Anxiety Support
34,508 members38,465 posts

How to change your attitude towards anxiety which leads to recovery

Recovery from anxiety is all about a change in attitude towards the symptoms you fear and/or how you feel about anxiety. This change comes about by gaining a better understanding of anxiety and how it can affect you. The more you understand, the less you will fear what is happening to you. The symptoms of anxiety which impress you so much to the extent that you worry and obsess about them, will gradually fade way when you know what’s going on in your mind and body. This is why people move forward over time and recover. It takes away the uncertainty of not knowing. They start to understand far more and the symptoms lose their ability to impress and interest wains. They will still come for a while and you may still dislike them, but you are able to look at them in a different light. It’s almost as if you become an observer to them instead of getting embroiled in a battle with them which is the main reason for staying stuck and not moving forward.

When I read a positive post, it is obvious that there has been a sizeable shift in attitude as to how they feel and how they view their anxiety symptoms. For example, they say they are not going to let anxiety dictate their lives and live their life as if they didn’t have anxiety. They care less about the symptoms. They are losing their fear of them. They do normal things, despite not feeling normal. Once you no longer fear the symptoms of anxiety, it goes away. Not right away but it will fade away.

What can help to change your attitude? For starters, learn to resist the need or urge to work everything out. Please don’t waste time and energy doing this. Interact with the world around you and move the focus of your day on to other things instead of yourself and how you are feeling. Go to work, go to school, make a meal, visit friends, have a night out. Just take the anxiety with you. It hates you doing that because you stop feeding it and starve it of the attention it needs to survive.

Worrying about the way you think and feel, trying to figure it all out, testing yourselves, questioning everything just feeds the anxiety and keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle. To be and feel a part of the world around you again, look outwards and not inwards.

I learnt about anxiety by reading Dr Claire Weekes’ books and a book written by Paul David called At Last a Life. Armed with this knowledge and understanding, I lived my life as if I didn’t have anxiety. I just took it with me. I stopped visiting websites searching for the miracle cure). Don’t get me wrong. Things weren’t easy for a while and to begin with, I faked it until I made it. There was a time I very much doubted the path I was following wouldn’t get me to where I wanted to go but persevered. I just carried on moving forward, not letting anxiety dictate my life, and the fog started to lift, slowly.

I would go to work every day, feeling uber stressed, full of fear, feeling paranoid. I would want to run home but I didn’t because I knew it would follow me and wouldn’t be the answer because I was avoiding. If I felt terrible, then that was how it was going to be. Anxiety wasn’t going to win. I carried on like this for many months and normal thoughts and feelings started to resume. Trips to the supermarket were overwhelming but I just carried on and coped as best I could, not questioning why I felt this way. It got easier, without me really noticing it. Recovery creeps up on you.

People stay in the cycle because their instinct (their anxious mind) is telling them to go home, it’s easier there or to sit near an exit st the cinema in case they have a panic attack. To recover means continually going against the instinct to avoid, run away or deliberately distract. That is because we are built to make life saving decisions when anxious because anxious feelings usually mean there is a perceived threat. There is no threat, other than the thoughts and feelings created by your anxious mind. There is no need to make a run for it. Its all false so learn to move on and give up the fight (with yourself).

To summarise

Learn to lose all respect of the thoughts and feelings even if you don’t understand why you feel a certain way. So long as your doctor has given you a clean bill of health, It doesn’t matter, just label it all as anxiety.

Live your life like you don’t have anxiety. Don’t run, avoid or do anything to try and stop yourself feeling anxious. Don’t cancel appointments, avoid friends. Go everywhere, regardless of how you are feeling. Anxiety is harmless. It’s just trying to protect you and doing what it is designed to do when you are faced with danger. It’s just got a little trigger happy. That is all.

Don’t go over stuff repeatedly. Resist the urge to analyse it all. By all means read up on the subject to educate yourself and then just go and get on with your day, applying what you have learnt. In time, you will drop the subject.

View anxiety or the sensations that come with it as a friend, not the enemy. They are only feelings and sensations caused by excessive adrenalin that do not harm you.

Recovery is out there and will come to you when you stop trying to do things to get rid of it.

