You probably have experienced anxiety from time to time. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) explains that anxiety is a stress response playing a role in protecting and alerting us to things that require our attention.
So it happens for good reasons. However, when anxiety doesn’t go away, it can affect your mental health.
Read on for 13 effective strategies to help anxiety go away on its own.
Let’s dive right into it.
1. Time Out
When you recognize signs of the anxiety starting, step back from the problem. This helps clear your head. Acknowledge that whatever you believe will be true for yourself.
- Practice yoga
- Listen to calming music
- Get a massage
- Learn relaxation techniques
2. Don’t Skip Nutritional Meals
Skipping meals can lower your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar drops, your body tries to bring it up by pumping out epinephrine (adrenaline), a “fight or flight” hormone that, among other things.
This tells your liver to make more glucose (blood sugar). Adrenaline also makes your heart race and your palms sweat. And it can make you feel cranky and anxious.
Do eat healthful meals and keep energy-boosting snacks on hand.
3. Get Enough Sleep
When stressed from outside influences, your body needs additional sleep and rest. A lack of proper deep sleep every night will add to your body’s stress and cortisol levels remain high to “save” you from the stressful threat.
4. Limit Alcohol
While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it often reduces the quality of your sleep, so you aren’t getting the deep rest your brain needs.
There is a reciprocal relationship between alcohol and depression. Alcohol also tends to increase depressive symptoms. A vicious cycle can ensue.
Low self-worth and low confidence can cause someone to drink more, which then can make them anxious and feel even worse about themselves.
5. Limit Caffeine
Sleep has a big impact on how people manage their mental health and feel about themselves generally.
Caffeine in moderation acts as a mood brightener, says Blount. There’s a difference between drinking a cup of coffee or two in the morning to feel a little sharper and drinking eight cups or more over the course of the day.
Even if you’re able to fall asleep after drinking that much caffeine, your sleep quality is probably poor and it can affect anxiety.
6. Daily Exercise
Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins.
Anything that gets you moving can help, but you’ll get a bigger benefit if you pay attention while exercising instead of zoning out.
7. Exhale Slowly
As the anxiety rises, begin to pay attention immediately to your breath. Inhale and exhale very slowly.
Focus on your breathing with the intention of lengthening each exhale with every breath if you feel a panic attack starting.
8. Count To 10 Slowly
This helps you to change your focus and begin to notice that everything is okay and you’re safe.
9. Let Go Of Perfection
Instead of aiming for perfection in all you do, be pleased with however close you get.
The sooner you release the belief that everything must be perfect, the sooner anxiety is reduced. It’s underlying emotion is fear of not being able to measure up or be accepted for who you are.
10. Let Go Of Control
Similar to perfection, believing you need to have control over everything in your life or the life of others creates stress and anxiety. It’s literally impossible to have that much control.
Manage anxiety by trusting that you’ve done everything you could in a situation and whatever will happen will happen. It’s okay not to have control over it.
11. Welcome Laughter
A good laugh goes a long way. It releases stress in your body and therefore eases the potential for chronic anxiety.
12. Learn Your Triggers
Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Maybe a specific person or type of social situation.
Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern. Remember to notice your own thoughts and beliefs.
13. Talk To Someone
Sharing your physical symptoms of anxiety or how you feel about the situation that causes it, brings it to light. That in itself can help to lessen the anxiety symptoms.
Tell friends or a family member you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Can Anxiety Go Away By Itself?
Anxiety can go away. Occasional anxiety is a perfectly natural part of the human experience. In fact, there are situations where a bout of anxiety is crucial to survival.
There is empirical evidence anxiety can be effectively managed with these therapies:
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Exposure Therapy
Medication isn’t always necessary when treating an anxiety disorder, but when it is, it’s best short term, combined with psychotherapy.
Keep reading for more details on these therapies.
How Long Does Anxiety Last Untreated?
Anxiety can start to interfere with your ability to function when it’s left untreated. This may present as an overly intense response to a potential threat, or in the absence of actual danger.
Frequent or persistent intrusive symptoms of anxiety may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders include:
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- separation anxiety disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- panic disorder
Any of these conditions can cause significant problems with mental health, relationships and performance at work or school.
Some risk factors for developing chronic anxiety disorders involve:
- exposure to significant stressful and negative events
- family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions
- health conditions such as thyroid problems or heart arrhythmia
It’s estimated that 31.1 percent of adults in the United States experiences anxiety disorders at some point in their lifetimes.
