What are the Causes of Anxiety?

There are many causes of anxiety, and these will vary from person to person. But because anxiety often seems irrational and unexplainable, you may be wondering why you experience it in the first place.

Let me start by saying that you do not need to know the cause of your particular anxiety disorder in order to overcome it.

While knowledge of some of the possible causes of anxiety may enlighten you about your own situation, don't feel you need to be able to pinpoint a particular cause or causes from the details below. The natural remedies for anxiety that I discuss will still work for you.

Anxiety can also be pretty multi-layered - there is generally not just one single cause, especially in the case of general anxiety disorder which is the type of anxiety I am discussing here.

Some of the Possible Causes of Anxiety


Just because one of your parents may have experienced anxiety doesn't make you an automatic candidate. However, it has been shown that children of parents with an anxiety disorder have a greater chance of developing one themselves.

But why is this? I personally believe it comes about for a couple of reasons:

  • We all develop certain traits that our parents have, since we live in such proximity to them, and we watch and learn from them. If you don't think you have even one of your parents' negative traits, then you are kidding yourself.
  • We are energetic beings, made up of both a physical body and a subtle energy body that is generally not detectable by the physical senses. We inherit some of the energetic patterns of our parents, so if a parent has an energy field that predisposes them to anxiety, then it is possible you have this 'flaw' in your vibration also.
causes of anxiety

Childhood Experiences and Environments

  • If your parents were overly fearful and worrisome, then it is likely that you have also learned to view the world as an unsafe place. If they spoke to you regularly with phrases that began with "Watch out for that....." or "Be careful of this......" or "What if such-and-such happens.......", then you'll likely to the same thing to a certain extent. Having an irrational view of the world as a dangerous place where things often go wrong would certainly increase you likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder.
  • If you grew up in an environment that was overly critical, chances are you have issues with self-esteem and perfectionism (I can certainly attest to that myself!) If you are constantly trying to get things perfect and gain your parents' approval, this can wreak havoc with your ability to cope in the world.
  • Growing up in an environment that doesn't allow or encourage you to express your emotions cannot be good for your long-term emotional health. Those who have learned to suppress their feelings are more likely to be anxious, as well as develop other emotional issues.
  • Not feeling safe, secure and loved as a child could certainly change your view of the world and your ability to feel safe, secure and loved as an adult.
  • It goes without saying that children who suffer emotional, physical or sexual abuse would be much more likely to develop emotional disturbances, including anxiety.

A Highly Stressful Lifestyle

If we experience high levels of stress that we are not able to effectively deal with, it tends to accumulate over time. Our minds and bodies are then constantly on high levels of alert, leading to high levels of anxiety. In turn, this could eventually become an anxiety disorder.

This is different to the short-term stressors that we face as a regular part of life, such as moving house or starting a new job. But if your life contains circumstances that create high levels of ongoing stress, such as an abusive relationship or a highly responsible job, then the cumulative stress could lead to an anxiety disorder.

Adverse Life Events and Major Life Changes

Major events in our lives that can cause high levels of stress and anxiety are a guaranteed part of life. But if a number of these occur in a relatively short space of time, the stress and anxiety could become chronic.

Unhealthy Beliefs and a Fearful and Negative Outlook

This one ties back to childhood experiences and environments, because our beliefs begin to form when we are very young. However, we can also develop unhealthy beliefs and a fearful and negative outlook at any age.

If you are in the habit of regularly thinking only bad things about yourself and the world, how do think this is going to make you feel? If you always look for the worst in everything and everyone, and only expect negative outcomes, isn't it logical that you're much more likely to develop an anxiety disorder?

Lack of Meaning and Purpose in your Life

Personally, I find being bored and not having a sense of purpose to be more stressful than having too much to do.

Feeling detached from life and not having something that gives you a sense of achievement is a breeding ground for anxiety.

Consistently Projecting your Thoughts into the Future

We create worry, stress and anxiety for ourselves by spending too much time thinking about the future and imagining something bad. Your body starts to react as if these things are actually happening to you now.

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Things that can Accentuate your Anxiety

While the things I list below may not necessarily be direct causes of anxiety, if you have a general anxiety disorder they will certainly make it worse or at least help maintain your high levels of anxiety.

  • Negative self-talk flows through your head on a regular basis, even though you do it so automatically you aren't even aware of it.
  • You focus on all that's wrong with your life, and don't appreciate all that's good.
  • Poor nutrition that leads to certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
  • Taking stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and other drugs.
  • Withholding your feelings, or being ashamed of how you feel.
  • Not making time for yourself and always putting other people's needs before your own.
  • Not addressing any of the known causes of anxiety that you can see relate to you, such as a highly stressful lifestyle.

My list of the causes of anxiety is certainly not exhaustive. These are just examples of some known contributors.

As I mentioned earlier, you do not need to be able to pinpoint everything, or even anything, that has contributed to your general anxiety disorder in order to overcome it.

I dealt with my chronic anxiety using only natural methods, and so now I would like to help others to heal themselves in the same way. Let me show you how I did it.

To learn more about general anxiety and how you can overcome it, click here to go from Causes of Anxiety to my page on Dealing With Anxiety.

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