Today’s title ‘How long does it take to recover from anxiety’ has no definite answer and is like saying ‘How long is a piece of string?’
People can suffer to varying degrees with their anxiety and mainly go on to develop different habits and beliefs. The way in which people experience suffering can be down to many reasons and no two people’s experiences are the same.
What influences how long it takes to recover from anxiety?
Overcoming anxiety is firstly dependent on having the knowledge and understanding of what is needed to begin recovery. Once this knowledge is gained and put into practice, there are many factors in the amount of time it takes people to recover
The length of time you have suffered.
People who have suffered longer may have built up more habits of avoidance, more deep-rooted subconscious beliefs and memory of suffering than the person who has experienced suffering for a few months. Because of this, it may take more time and inner work to regain their former self.
2. Knowledge and understanding
People who have built up their knowledge and understanding of the condition are far more able to fall out of old destructive patterns of behaviour and become more allowing of their thoughts and emotions than someone who has little to no knowledge.
3. How brave you are willing to be
If you can develop a more fearless attitude towards living your life alongside anxiety, then this will have a significant bearing on your recovery. You get your life back by going out there and living it and not letting how you feel stop you. This life is yours to experience; it does not belong to anxiety; it belongs to you.
4. Looking after yourself
Looking after yourself mentally and physically will help you immensely. This means cutting down on all the worry and stress and taking more mental timeouts. Having a good diet and getting outdoors in the fresh air or taking up some form of exercise can also be beneficial.
Trying to get to a destination in the fastest time possible will just create needless struggle and effort and will only lead to impatience and disappointment. Recovery is down to many factors and patience is undoubtedly one of them. You need to be kind to yourself and allow your mind and body to heal at their own pace.
Many factors can help speed up recovery, but the simple answer is no one can say for sure how long it will take. So don’t get frustrated as to where you are currently or try to compare yourself with others.
When I started on my path to healing, I had no interest in how long it would take to recover; for me, it was all about progressing in the right direction and seeing where that took me. Progress could be slow at times, and then there could also be some huge leaps. But I took it all in my stride without demanding too much, as long as I knew I was on the right road then I was happy.
This lack of patience for many is the very reason I rarely tell others how long it took me to recover, as people may then compare my time frame with themselves and think that they should be further down the road than they are. Frustration could then set in, and they may start battling and searching for the instant cure once again.
My recovery from anxiety did take time
I did not recover by waking up one day and it was all behind me. My healing came in layers. I just began to have more good than bad days, and my mind gradually started to regain its clarity. I would say as soon as I saw these improvements then I knew I was on the right path and it was only a matter of time before I was back to my old self.
I don’t even recall any particular day where I said, that’s it ‘I am fully recovered’. It just crept up on me slowly, and near the end, the symptoms were so minor that they did not influence me anymore. I had regained my life well before I would say I no longer felt any symptoms.
Recovery is there for everyone; I wasn’t special or lucky. Many people who first came to me now send me some lovely emails and pictures of them living their life once again. I recognise some of these people from years ago when they first posted on my blog. Most were in a terrible state, so lost and confused and had no hope that they could ever recover.
All they ever needed was understanding and time.
When you finally have the knowledge to start recovery and can see the improvements you are making, then how long it takes won’t even matter, you will just know that it’s inevitable.
If you would like to read my personal story of how I overcame anxiety, then you will find this and much more in my best selling book ‘At last a life’. The book has sold over 100,000 copies and is recommended by many therapists and is now on prescription at many doctors surgeries.