Is There A Cure For Anxiety? Yes, Maybe, Sort Of
Is there a cure for anxiety? It’s easy to search for “how to cure anxiety” and be left feeling disappointed when you don’t come across the magic bullet that answers all your needs.That’s exactly what I used to do. I was sick of taking medication and just wanted a cure. I became depressed when I couldn’t find an answer to this question.
I searched and searched for that one answer that would take ALL of my anxiety away.
Basically, I just didn’t ever want to feel anxious ever again. In reality, how realistic is that? What would the world look like if we never felt anxiety?
Would you be totally at peace if you never had another anxious day? I don’t think so. When I was suffering with GAD I used to do things to take my mind off it. When I was busy, I almost had a sense of guilt for not feeling anxious and like I was doing something wrong.
I didn’t feel comfortable unless I was acting how I knew how to, that was being anxious.
The point I’m trying to make is, you can’t cure anxiety. There’s no magic bullet that can totally remove a human emotion. If there was we probably try and cure hate and fear whilst we were at it.
Let’s Open Our Eyes For A Minute..
What I realised after searching the internet for weeks and weeks was, there was just a bunch of health articles loosely explaining how to cure anxiety in 5 easy steps.
Let’s get real, I mean, I wanna get really real with you for a minute…
Yes I understand that when were in our anxious minds we frantically search for how to cure anxiety because we’re desperate. Hey, that might even be the reason why you landed on this page.
But I’m not going to feed you bullshit answers. Instead I want to give you a reality check. It’s one that I had to face before I could get over my anxiety disorder.
You can’t ‘cure’ anxiety.
We need anxiety. I need it. You need it.
Instead what you can do is maintain it back to a ‘normal’ level by using certain techniques.
You need to worry about walking out in the road. If you didn’t, you’d walk out even if a car was coming your way.
You need to worry about if you’re going to break your leg if you jump off that big rock.
You need to worry that you’ll have a heart attack if you eat 10 pies a day for 10 years.
Okay..so maybe the last example there was a bit ‘out there’ but you get my point.
Treat You Anxiety Like Losing Weight
When someone asks me ‘is there a cure for anxiety?’ I always like to make the comparison to losing weight.
It’s fair to say that many people want to bypass the hard work of diet and exercise to get a beach body. Maybe us humans are lazy? Okay, we definitely are.
By nature we look for shortcuts and ‘easy routes’ to solve our problems. We do this every day all day.
Losing weight however, is the perfect example of this. Because of this, a million and one companies sell weight loss products that promise you’ll lose weight in 3 weeks.
This is of course bullshit, but, we love the thought of this and so we get drawn in to the promise like a mouse to cheese.
Deep down we all know that we need to change our lifestyle, our eating habits and our relationship with food. Sound like too much effort? If it does, you’ll probably never lose weight or at least keep it off.
I get it, waiting for results is frustrating. However, this is how it is for retraining your mind to be less anxious.
You can’t simply cure anxiety.
Is There A Cure For Anxiety? Well No, But…
So, we know we can’t get rid of our anxiety or ‘cure’ it 100% (because we’re humans that require a vast array of emotions to function properly), we also know that taking steps to lower our anxiety levels isn’t going to happen overnight.
Even if you receive medication from your doctor, it doesn’t start to work right away. Your body and mind is complicated, just get over it.
So although there is no ‘cure’ for anxiety, there are a TON of different ways you can get your anxiety back down to a manageable level and even to a point where you don’t consider it a disorder anymore.
This is what I did. I stopped looking for a ‘magic cure’ and came back down to reality. I ditched my way of thinking about anxiety and started to learn more about why I felt how I did and how to control it down until it was no longer at the front of my mind.
Be Self Aware Of The Reality Of Anxiety
The first step in this journey to learning ‘is there a cure for anxiety?’ is becoming more self aware of what you’re actually asking.
You have to understand that having an anxiety disorder means that you actually have to meet the recovery half way. You have to do something your end to make things change.
Instead of searching for an anxiety cure, realise that feeling anxious will be part of you day to day emotions whether at a high level or a low level.
For example, although I consider myself recovered from my anxiety, that doesn’t mean I don’t have anxiety.
I still feel the emotion of anxiety everyday whether I’m very conscious of it or not. If I didn’t I think there would actually be more wrong with me then right.
I can spend a whole day at ease but then something can happen to make me feel anxious or uneasy just the same as something can happen to make me happy, sad or angry.
The key here is to see your emotions for what they are – passing moments in time.
I realised that I was attaching too much judgment to my feelings of anxiety. Although it was clear I had an anxiety disorder, it was amplified no doubt by my constant reassurance to myself that I was always highly anxious and ‘that was just the person I was.’
However, this simply wasn’t true in reality.
It’s the same as someone who puts on a front as always being happy and at ease. Many times, these people have a hard time expressing how down they can feel.
If There’s No Cure For Anxiety, What Can Be Done?
There are plenty of ways we can start to overcome our anxiety disorders. One of those ways is to practise mindfulness. Mindfulness is a long term exercise for anxiety. When you start to feel disconnected from the world around you in a certain moment you can practise grounding exercises for anxiety.
