound beliefs keep you safe; therefore, letting them go would be dangerous.

Fortunately, going through and changing every belief that creates anxiety is unnecessary.

However, becoming more aware of your beliefs and how they run your life is essential to overcoming anxiety.

Ultimately it is your choice whether or not you hang onto old beliefs that cause anxiety in your lives or let them go – but you need to increase your awareness of them.

Otherwise, they will continue running (and ruining) your life in the background.

Often you will find that simply being consciously aware of a belief that isn't working for you and how it creates negative outcomes in your life (like anxiety and worry) – can make a positive shift to more effective beliefs.

Your Beliefs About Yourself: Self-Image/Self-Identity

Your beliefs about yourself and who you believe you are, shape how you experience your life and directly influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Depending on your beliefs, your self-identity or self-image can cause incredible anxiety.

Your self-image includes beliefs about who you are, what you can do, and how you fit into the world.

Your self-image includes the internal representation (image) you hold of yourself in your mind.

Your beliefs about yourself and self-image or self-identity could be known as: "The story you tell yourself about who you are and how you think others see you."

How you see yourself (your mental self-image) is integral to your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

The anxiety you experience daily also directly relates to how you see yourself.

Suppose you see yourself as weak or unconfident.

In that case, you tend to feel and behave weakly or unconfidently.

This is because you act in ways that fit your self-image and disregard thoughts, feelings, and experiences that do not fit that image.


If you've struggled with anxiety for some time you might begin to identify with your anxiety. You might label yourself as "anxious" or "nervous," believing it is part of who you are. This identifying and labeling makes overcoming anxiety more difficult.

This is similar to what I mentioned above about the problem with labeling yourself as having an "anxiety disorder."

Anxiety is NOT who you are; it is a response to experience.

Once you realize what anxiety is and what is causing it – you can begin to let go of identification with it and deal with the real underlying cause.

An unhealthy self-image doesn't necessarily have to be one in which we view ourselves in a "negative" way.

You may experience anxiety because you see yourself unrealistically.

You might expect your behavior to be perfect or that you perform far beyond your current mental or physical abilities.

You could believe you should be able to handle significant responsibilities or life experiences without any help from others, such as being a single parent while working full-time or losing a loved one without confiding how you feel to anyone.

Expecting yourself to be perfect or completely independent often leads to feelings of stress, burnout, and anxiety symptoms.

Common beliefs about ourselves that lead to anxiety:

  • "I should be perfect" or "I should be perfect at ____"
  • "I'll never get ____"
  • "I must have ____ to be happy"
  • "I should be more ____"
  • "I should do this all on my own" or "I don't need any help"
  • "I should stop doing ____"
  • "I don't think I can handle ____"

If you notice a running theme with the list above – it's the strong use of the word "should."

Beliefs about yourself centered around should(s) will lead to anxiety.

"Should" infers current lack and places undue pressure on yourself.

You're telling yourself that you need to do/be/have something you lack in the present moment.

The solution to all should(s) and any of the above beliefs is self-acceptance and greater awareness/presence.

If you accept yourself, then you "shouldn't" be anything else. If you're completely aware of the present moment, then you lack nothing.

Developing a healthy and accurate self-image is essential to your self-esteem and self-worth.

It also plays a crucial role in your ability to handle stress and overcome anxiety.

You don't need to try and change every belief or thought about yourself.

You need to work on becoming more aware of what you believe so that you can let go of unrealistic, untrue, or limiting beliefs.

When you let go of what isn't working, you can focus on what does work for you.

Your Beliefs About the World

Beliefs about the world, society, and those around you profoundly influence your experience of the world and shape your interactions with others.

These beliefs can include things you were taught in school, unconsciously "borrowed" from family members, learned from watching countless hours of television, or any other influences that colored and formed your view of the world.

Personal experiences with others – such as your early experiences with family and friends – often help you to form your beliefs about others and what others are like (or not like).

Your beliefs about the world could otherwise be known as: "The story you tell yourself about the world and those in it."

During early childhood, you formed most of your beliefs about the world.

Your family, teachers, and friends played an essential role in shaping your worldview.


Most of your beliefs are largely unconscious and run automatically in the background of your mind

Many of these early beliefs are outdated or just plain false. In addition, these early beliefs are often not your own and were "given" to you by others.

