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Anxiety is a perplexing psychiatric issue, and its recovery process is easily comparable to a jigsaw puzzle. You need many pieces to complete the final picture, and you cannot put them in place all at once. The process needs to be completed piece by piece, but with the right amount of hard work and determination, the picture soon starts getting clearer. In case of anxiety, these pieces refer to removing bad habits one by one and replacing them with healthier ones.

Signs You are Recovering From Anxiety

It is essential to keep in mind that you cannot hurry recovery. The process is exclusively individual, and there is no set way of proceeding forward, as what works for you may not work for someone else. But the only thing that matters is that recovering from anxiety is possible and achievable. If you are already seeking treatment for your anxiety disorder, you may wonder if you are progressing along the way. To confirm this, the easiest way is to look for signs you are recovering from anxiety.

Almost 30 percent of Americans are expected to experience an anxiety disorder at some point. The medicine defines anxiety as a condition that includes high levels of stress and worries that keep an individual from functioning normally. In most cases, this anxiety is out of proportion to the circumstances that triggered it, and an individual keeps experiencing it on most days for at least six months.

Most people associate their high levels of anxiety with constant and excessive worry or fear in daily life with a strong urge to avoid any situation connected to this worry. Contrary to the occasional anxiety bouts, chronic anxiety disorder does not come and go but always persists. Chronic anxiety disorder is of different types, which may include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: It includes excessive, persistent stress or worry that interferes with daily life activities
  • Panic disorder: It includes sudden, recurring panic attacks along with psychological and physical stress
  • Social anxiety disorder: It includes overwhelming discomfort and worry that arises particularly in social situations and includes a fear of embarrassment, humiliation, and rejection
  • Phobias: Phobias include persistent, highly intense fear of certain situations or things that is out of proportion to the actual threat
  • Separation anxiety disorder: It includes a fear of separating from a person or a fear that something bad may happen to your loved one.

If you are actively seeking help for anxiety management, you may be keen to discover your progress and whether or not you are getting closer to healing. To know this, keep an eye out for the following signs anxiety is getting better for you:[1]

You are more aware of your thoughts

If you are more aware of your thoughts and feelings, consider it a sign that you are healing well. You may have previously experienced negative thoughts about yourself or experienced others speaking ill about you that you felt and took to heart. Because you did not like yourself already, believing these things become easier. However, as soon as you enter into a recovery process, these negative thoughts may start scattering.

With a high level of awareness, you may start wondering why you had these thoughts and why you let them get a hold of you. You feel like a new person with greater self-confidence, self-love, and a sense of self who know you are much better than how these thoughts define you.

Your sleeping habits have improved

When you are far ahead in your anxiety treatment and recovering well, you will notice how your sleep habits improve automatically. Previously, you would lie in bed every night, thinking how you would ever fall asleep with a racing mind. However, now it seems like the treatment has flipped the switch, and you can finally sleep peacefully every night and wake up feeling energized and refreshed the following morning.

You feel positive about yourself

With your anxiety under control, you automatically start feeling good about yourself. Whatever others say about you will pass you by without giving you second thoughts because you have learned to like yourself. By receiving therapy and using medications, you no longer feel the stigma related to your mental health. Instead, you are much more comfortable talking about your anxiety as you feel proud of doing something about it.

You feel real emotions

Anxiety recovery also means that you give yourself permission to feel genuine emotions. Previously, your anxiety may have numbed you about anything, both happy and sad. However, with treatment and recovery, you can now:

  • Laugh when something funny happens
  • Feel genuinely happy
  • Feel sadness in moments that call for gloom

When something terrible happens to you, you do not allow it to occupy your mind for long or destroy your whole day. Instead, you feel momentary sadness and move on to spend the rest of the day usually.

You are beginning to understand and accept yourself

One of the signs you are recovering from anxiety includes no more looking at your mistakes and personal flaws every second. You eventually find yourself at a point where you accept yourself with all your flaws and believe that everyone makes mistakes. You also know you will be fine if you keep learning from these mistakes.

You start handling everything one by one instead of thinking of the worst-case scenario for every situation. Additionally, you only prepare yourself for the worst when it is genuinely needed. More importantly, you start investing in yourself and caring for your body’s needs. You sleep when you feel tired and eat when you feel hungry. Additionally, you find joy in exercising to give your body the energy it needs.

Millions of people worldwide continue to live perfectly well despite suffering from anxiety. Finding and practicing certain constructive ways to cope with these feelings can empower anyone to safely return to their usual activities while feeling optimistic about their relationships and well-being.

A good anxiety healing plan tends to focus on the psychological and physical aspects of the problem through carefully-planned treatment. Following are some evidence-based tips to help live with anxiety while moving towards recovery.[2]

Consult a Healthcare Professional

A healthcare professional can assess anxiety patients to offer various treatment options. This healthcare professional can either be a psychiatrist or a primary doctor. The sooner someone seeks treatment, the better their outcome is likely to be.

Practice Exercise and Lifestyle Changes

Making changes in lifestyle, such as prioritizing sleep, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, reducing caffeine and alcohol, quitting smoking, and taking a break from social media, can all help with anxiety management.

Stick to Your Recommended Plan of Treatment

An anxiety plan may or may not involve using certain medications, attending follow-up appointments, and attending therapy sessions. Whatever an individual treatment plan entails, it is important to follow it as directed by a mental health professional. In case the plan is causing any side effects or inconveniences, it is always better to discuss this with a doctor before making any changes to it.

Try Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy has been known to manage both psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a well-known form of psychotherapy that helps clients understand the association between their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It also teaches them how to recognize any unhelpful patterns of thoughts and beat them through practical coping strategies. Clients learn how to shift their focus to anxiety management and relapse prevention with CBT.

Keep in mind that psychotherapy like CBT is never quick-fox for anxiety. It involves dedication and commitment to attending regular sessions, which may last between 12 to 16 in total. A therapist can better decide the recommended treatment duration depending on the client’s needs. If you are like most people, you may start noticing signs you are recovering from anxiety within 4 to 6 weeks.

Go for Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness meditation, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises can help manage the physical symptoms of anxiety, making them less overwhelming. These techniques work by bringing an individual’s attention to the present moment while assisting them in ruminating less about the future and the past.

Use Medications

Antidepressants, such as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been proven to carry benefits for anxiety management. However, remember that these medications are slow-acting and may take at least 4 to 6 weeks to produce noticeable effects.

Beta-blockers are another type of anxiety medication that provides short-term relief from the physical symptoms of anxiety. Benzodiazepines are another drug category that works relatively quickly and bring noticeable anxiety-curbing benefits in as little as 30 minutes. If you are taking benzos for anxiety recovery, remember that you can quickly develop tolerance and dependence on these drugs, especially when taken regularly. They may also become less effective with time and cause withdrawal effects as soon as you stop taking them.

Most experts recommend a combination of medication and psychotherapy as the most beneficial long-term treatment option for anxiety. Despite the most effective treatment plan, anxiety may sometimes be aggravated, especially during high-stress levels. To keep it under control, keep in touch with a doctor or therapist.

1 Rodriguez, B. F., Weisberg, R. B., Pagano, M. E., Bruce, S. E., Spencer, M. A., Culpepper, L., & Keller, M. B. (2006). Characteristics and predictors of full and partial recovery from a generalized anxiety disorder in primary care patients. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 194(2), 91.

2 Villaggi, B., Provencher, H., Coulombe, S., Meunier, S., Radziszewski, S., Hudon, C., … & Houle, J. (2015). Self-management strategies in recovery from mood and anxiety disorders. Global qualitative nursing research, 2, 2333393615606092.

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