To overcome your anxiety disorder, you have to lay down the foundation first. You can’t jump on an exercise and expect to be ‘cured’ right away. This foundation comes in the form of understanding how to change and how to change your lifestyle.
Now I’d like to share some of the exact steps and thought patterns I adopted to get my anxiety back down to a normal level. Again, there is no one way to do this, instead I have learnt that adopting healthy mental habits and actively pursuing exercises not only reduces your anxiety but builds your confidence and endurance which later serves you as you continue to overcome anxiety when it pops back up…
Here are some of the steps that I took to overcome my anxiety;
1. I Changed The Way I Approached Anxiety
I layed down the foundation that would allow me to have long term relief from my anxiety disorder.This was done by understanding that my anxiety was going to be with me forever.
The difference was that I knew I had the power to alter the levels by the way I viewed it. Think of it like looking down from a birds eye view of all of your emotions.
Anger, happiness, sadness, joy – anxiety was just one of them fighting for it’s own place in my daily life.
I understood that the day I felt more anxious than usual was the day I started to focus on it and give it a big part of my life.
This meant that there was no room left for the rest of my emotions which lead to me finding it really hard to be happy because my anxiety overrode even happiness.
When you can get out of your mind, even temporarily, you can become self aware of what’s really going on in your mind and de-clutter it.
2. Practising Mindfulness
Mindfulness gets a lot of attention these days. It’s been proven that an 8 week mindfulness program can have the same effects as CBT & antidepressants.
It’s great because it’s easy to get started with mindfulness and it doesn’t have to take up a big part of your day. Instead of being a cure for anxiety, mindfulness is an ongoing treatment that will allow you to see things in a different light.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
- reconnect with the world around you
- reconnect with your body
- understand the world around you
- reduce blood pressure
- improve blood circulation
- reduce anxiety
- reduce stress
You can start to understand the world of mindfulness living with a book I always recommend that helped me get started;
Is there a cure for anxiety? I can tell you, playing is one of the best ways to reduce your anxiety. Since I’ve been a dad I’ve come to realise something – playing is important.
This can be in the form of anything active, sports, drawing, running, playing with your child etc.
I realised that I’d lost touch with what I actually enjoyed doing and what gave me a real kick in life. That was drawing and just having fun. Consumed by my thoughts and anxiety for so long left little room for playing and simply enjoying myself.
Look I get it, shit happens. Bad things happen that put you into a spiral of depression and sadness. As we get older we don’t feel like playing and just having simple fun.
Playing, or doing what I love to do puts me back into a frame of mind I used to be in as a young child. It literally transports me back to when I was small and just enjoyed fooling around.
Making time for my passions in what seemed like a mundane, depressing world shone light on what actually made me feel alive.
For me, playing comes in the form of writing on this blog, drawing and playing outside with my son.
Make sure you can make time for what it is you love doing and stop oppressing those things.
4. Getting Back In The Present
Never feeling like I was ‘really there’ was crippling me. I never used to (and sometimes don’t) feel like I’m living in the present moment.
I know why this is but it’s taken me years to realise why…
I spent years watching re-runs, prerecorded programs and shows with no substance. To add to this, I used Facebook every 20 minutes of everyday for no reason. It had all become a habit.
I now hate watching things like The Big Bang and scrolling through my feed. It’s all meaningless. Call me a cynic, but, why the heck do we really care what actors are doing? why do we feel the need to check what our ‘friends’ are doing every minute of everyday?
It’s an escape.
We use these things as entertainment. Want to know how to ‘cure’ anxiety? Quitting these will be one of the quickest ways to lower your anxiety.
The problem when we’re constantly trying to escape our lives is – we became ungrounded. We can’t face up to what is bothering us so we lose ourselves in mind-numbing-at-best shows and fancy pictures of dinners out.
I don’t give a shit about that stuff anymore.
Overcoming my anxiety was about more than just lowering my anxiety, I was anxious a lot because I didn’t feel like my life had meaning. I wanted to feel real life. Real life isn’t sitting in front of a TV and watching other peoples do things with their lives.
It’s about doing it yourself.
That’s one of the reasons why Projectenergise.com came about. It’s one of the ways I can make this life of mine meaningful. I get to help people, share advice and make an impact. So although I’m not better than anyone, I choose to use my time doing something productive rather than something that’ll give me short term entertainment.
I want long term fulfilment, not to live everyday like I’m trying to escape from my life. I want to face it head on, just like you should.
Is There A Cure For Anxiety? No.
In reality there is no such thing as a cure for anxiety. Knowing how to lower your anxiety takes a little time and effort on your part. If you incorporate my advice about approaching your anxiety in a more realistic way, you can start to see it differently.
Once you see it differently, you start to work on it. Allow yourself to become aware of the bigger picture here, with you anxiety only being one of your emotions and feelings that can be reduced down. Allow yourself to understand what it is you like doing and stop oppressing it.
Then, take yourself away from meaningless entertainment and live a more mindful day to day routine that actually means something to you. Give or unveil your purpose, the thing you actually care about.
It’s all about giving yourself the permission – because you deserve happiness.
Here’s to your success – Sean