High Anxiety: Setbacks On The Road To Recovery

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Man walking path out of high anxiety

High anxiety is a learned behavior that is deeply rooted within us when we’ve experienced prolonged panic attacks. When trying to unlearn these behaviors we experience many setbacks on our road to recovery.

When you make the decision to battle your anxiety, the protective side of your personality would rather keep things the way they are. Your protective side prefers avoidance and keeping you safe from potential harm.

It’s the part of you that says:

“Let’s stay in our comfort zone today. At least we’re safe here!”

It almost feels as if there are two different conversations happening in our head. Both sides want to keep you safe, but one side knows that constant “safety seeking” is really no safety at all. To truly escape the grip of anxiety disorder, we must be willing to explore unknown territory. This conversation will happen over and over again. It is important to choose the path that avoids so-called “safety.”

When we begin to explore new possibilities, your protective side is hiding in the shadows ready to jump in and “save” you from any situation that may bring up anxious thoughts.

The more progress you make for yourself, the more your protective side resists change. This conflict can bring on more anxiety and fuels the fire even more. This may even bring on new triggers of anxiety disorder you haven’t experienced before as your protective side fights to gain control.

You may be having a great week and think you’ve finally got these anxious thoughts handled, but then your protective side pops up and whispers in your ear something like:

“Great work! We’re not worried about that dizzy feeling anymore… But what’s that heat pounding thing mean?”

“Hmmm something seems not right about all this.. LET’S GET WORRIED!”

“We haven’t had a good panic attack in a week. That probably means a big one is right around the corner!”

You think to yourself, “how could I be having these thoughts? I must not be able to really handle this at all.” Your confidence begins to fade. When your confidence is down you begin to obsess and focus on how you feel and the anxiety disorder cycle continues.

This is a setback. Here is how you deal with it.

Solving Setbacks When Recovering From High Anxiety

Setbacks happen. Like any good training program, real change doesn’t happen without a few bumps in the road. If real change was easy, everyone would be able to simply flip a switch and change a bad behavior.

But setbacks does not mean you’re not making progress, precisely the opposite. It means YOU ARE making progress. The protective side of you is fighting its last breath to gain control.

To move past setbacks, you need to simply accept them into the process.

Setbacks are simply part of the healing process. To move past high anxiety, you need those conflicting voices in your head to work together to make your protective side realize there really isn’t anything to fear at all.

The protective side resists change, all you need to do is tell it that everything is going to be ok.

You may want to think of the protective side of yourself as a small child that needs guidance. This child doesn’t like to take risks and would rather stay inside where they are safe.

The child just needs reassurance that everything is going to be ok and there is nothing out there to fear.

Once you accept and overcome a setback, you may experience rapid progress if you fully engage with your protective self.

When you begin a working relationship with your protective self that takes each experience into consideration, you have now sealed your recovery. All that is required of you moving forward is that you continue to educated and maintain your protective side.

Continue to explore new territory and reassure yourself that you are safe and confident. High anxiety will seem to melt away.

Always reward yourself on all your previous successes. Replay yourself conquering your fear and gaining confidence. Play them over and over like a movie in your head.

Be proud of your experiences. You are not a cowardly victim, but a survivor of a terrifying experience. What’s magical about overcoming high anxiety is that once you reach the point of fully recovery, its hard to remember what you were scared about at all.

It’s as if the giant monster you were trying to defeat just vanished into thin air without you having to do anything at all.

Share your achievements with others. High anxiety is something we shouldn’t feel ashamed about. You would be shocked at how many others experience the exact same feelings you do.

Read my story here. You may be able to relate to a lot of what I’ve experienced.

This program will help guide you on your journey to recovery. Take that first step!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing severe or persistent anxiety, please consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance and support.

Henry Flury

Henry Flury, the guitarist from Butcher Babies, shares his journey of overcoming panic attacks to help others facing the same issue. He started writing to fill the gap in panic attack education online. His blog focuses on understanding anxious thoughts and offers guidance on managing panic attacks for anyone dealing with panic disorder.

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