Anxiety recovery is a process that is different for each person. It is seldom quick and takes a commitment to move forward and practice every day. It’s important to remember you must not lose faith in yourself along the way.
I realize that for some of you, myself included, I could not even begin to do any of the footwork involved to get better until I first worked on improving my low self esteem. Living with anxiety and panic attacks for so many years, I mentally berated myself for being “weak” and not being able to do such little things as standing in line or having a spontaneous conversation.
Once I realized how flawed and damaging this way of thinking was, I began to have compassion for myself and my suffering. All I really wanted was to live freely and peacefully without dreading when the next panic attack would strike.
If you still struggle with low self esteem, please see Jumpstart Your Self Esteem Today (and get a free downloadable book to help).
With self esteem in check, we can move on to the business of recovery from anxiety. It is a wonderful and sometimes bumpy road, but you must not lose faith in yourself on your journey.
We are way stronger than the average person. We are also creative, intelligent, and sensitive. Living, working and doing all the things in life we have to do under the incredible burden of anxiety takes an amazing amount of strength. I know you may not see it that way, but think of this- you force yourself to go to work even though it makes you anxious and have panic attacks, or you force yourself to go to class even though you panic- isn’t that strength? of course it is.
When you think about it, we have been using all our strength to fight and withdraw from anxiety. Although this is not the way to recover from anxiety, it gives us a real glimpse at how truly strong we are.
So do not lose faith in yourself as you start to heal on your journey out of anxiety and panic attacks. Because remember, you will have setbacks along the way. But you will also have small victories. The first time I was able to sit in church and not panic, I left there feeling like a million bucks. A small victory perhaps, but this is a wonderful memory I carry with me.
And these small victories add up, little by little by little
Having faith in myself also means respecting my body for the amazing thing it is. The body is programmed to heal itself. When we get a cut it heals. The same is true for anxiety recovery. As long as we don’t fall victim to feelings of despair (say after a setback), the body will heal itself. We only have to correct our thinking about anxiety, learn not to exaggerate and pay too much attention to those lousy symptoms and thoughts.
So while this is a tall order, as long as I stay out of my body’s way with self defeating thoughts and actions, I am healing and recovering from anxiety.
I made some audio tapes to help a friend who is dealing with health anxiety. she has been listening to these mp3s religiously for 3 weeks. And while she admits the anxiety still flares up and can get the better of her, she is making really good progress. She is learning to have faith in herself and her ability to heal.
I started actively trying to implement anxiety self help methods over a year and a half ago. Now it is a way of life and I wouldn’t go back to the way I was for all the tea in China.
You can do the same. Know you are special. Know you are strong. Know you have what it takes to recover. Be gentle with yourself, and get going on your journey!
I wish you peace,
ps.- Are you on the fence about what program to use for your anxiety recovery? Read my review of the 60 Second Panic Solution– it is what’s helped me the most. 😉