For example, your mother may have told you at a young age, "don't talk to strangers."

While this may have been for your protection as a child, is that belief still necessary to you now – as an adult?

Do you avoid speaking to strangers as an adult because a parent told you this?

As a helpless child alone, this belief makes sense in many circumstances.

This belief may not be needed as a 40-year-old adult riding the Metro in the middle of the day.

The above is an exaggerated example, obviously.

Still, the point is that you may not even be aware of many underlying beliefs like this, directly affecting your life and even causing anxiety.

Beliefs formed when your brain was still developing – when you were helpless, immature, and lacking real-life experience.

These beliefs must be brought into awareness and changed to reflect your current reality as an adult.

Common beliefs about the world that lead to anxiety:

  • "The world is a dangerous place"
  • "People can't be trusted"
  • "All ____ are dangerous"
  • "It's not safe to express ____"
  • People will only love/accept me if ______"
  • "I have to be careful to avoid _____"
  • "Nothing good ever lasts" or "This won't last"

I could go on with examples, but you get the point.

You can see how having just a few beliefs – like the examples above – can dramatically affect how you view the world.

Even a single belief like – "the world is a dangerous place" – can influence how you behave and think on a profound level.

Yet, you may have many beliefs like the ones above.

Is it any wonder, then, why you are anxious?

Of course, you will feel anxiety if you constantly feel threatened.

If you believe the world is against you – you'll always be on guard, looking for the "enemy" or the threat.

You may become so good at looking for the believed "threat" – you eventually find an experience that matches what you thought to be true...

...reinforcing your beliefs about the world.

Let's look at it from a different angle.

Consider the person who believes the world to be safe and that most people are good.

They are not actively seeking the "threat" like the person above; instead, they reinforce their beliefs by focusing on the good people they meet each day.

But whose beliefs are true?

More important than being true, whose beliefs are more likely to lead to less anxiety and more feelings of security?

Which person will feel more relaxed around others and in the world?


Essentially, the world is neutral. It is your beliefs about the world and your interpretations of events that shape and color the world you experience.

Each person's unique interpretation of life is one of the reasons why one person can experience something and have severe anxiety, and another can experience the exact same thing and have zero anxiety.

Same experience, same world – two totally different beliefs and interpretations.

All of us should take a close look at our beliefs, especially those that have been ingrained in us since childhood.

We can then decide for ourselves what is true.

And suppose you can't determine the actual truth about something. In that case, you can decide the beliefs that are more likely to make you happier and less anxious.

Beliefs that are more useful for you right NOW in your life.

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are inaccuracies in ways of thinking that lead to inaccurate representations of reality.

These inaccurate representations caused by cognitive distortions can conflict with reality, leading to stress and can be a prime psychological cause of anxiety.

Cognitive distortions can also underlie many emotional, psychological, and interpersonal problems, such as depression, poor self-esteem, and difficulties in close personal relationships.


If you can identify these distortions in your thinking, you can correct and release large “chunks” of thinking that distort your thoughts and perceptions of reality. Correcting distortions can release stress and anxiety and provide a more accurate representation of reality.

In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – there are ten major cognitive distortions.

Most of us do at least one of these on a regular basis.

Many of us use all ten distortions when we are anxious or upset. In the past I know I did.

The 10 Major Cognitive Distortions

1. All or Nothing / Black or White Thinking: no middle ground, things are either perfect or a total failure, people are either bad or good, behaving as though there were only two possibilities

Example: You spend a lot of time and money on your child's birthday party. Everyone loved the party and had a great time, but many people didn't like the birthday cake. Because people didn't like the cake, you see the party (or even yourself) as a complete failure

2. Overgeneralizing: seeing a negative event as something that will happen again and again or if one thing goes wrong, everything is going wrong, drawing conclusions based on one example

Example: You don't get the job you interviewed for, so you assume you'll never get the job you want or will fail every interview

3. Mental Filter: screening out the positive aspects of a situation and seeing only the negative

Example: You focus on a negative comment someone made about you at a party, ignoring all of the positive interactions you had

4. Discounting the Positive: overlooking, implying, or insisting that your positive qualities or accomplishments don't matter or mean nothing

Example: You have an exam coming up and feel extremely anxious, telling yourself you are going to fail, discounting the fact that you are intelligent and have done well on tests for the class in the past

5. Jumping to Conclusions: negatively interpreting things even if not supported by facts, predicting things will go a certain way

Two other distortions typically related to Jumping to Conclusions:

Mind Reading: believing you know what someone else is thinking about you

Fortune Telling: predicting things will turn out badly or unfavorably.