11 Replies
oldestnewest

Thank you for that great post. It helped me to read that. My anxiety is up and down, sometimes I loose my grip on it and it comes in full force like it did today. But this post will surely help me.

2 likes
Reply

Anxiety doesn’t have a grip of you. You have a grip on anxiety which is why letting go and accepting all of the symptoms will bring peace of mind and body and inappropriate anxiety will be history. It’s like learning to ride a bike. Once you learn, you never forget. Same with anxiety. Once you learn how to cope with the symptoms the right way (accepting and not fighting), you never forget, not that you will ever need to use those tools again, simply because you no longer fear the symptoms. Fear is the root cause of anxiety, OCD, PTSD, agoraphobia and lots of other disorders. If you don’t fear something, it doesn’t bother you does it?

2 likes
Reply

But sometimes you are scared in case it's a life threatening situation and u blame anxiety

Reply

This is what we all need. Thank you

1 like
Reply

I like observing instead of being stuck in it it’s hard though. I have a pattern of back and forth recovery, doing much better and the panic attacks either don’t bother as much or are not there then I slip back in again into fear...I am trying to retrain the brain and live life like I don’t have anxiety... still trying

1 like
Reply

Practice makes perfect. Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean you feel a little better each day and setbacks are important milestones on the road to recovery. They are a sign that you are progressing in the right direction.

I think my recovery was slow but it’s different for everyone. It cannot be rushed. It’s a process of learning as you go along, gradually seeing for yourself that those thoughts and feelings are completely false but you can only do this by going through that process. Knowledge and understanding provide the foundations of recovery. Over time, things will click into place the more you practice letting go and not engaging with the thoughts and feelings. If your recovery is anything like mine, you won’t even notice the positive changes that take place. Occasionally, I would remember that I hadn’t been bothered by a particular thought or feeling. They just left silently. Just allow it all to be there and carry on with your day, no matter how bad you may feel. Recovery will follow.

Reply

Thanks! You have some great tips and I am happy for your progress! :) yes I’ve noticed that I don’t think twice to be in a situation that bothered me so much. It just simply got easier. The thoughts and sensations just left. But I have a long way to go I think. Ok I have been and will continue to allow it all to be there and carry on. My biggest fear is panic attack with dizziness and disorientation when driving , unsafe. But I feel i still have to go and trust myself and just go out farther out of comfort zone when I am ready.

Thanks for sharing. Its a great motivator!

1 like
Reply

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience, Beevee. As you once said: when we can get on with our day not caring whether we have anxiety or not then we are well on the way to recovery. That is the purist form of acceptance.

1 like
Reply

thank you for this post, my anxiety is new ive only had it for 6 weeks so i dont really understand it at the minute, im trying to read up about it and im taking anti depressantsand beta blockers and im on the waiting list for counselling but your post really makes sense and reading it makes me feel abit more positive, like theres light at the end of the tunnel!

Reply

I’ve just read your above post and oh my I am so I relived within myself that someone has actually recovered and thought this horrible anxiety. I am going to read and read your post over and over again so this sinks in my mind. I want the will to recover. I’ve has anxiety for over 20 years and at 44 I want to live the rest of my life anxiety free. I could cry right now at reading your post. Please keep posting your amazing thoughts and help other and me to finally get the help we need with this horrid anxiety. I want to be the person I was before anxiety hit me when I had postnal depression. I really need to find myself again. I don’t know who I am without anxiety. I have intrusive thoughts of killing my self too but I am not suicidail it’s the anxiety. You’ve made me feel I can do this. I really would like to thank you. I will be reading your post slike a woman obsessed today! I need this anxiety gone. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I’m desperate to be anxiety free.

Hope I make sense on th above. I’m on my way to work on the bus!

Have a wonderful day! 🍓

1 like
Reply

Hello Beevee!!

I too am very much recovered and am hopeful that I can help others. The experts (Claire Weekes, Paul David, David Carbonell, etc) knew/know their stuff. I think disseminating this info is an imperative thing- because the "cures" are so buried, not mainstream, and today's healthcare providers have never even heard of Claire Weekes. Which is absolutely outrageous. Thank you for all of your amazing posts. Your advice is SPOT ON and absolutely correct. I have no doubt that you have helped so many folks!!

1 like
Reply

You may also like...