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Does Anxiety Disorder Ever Go Away?
Anxiety can have you feeling trapped — and once you feel this way, it’s difficult to know how or if you can ever feel better.
If you suffer from anxiety, take heart. Studies show that these simple anxiety-reducing habits can go a long way toward improving how you feel.
1. Acknowledge Anxious Feelings
By hiding how you feel for months or years, you perpetuate the anxiety by assuming it’s your fault. There is nothing inherently wrong with who you are. You simply suffer from anxiety.
By acknowledging and sharing them, you open the door toward feeling better.
2. Learn The Strategies
Educate yourself by learning strategies to immediately deal with anxiety symptoms. The National Institute of Anxiety and Stress has just made available some free information to help you reduce anxiety symptoms quickly, easily, and effectively.
3. Use Power Language
Mind-body research shows the words you use, out loud or in your head, have a powerful effect on how you feel.
Replace victim words with “power” language to help relieve anxiety. Power words promote feeling self-worth and personal power.
Let your body know it’s okay to release anxiety by not identifying with it and calling it “my anxiety”.
Other statements like, “I can’t control my anxiety” becomes “I can control anxiety, and I’m learning skills to conquer it.”
The statement: “Why do I always feel so anxious?” becomes “I often feel anxious, but not all of the time.”
The statement: “I shouldn’t be late for dinner” becomes “Unfortunately, I could be late for dinner, and it’ll be okay if I am.”
4. Inner Power
Your inner power is a muscle just like any other muscle to tone. The more you use it, the more toned it becomes and the more you are able to accomplish.
Every time you practice a healthy life strategy, you actually increase your ability to conquer anxiety. With practice, new skills become automatic. This is how you create lasting freedom from anxiety.
5. Small, Achievable Goals
Anxiety sufferers tend to set unrealistically high expectations for themselves. To counteract this tendency, set goals you can easily accomplish when you’re learning skills to handle stress and reduce anxiety.
For example, if your goal is to integrate deep breathing into your life, start by practicing one-minute intervals three or four times a day and work your way up to longer, instead of an hour all at once.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are different from a typical run-in with anxiety because they’re more intense.
With intense anxiety, it can occur frequently and seemingly out of the blue. It can last longer than needed for the situation and worsens over time if left untreated.
There are different types of anxiety disorders. If a person has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), they could experience:
- Feeling restless, wound up, or on edge
- Concentration, focus problems
- Excessive worrying
- Sleep deprived or other sleep problems
If you’re experiencing anxiousness with these symptoms for six months or longer, find a good psychotherapist to treat anxiety disorders. Common talk therapy doesn’t usually address the fears underlying the issues people with anxiety experience.
Treating anxiety disorders varies, but most people can be helped. Seek treatment options with a medical professional who works with any of these modalities:
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has been demonstrated to improve the symptoms of several mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression.
EFT tapping is an effective way to reduce symptoms such as excessive worry, irritability, sleeping difficulties and difficulty concentrating.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is primarily used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It offers new hope for people struggling with overwhelming fears. Similar therapies are:
- Eye Movement Integration (EMI)
- Havening Technique
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that helps people figure out what their triggers are. CBT also helps people learn how to manage cues and defuse them. Benefits are usually seen in 12 to 16 weeks.
CBT focuses on how thoughts and feelings drive the symptoms.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of CBT that teaches you to become mindful, leading you to feel calm more and more.
It focuses on helping you examine the emotional triggers for you by defusing symptoms.
- Biofeedback lets you watch your own brain-wave patterns, with a therapist, on an electroencephalograph and gradually you learn to control the waves.
This teaches you to achieve a more relaxed state at will.
- Exposure therapy focuses on helping to reduce feelings of anxiety, distress, or fear that a person may have due to a disorder or previous trauma.
With exposure therapy, psychologists create a safe environment in which to “expose” people to things they fear and avoid in a safe environment, reducing fear and avoidance.
Medication, with doctor’s supervision, may help to effectively manage symptoms, depending on the severity, other medical conditions and individual circumstances.
Why Does My Anxiety Never Go Away?
Hightened feelings out of proportion to a situation or hindering your ability to function could mean an anxiety disorder is the problem.
These are signs and symptoms describing different types of anxiety disorders. The most common are:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): This involves having unwanted, intrusive thoughts compelling you to engage in repetitive behaviors.