6. Magnifying or Minimizing: over-evaluating ("magnifying") or under-evaluating ("minimizing") the importance of a situation or information

Example: Magnifying: you came from a broken home, and you see it as shameful — Minimizing: even though you had to work extra hard and you now have a promising career and a loving family to show for it

7. Emotional Reasoning: assuming that how you feel reflects how things are - taking how you feel as reflecting who you are

Example: You assume that because you feel anxious/fearful, something terrible is bound to happen

8. Shoulds: believing things "should" or "shouldn't" be a certain way – whether it's ourselves, others, or situations.

Examples: "I shouldn't get anxious," "He shouldn't act like that," "I should be more successful"

9. Labeling: A combination of #1 and #2 above, we can label ourselves or others but typically implies a negative connotation based on mistakes or events that upset us.

Examples: "I'm such a screw-up," "She's such a bitch”, "All of the people that work there are idiots"

10. Personalizing (Self-Blame): Seeing yourself as the cause of an external adverse event and holding yourself responsible for things not under your control. It often stems from childhood. This also includes beating yourself up when you make a mistake.

Example: You see a coworker is having a bad day, so you assume you must have done something wrong.

Cognitive Fusion

Cognitive fusion is another important to understand psychological cause of anxiety.

Cognitive fusion is a key term in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other therapies.

Cognitive fusion refers to being "entangled" or "fused" with the contents of your mind to the point of confusing your thoughts, memories, beliefs, etc., with reality.

In its mildest form, this may involve overvaluing specific thoughts or beliefs.

In its extreme form, you may completely identify with your thoughts.

You may see every thought as the absolute truth or taken literally.

Your mental images may overshadow actual reality.

Modern psychology didn't invent the concept of cognitive fusion (being entangled/attached to your thoughts and mistaking them for reality).

Many religions and spiritual practices (such as meditation and mindfulness) have taught the importance of detachment from thoughts for centuries.

In fact, most meditative practices guide us toward developing the ability to step back from mental chatter.

Given how "entangled" with thoughts many of us have become, it's easy to understand how cognitive fusion is one of the most pervasive psychological causes of anxiety, possibly more so now than ever.

  • Do you ever find yourself responding to the contents of your mind (thoughts, interpretations, etc.) instead of responding to what is actually occurring in the present moment?
  • More often than not, does your attention center on your thoughts, mental images, or memories instead of what you are feeling and experiencing with your senses?
  • Have you ever found it difficult to distinguish between your mental "creations" and what is occurring in reality?
  • Do you ever see your thoughts as "who you are" or take an idea literally ("If I'm thinking it, then it must be true about me")?

The above are examples of cognitive fusion and describe how you can become "ensnared" in your thoughts, memories, and other mental chatter.

If this describes you, don't take it as a character flaw or that something is wrong with you.

Nearly every human being (possibly with the exception of the most enlightened) has some degree of cognitive fusion.

Nearly everyone can get caught up in their thoughts and neglect their present experience.

Almost everyone, at some time or another, may see their beliefs as the truth, even if they contradict reality.


The more pervasive and severe cognitive fusion becomes – the more a person will disconnect from the present moment and reality. Ultimately leading to problems and feelings of anxiety, distress, depression, and (in the most extreme cases) mental illness.

Nowhere is cognitive fusion more pronounced than with Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD).

With obsessive thinking or OCD, thoughts and mental images are at the center of awareness most of the time.

This intense fusion with the contents of the mind can create a mental "wall" between experience and reality.

Thoughts are taken literally, and there is a feeling that certain uncomfortable thoughts need to be banished.

Very often, there is the belief that these uncomfortable thoughts can be eliminated through specific actions, rituals, or even more thinking (obsessive thinking).

It is a common human trait to overvalue our thoughts and see them as representing reality, even going to extreme lengths to counteract thoughts we don't like.

When in reality – they are just thoughts.

