Anxiety is not something you can get rid of forcefully, avoid, control or try to suppress. Trying to do anything about it just keeps all that nervous/negative energy trapped within you. Trying to control it, trying not to feel it, trying to suppress it etc does not have the desired effect. In fact, it has the opposite effect.
To free yourself from anxiety, you have to allow it fully without putting up any form of resistance. How can you be free of this negative energy when you are not prepared to let it go? This is why it hangs around like an unwanted guest. It wants to leave you but you won’t let it.
The path of least resistance is the way to recover. What I mean by this is to allow yourself to fully feel all this energy, don’t avoid places or situations, don’t suppress the thoughts and feelings by drinking too much, frenzied exercising, taking medication (prescribed or otherwise) using any sort of distraction technique (with the intention of or avoiding/suppressing your anxiety) or continually searching the Internet for that elusive instant cure (sorry, it doesn’t exist). All these do is provide temporary relief (all that negative energy remains within), and not permanent relief and peace of mind and body.
In summary, give up trying to do anything in order to make yourself feel different. By not doing anything about anxiety, all that stored up negative energy can be released.
Putting up resistance by constantly battling (with yourself because there is no battle to fight) to rid yourself of anxiety is the main case of suffering and why people get stuck in a cycle. By learning to give up your quest to find instant relief and allowing yourself to feel the way you do (and not trying to fix yourself) will break the cycle.
As I keep saying, anxiety is a paradox. You won’t get better until to stop trying to get better. The “trying” part is the problem here and the reason why doing nothing about anxiety is the key to recovery.
By allowing (same thing as accepting), it gives your tired mind and body the rest it craves and to begin the natural healing process and de-sensitise your nerves. Sensitised nerves are what creates the symptoms of anxiety and usually caused by prolonged stress.
Recovery doesn’t happen overnight as there is likely to be so much anxious and fearful energy to release. In fact, it might feel more intense for a while when you are fully allowing it instead of suppressing or avoiding etc. Over time, I learned that the release of this energy was actually a good thing because it meant my mind and body was finding its own way back to normal default setting. Normal meaning thoughts and feelings no longer being hugely distorted by anxiety and wholly disproportionate to everyday life.
Learning to accept or allow takes time because the automatic human response is to fight/suppress/avoid/control the thoughts and feelings. It requires a modicum of patience and keeping faith in the recovery process and for peace to find you. People often fall back into the trap because results are not instantaneous but recovery from anxiety just doesn’t work like that. Nerves take time to heal, just like a torn muscle or graze.
Anxiety has nothing to do with places or situations such as going to the store, driving etc. If it was, most people would have the same fears which simply isn’t the case. Instead of avoiding, I looked upon it as opportunities to face those fears and release more negative energy so I actively went towards those places and situations instead of hiding or running the other way. The “problem” is not the outside world, it is on the inside and caused by a tired anxious mind that can only think anxious thoughts. There is no reason to avoid these places, situations, thoughts etc. See them as triggers to release negative energy and allow the reaction. Your brain will eventually get the message that there is no threat and tell your fight / flight responses to stand down.
When you are free of this stored up anxious/fear energy, you will only feel anxious or fearful when there is a real threat, triggering a reaction designed to make you run for it, fight it or play dead and keeps you safe. Problems occur when we fight to rid ourselves of the thoughts and feelings which is usually triggered by a prolonged period of worry and stress. This sensitises the nerves, which produces symptoms and when fear of those symptoms is added into the mix, inappropriate levels of anxiety is the result.