How to recover from anxiety

To recover from anxiety, I ditched all techniques designed to stop me from panicking, feeling anxious or having horrible thoughts ( or any other symptom) as this only provided temporary relief at the very best. Full recovery followed when i learned to allow myself to think and feel everything that my anxiety would throw at me and do absolutely nothing about it. I didn’t try to question the thoughts or feelings, I didn’t try to force them away, I didn’t try to avoid them, I didn’t try to deliberately distract myself from feeling any of it. I just let it all happen without putting up any form of resistance whatsoever. I let those thoughts scare me to death, I let my body vibrate with severe stress, I let my muscles ache and did nothing to try and change any of it. Was it uncomfortable? Hell yes! Did it feel scary? Hell yes! Could it harm me? Absolutely not. Did it make me feel better? No, not straight way because I knew it would take time for my agitated nerves to calm down after years of stressing about being stressed. My nerves had been battered by constantly worrying and became sensitive which leaves you susceptible to developing anxiety if you fear the myriad of symptoms produced by your sensitised nerves.

Anxiety is the by product of stressed nerves and produces excessive adrenalin that needs to be released and the only way to do that is to feel it all willingly and opening up the floodgates. Some may find this a little strange but all those symptoms you are fighting is your mind and body finding its way back to normal default settings so why get in the way of this process?

Acceptance is the only way to recover. By repeatedly passing through the anxiety storm with as much acceptance as you can manage. Resign yourself to being blown and tossed around by the storm, knowing that the storm will pass and can’t harm you. You may have to travel through the storm many times but the more you pass through without trying to paddle against the currents, the less intense the storm becomes until you reach the point where it simply doesn’t matter to you if there is a storm blowing or not. When you are past caring about it, you will have reached calm waters and be free of anxiety. Having learned how to successfully navigate that storm by passing through it and just letting it blow itself out, the experience gained will ensure that you won’t get caught up in that storm again.

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40 Replies

  • I so need to learn to do this.

  • Just treat the symptoms like you would treat a nasty head cold. Yeah, it might hurt a bit for a while and make you feel very uncomfortable but it will get better without you having to do very much about it. You certainly wouldnt spend all day worrying about it, self checking to see if it’s getting better, prodding your sinuses to see if they still ache. That wouldn’t make it better any quicker, would it? You would just resign yourself to the fact that You will feel like yuck for a while and carry on with your day as best you can. The cold would disappear all by itself in a few days. If you take the same attitude towards the anxiety symptoms (that bother you so much) as you do for a cold, you will recover, maybe not as quick but it will happen.

  • Me too!!

  • I have tried doing this but as I'm 16 my parents make me "reflect" on it and battle it instead of letting me feel it

  • But there is nothing to stop you practising acceptance in the way I have described above. Recovery from anxiety is in your hands. Those who are less informed about anxiety simply can’t understand what it is and how it affects people so I chose not to listen to them and paid lip service to their advice (pretended to listen) such as ‘snap out of it’ “pull yourself together man” “you must fight it and don’t let it get the better of you.” All well meaning stuff I’m sure but misdirected because I knew the path I was on was the right one. I just carried on practising acceptance. I was in charge of my destiny. Not anybody else.

  • Yes, but I'm forced to get up an hour earlier to do a "therapy exercises" (that aren't really therapy exercises) before my day even beings, which stresses me out and then they make me do it later in the day after school and dinner. How can I let myself just feel it when they try to make me fight it?

  • Your anxiety is causing you to feel stressed. I was in a similar position at work. I thought my job was stressing me out but had moments or glimpses when I felt fine and had clarity of thought. I thought that if I could have these moments where I was free of anxiety whilst at work, why couldn’t I be free of anxiety all day? I decided that anxiety was tricking me into thinking work was causing me to feel anxious when all along the problem was anxiety itself. So I stopped worrying about it. The same applied to my relationship anxiety. I thought I’d have to leave my wife but she wasn’t the problem. It was anxiety tricking me into thinking that wa

    I’m digressing a bit here. The point I want to make is that you can still practice acceptance even though your patents are asking you do something else. The best time to do this is when you are feeling anxious for whatever reason.