This is cognitive fusion in the most literal sense.

Instead of seeing thoughts as just thoughts, you react to them as you would something outside of you.

Instead of having thoughts, you have identified with them.

I have often heard stories of new mothers who have a single fleeting thought about harming their newborn child, even though they know they would never actually do that in reality.

That one random fleeting thought can create relentless disgust, shame, and guilt – creating extreme anxiety for the mother to be around their child.

This single thought about harming their child can often lead to obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors as the poor mother tries everything to cancel out the thought she had.

She may begin taking extra precautions, being overly safe with how she holds or touches the baby, or she may refuse to go near the baby at all for fear of acting out that thought.

But, it was just a thought – it's not reality.

So what's the antidote to cognitive fusion?



The truth is – you have very little control over what thoughts pass through your mind. Thoughts can often be extraordinarily random and come and go spontaneously.

For example, I had a song pop into my head the other day that I hadn't heard in probably 15 years.

I could have unconsciously heard the song at some point during the day, but I wasn't actively thinking about it; it randomly popped into my head uninvited.

Random thoughts will often come into your mind uninvited. But you need not judge yourself by them or see them as truth.

Thinking you have a brain tumor (without any medical proof) – doesn't make it a fact that you have a brain tumor.

Thinking a random "disgusting" thought – isn't the same as acting on it.

Your memory of a person/place – isn't the same as experiencing that person/place NOW.

Thoughts are just thoughts. By becoming less attached, less invested, and less "fused" with them, you can break their hold and the brutal importance and seriousness you place on them.

We will dive more into cognitive fusion and the techniques behind defusion in future articles…

You can also check out techniques and practices we offer, such as meditation, that can help you to detach from your thoughts here...

We also offer our Profound Series, which offers specific programs that effortlessly helps to promote this state of detached observation (we created Profound Freedom specifically for this purpose). linkxxxxxxxx

Suppressed Feelings/Emotions

When you experience feelings or emotions that are uncomfortable for you, you will typically find ways to suppress them as much as possible.

But no matter how much you try – your feelings will eventually find a way to expression.

The suppressed feeling may express itself entirely differently from the original feeling - for example, feeling anxiety instead of anger.

Any feeling that you deem uncomfortable, unacceptable, or "bad" you will try to suppress in some way or another.

These can include feelings typically labeled as "negative," such as rage – as well as feelings usually labeled as "positive," such as confidence.


You will attempt to suppress whatever doesn't fit into your self-image – either your internal self-image or your external personality

Below are some of the most commonly suppressed feelings and emotions related to anxiety:

  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Sexual Desire
  • Fear
  • Excitement
  • Loss of control (feeling out of control or internally chaotic)
  • Sadness
  • Grief
  • Joy

When you're experiencing anxiety, asking yourself what's really going on can be helpful.

Think about this list of suppressed emotions and see where in your life you are attempting to suppress how you feel.

Did something recently trigger one of those emotions?

Is a situation or event coming up that you deeply fear or feel very excited about?

Questioning or "becoming curious" about your anxiety – instead of labeling it as "my anxiety" – is a powerful way of getting to the source.

Anxiety is always a response to something, whether real or imagined.

Once you begin to look at your life, you will notice patterns and experiences that trigger this response.

One suggestion is to begin noticing the feeling or emotion right before the feeling of anxiety.

This feeling immediately before the perceived anxiety is typically the uncomfortable emotion that is suppressed and expressed as anxiety.

Trauma & Repressed Emotions

Trauma is one of the significant causes of anxiety and often stems from repressed emotions, feelings, and memories.

Repression is generally associated with experiences of traumatic events, whether they are witnessed or experienced directly.

These include physical and emotional traumas, life-threatening experiences, and witnessing terrifying events.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) falls into this category.


Whenever you experience events in your life that are beyond what your conscious mind can rationally handle or what you can emotionally process in a healthy way – you repress the experience with the associated feelings and emotions

You may block out the memory entirely depending on the "severity" of the event.

Some of the more severe experiences include; war, rape, murder, car accidents, childhood traumas/abuse, domestic abuse, violence, and losing a parent or guardian at an early age.

These experiences are hard to accept and comprehend – let alone emotionally process.