The unwanted thoughts are obsessions, while the repetitive behaviors are the compulsions. Excessive cleaning, excessive hand washing, or checking of things, such as locks on doors, are examples of OCD.
- Panic disorder: People with panic disorder experience episodes of overwhelming physical and psychological distress known as panic attacks.
These attacks can be unpredictable, adding to the anxiety about having them. “Panic attacks may occur with other mental disorders such as depression or PTSD,” the APA writes.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This disorder develops after you experience or witness a deeply traumatic event.
PTSD can bring on highly intense and disturbing thoughts, feelings, dreams, and flashbacks that make it difficult for a person to move on after the traumatic event has passed.
- Social anxiety disorder: People with social anxiety disorder are extremely uncomfortable with any social interactions they fear could bring them discomfort, embarrassment, humiliation, or rejection, like:
- Enclosed spaces
- Public transportation
- They avoid social situations
They will either work to avoid it or suffer through it, feeling anxious about the next attack the entire time.
- Phobias: Phobias are intense, lingering fears of an object or situation, or even an activity.
My Anxiety Went Away On Its Own
Anxiety never stays at one level. It oscillates up and down, often influenced by what you’re thinking about.
Accept that you’re feeling anxious so you’re no longer fighting it.
When you fight the feeling, it could sound like:
- “This is awful! I can’t cope!”
- “Something bad is going to happen”.
And then what happens? You get more anxious.
You also might attempt to manage these feelings by:
- Avoiding situations you believe could cause you to be anxious
- You may attempt to manage anxious thoughts by ruminating or doing things to make sure you’re safe
However, those strategies are accepting a life with self imposed limits. They only work in the short term, if at all. Anxious feelings can come roaring back, often worse than before.
If you can stay with the feeling or stay with the disturbing thoughts long enough and say to yourself: “It’s okay that I’m feeling this way,” and breathe, the anxiety is likely to dissipate on it’s own.
You’re accepting the feeling and distancing yourself from it by not owning it. You feel anxious, that’s not who you are.
Does Anxiety Go Away With Medication?
Once you understand the type of anxiety you’re dealing with, you can start to explore measures with a physician or mental health professional who can help you manage the symptoms.
However, that doesn’t mean you should immediately head to your doctor to get a prescription.
Many people think medication is a magic bullet to feeling better, but in reality, it can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan which includes other interventions, such as lifestyle changes and therapy.
Anti anxiety medication for short term treatment can be useful for alleviating the symptoms and is often prescribed in conjunction with other therapies.
They merely help manage the symptoms and some types of anxiety drugs can be habit-forming and are usually prescribed on a short-term or as-needed basis.
Psychotherapy however, with or without medication, is often considered a fundamental aspect of treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.
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How To Make Anxiety Go Away Forever?
The way you cope or handle things in life has a direct impact on how much anxiety you experience – tweak the way you’re coping, therefore, and you can feel less anxious.
Here are some of the top coping skills that have emerged from a study at the University of Cambridge:
- Do It Badly
People often want to do something “perfectly” or to wait for the “perfect time” before starting. All that does is cause stress – and feeling anxious.
Instead, why not start by “doing it badly”, without worrying about how it will turn out. This makes it much easier to begin and you’ll find you’re completing tasks much more quickly than before.
You’ll have the courage to try new things and add a little fun to everything.
- Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make. We all make them.
If you feel like you’ve embarrassed yourself in a situation, rather than criticizing yourself – simply realise that you have this impulse to blame yourself. Then drop the negative thought and redirect your attention back to the task at hand or whatever you were doing.
- Wait To Worry
If something went wrong and you begin to worry because you think you screwed up, wait. Postpone your worry. Set aside 10 minutes each day during which you can worry about things.
You’ll find you won’t see the situation as bothersome or worrisome when you come back to it later.
- Find Purpose By Helping Others
If you spend very little time helping others or none at all, then you’re at a high risk of mental illness.
Regardless how much we work or the amount of money we make, true happiness is felt when we share our love and care with others.
This doesn’t mean we need praise. Merely doing something for someone else takes the spotlight off of us (and our anxieties and worries
Set small, achievable goals which will help take you farther than you can imagine over time.
Now is always the perfect time if you’re experiencing anxiety. Stop waiting and just take the first step.
There are many resources available to you — books, courses, doctors, counselors, support groups, and more.
Let us know if you enjoyed this blog post ✅ by leaving a comment and please share it with anyone you know who may be dealing with panic attacks or any other anxiety disorders.