  • Thank you!

  • An excellent description of acceptance in action and how people can make it work. We win not by the punches we give but by the punches we take.

  • To sum it up get comfortable with uncomfortable

  • Yes, yes, yes yes yes. A big fat YES 👏👏👏👏👏👍👍👍👍

  • I can't stop crying

  • I usually get that response when I tell my jokes 😉

  • Lol

  • Right, I’m off out to play a game of football. Indoors thankfully, looking at the weather. Stormy but nothing I can’t handle. Probably too old to play but enjoy it ⚽️

  • Your posts are just wonderful

  • Beevee, thank you! What a wonderful post! ☺

  • I get like that as well , because I know for a fact nothing will happen so I deal with it, my son helps me as well, just thinking about leaving him , makes me stay instead of going to the hospital , so one way or another as long as I have anxiety I have no other choice but to overcome it, and w.e comes my way. I just hate when it comes because boy oh boy it wanna knock me out cold to the point I can't laugh , and laughing is the thing I do mostly in this world than anything . I'm proud of you, you've found the way!

  • And so will you as sure as night follows day. The more you learn about anxiety and the tricks it plays on your mind and body, the less you fear it. Fear is the only thing that keeps you stuck and will take time to see through the lies it spins. Recovery is as much a learning process as it is a healing process with no short cuts or cheat codes. You have to go through it, otherwise you will never fully learn what it takes to recover. Confidence will returrn bit by bit and you will get to the stage where you feel bullish and ignore the anxious thoughts and say “to hell with it, I’m doing it anyway“ and truly mean it. Then keep on going, moving forward, accepting everything, taking the anxiety with you, even in setback where you think you’ve gone back to square one and see no way out. Setbacks are part of the recovery process and the signs along the roadside on your journey that show you are heading to Recovery City in Freedom County. 😎

  • That’s all it takes. Just a change in attitude, viewing anxiety as a friend, rather than the enemy. In any event, it can’t be an enemy because anxiety is your fight or flight response in overdrive/ continuous loop, doing what it was designed to do and programmed to protect you from danger. Sufferers just keep adding fear to the fearful thoughts creating that vicious loop. Breaking the loop just involves losing fear of the fearful thoughts and bodily sensations which are completely normal when feeling anxious.

  • Have u previously been to a doctor for anxiety or no?

  • Initially yes but stopped going when I read Dr Claire Weekes and realised recovery was in my own hands. I flushed all the medication down the loo.

  • Awesome BEEVEE! Thank You!

  • Your so right about this !!☺

  • How long did it take to recover? Well done by the way 😊

  • I’m always a bit hesitant to say because everyone recovers at different rates and a lot also depends on how well you are able to develop the right attitude and let it all go. Even when you are letting go, the symptoms may still linger on for a while. I do know that I became really anxious around 2011 and found Dr Claire Weekes’ book in 2012. From then on it probably took 2-3 years before I truly grasped it and started a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. No doubt I made lots of mistakes such as believing all the negative thoughts which set me back but you have to fail many times before you succeed.

    Please don’t worry about how long it takes. Live your life with no expectation of recovery. don’t try and force anything during your recovery. It will come to you in good time and probably creep up on you without noticing. Often I would suddenly think that I hadn’t experienced a troublesome thought in a while and had evaporated into thin air. Some days, I would be anxious about anything and everything and then couldn’t even remember what I was feeling anxious about. More reason not to give them any respect because they won’t be there when you recover.

  • Beevee wonderful posts. I'm having a terrible day with it but your words help. Except except except. Trying so hard. Claire Weeks book on it's way....please hurry up! It's so damned painful & tiring!