As a result – if the event/experience can not be accepted and processed, it will be repressed, or there will be an attempt to suppress it by any means.


Trauma does not necessarily have to be associated with the extremes mentioned above. Almost everyone will experience some form of trauma in their lives, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a divorce, loss of employment, or any number of possible events

Again, any emotion or experience that can not be properly accepted or processed by an individual can/will be repressed.

How someone responds and interprets events is specific to that person.

Trauma is not specific to certain types of people or particular events.

Two people can experience the same event in different ways and therefore process the experience differently.

Below are some of the more common life events that can lead to repressed emotions or feelings (often referred to as "big T" or "little t" trauma, depending on the impact it has on us):

  • Relationship breakup or divorce
  • Unresolved emotions toward parents or siblings
  • Sexual issues: sexuality, gender issues, taboo desires, etc.
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Repressed anger/rage about a particular incident
  • "Bad" thoughts, memories or feelings from the past
  • Guilt or shame surrounding an action or experience
  • Unmet needs or separation - usually from the mother or father

Remember, no two people will respond to an experience the same way.

The examples given above are just examples.

How someone responds and interprets an event is specific to that person.

That means that while one person may handle a breakup by expressing themselves as they need to – allowing themselves to go through the range of emotions that come up – another person may shove those same feelings down and deny themselves proper expression, never truly getting over the experience.

Beliefs and interpretations come into play here as well.

What is traumatic for one person may not be for another based on each person's beliefs and interpretations of the experience.

If your belief around a breakup is that no one will ever love you again, it will be a more traumatic experience for you than for someone who believes they can find love again.

Suppose your belief or interpretation is that you weren't right for each other, and you'll take time to better yourself and enjoy time with friends.

In that case, the experience is much less likely to be traumatic.

Beliefs and interpretations also affect your ability to express your feelings and emotions.

Using the breakup example again, if you were someone that believed that "crying over someone is weak or pathetic," you may likely repress the urge to cry or feel sadness even if you are genuinely hurting.

(All of the topics we've discussed can and do significantly impact each other and your experience of anxiety and other issues in life).

So how do repression and trauma lead to anxiety?

In many ways, actually….

Just because you repress something doesn't mean it's gone from your mind.

Repressed memories or emotions always seek awareness, expression, and resolution in some form or another.


As the memory or emotion comes closer to the surface of your mind, you may begin experiencing strong resistance and anxiety. Events, people, or places that could "trigger" the emotion or memory can also stir up anxiety

Since these memories and emotions are "repressed," when we experience anxiety related to them, it may be challenging to determine the cause.

It's not always necessary – or desirable – to uncover repressed memories.

But it can be beneficial to see a therapist if you have deep phobias – anxiety and fear around specific situations, places, or people. Or if you have unresolved trauma in your life.

Bringing the repressed to conscious awareness (in a safe manner) is one way of processing and releasing the experience so that you can move on with your life.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the psychological theories of anxiety, we described above can help you to become more aware of the patterns, strategies, and beliefs that cause your anxiety.

As you become more aware, you can break free of these patterns and notice where/when they arise.

A decisive step you can take for your anxiety – and your life in general – is to become more aware of these patterns and more accepting of yourself.

What do you think and believe about yourself and your world?

Who created or profoundly influenced your beliefs?

Now more than ever, your thoughts and beliefs about the world are being shaped by outside information at an incredible speed.

New things to worry about – new things to fear.

While you can't always control every image, news article, or opinion you see on your phone, computer, or TV, you can consciously choose what you believe and where you put your focus.

What are you repressing or refusing to face in your life?

What feelings need to be expressed?

By establishing a better connection with yourself and your emotions, often by grounding yourself in your body and feeling your emotions fully, you can accept and release feelings that have needed expression.

While it's not always necessary – or beneficial – to go drudging up the past or opening old wounds – you can address deep-seated trauma with the help of a competent therapist.

Acceptance of yourself and others and acceptance of where you've been and are now is a great place to start when healing many psychological causes of anxiety.

Having the power and the awareness to see how these psychological processes create anxiety in your life is a powerful step toward freedom from anxiety.

You can find strategies and techniques throughout this site to help you. linkxxxxxx

Anxiety is not strictly psychological – there are many biological causes of anxiety which we will be discussing in the following article here

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