  • I keep telling myself to accept it but something gets in the way of my REALLY accepting. Did you find this? I keep thinking - "I can't believe your like are weak and a coward and a fool for succumbing to anxiety." I also keep looking too far forward which throws up doubts about a full recoverywhich stresses me out and fills me with fear. That torturous fear - am I always going to be like this!!!

  • Accept even these feelings, mooner04. Acceptance isn't something we can switch on like a tap, it takes persistance, glimpsing the feeling of acceptance for just a few seconds or minutes to begin with. Everybody canrecover from anxiety disorder with practice abd persistance, there are no exceptions, because the over sensitised state of our nervous system CAN be reversed, this is one of the laws of nature,

  • Thanks jeff. I have worked out what I've been doing. Hope this might help others.

    I have only been saying to myself "accept it". It's not enough. What I really have been doing is kidding myself because saying "accept it" has become a vehicle to try and IGNORE IT. And that is the opposite of what I'm trying to do.

    I re read this beevee post. She makes it clear you not only have to accept it with your thought but feel it too. Take that pain in your gut, feel the tingling in your shoulders and arms, look straight at it in the eye and say "ok no problem, that's just how I feel at the moment, its me at the moment so I'm just going to be that. Where else can I go."

  • Nice one Mooner 👍👍 You understand the concept. The seed has been planted. The trick is to apply it even in the midst of battle. As Dr Weekes put it, working with the fire. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible.

    You not only have to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk too and truly accept it unconditionally.

    It is about changing your attitude from one of fear to one of curiosity. You don’t have like the symptoms (they are not designed to be liked, otherwise we’d all be fine) just learn to be ok about not feeling ok

    Hope that helps.

    P.s. I’m a he 😂😂

  • Sorry! Yeah it's so hard but I get it fully. Trouble is at this early stage I keep doubting I'm accepting properly, doing it right. And that makes me anxious!!! Did you find that?

  • Please don’t apologise. It’s a tricky little blighter isnt it? Don’t try and outfox it. As Jeff said, learn to accept it all. Every single bit, doubts and all. The wheat will be separated from the chaff.

  • Beevee... thank you for this. Great to find this way of explaining it.

  • This is GREAT! Love this!!

  • Beevee I'm concentrating so much on acceptance it becomes quite all consuming and you forget to allow or try positive feelings etc. I suppose it's part of the process. Did anyone else using claire weeks' methods experience this?

  • It sounds like you are telling yourself you are accepting it but still actually fighting it and trying to get rid of it. It shouldnt become consuming. It should just be there, like a broken arm that will heal on its own - you can't think a broken bone fixed you just have to accept that it's broken and get on with getting on. Think about a cut or graze healing. Yes it hurts. Yes you want it to get better but each time you scratch off the scab it bleeds some more and takes longer to heal. Have a look at the French YouTube video

    It explains how to make friends with your anxiety.

    Ghee 😀

  • Vbee is right. Acceptance is not something you do. Acceptance is allowing yourself to think and feel everything, resisting none of it. Don't try and do anything about it because it is all that trying that adds more tension as well as being tiresome. Learn to be comfortable about feeling very uncomfortable. If you have anxious thoughts, let them go instead of getting involved with them and worrying about them. They aren't real, they only feel real and important because you have anxiety which creates them. You don't invite these thoughts, they just appear and strike fear before you've even had time to do anything. I noticed that if I deliberately thought about the same scary thought afterwards, I didn't get the same reaction so knew it was the anxiety playing tricks so i learned to let them go.

  • This is great! But how do you do this when depersonalization is your go to with anxiety? :( This is what my brain does, I can no longer feel anything at all in this state... Do you have any experience with this?

  • I didn’t suffer from depersonalisation but acceptance will cure all anxiety related symptoms. Acceptance is not something you do, it is your attitude towards how you feel that brings about cure. If you learn to be ok with how you might be feeling, it allows your mind to fix itself. I’ve just posted a message about getting rid of anxiety which explains it in more detail.

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