The 4 stages of recovery from anxiety
Anxiety: In the process of transformation of anxiety, we go through several stages; I want to talk about what in my experience I have seen that therapeutically speaking we need to go through so that you identify where you are and where you are going in your personal process.
The stages are spiraling
The process of recovery from anxiety is not linear, (in reality few things in life are), but rather is spiraling upward. Sometimes we think that we advance a lot because of the way we feel good, and suddenly we feel bad again and believe that we go back, but there are no setbacks, in fact, we are going up by a spiral in ancestry that touches each one of these stages in each moment, but each time from a greater perspective.
In each of these stages, you need to remember the previously learned learning and apply it when you have presented again situations because that is where you reinforce confidence and inner strength.
Anxiety does not go away on its own
I’ve seen a lot of people say “I’ll be gone”, “I’ll wait for it to happen”, and then … I guess in small intensities of anxiety, yes, but if it’s been more than 3 days, or you’ve been a year with moments sudden anxiety, I think it is a time that you progress through the stages of recovery.
What are the stages?
I have identified 4 main steps with steps in each of them. These are:
- Initial stage
- Working stage
- Stage of transformation
- Maintenance stage
- Initial stage
- You discover that what happens to you is anxiety (you can deny it, avoid it or embarrass you)
- Do you understand what it is about
- You stop fighting, you accept that you need to evolve
- You take responsibility for yourself and what you feel
(Symptoms are at the top)
In this stage, when your body has already sent you the strongest signals and you feel at first disturbed, confused and extremely vulnerable to what you are feeling, you also feel surprised and even you can enter into denial, you may feel ashamed to “have something bad “, or, you look and look in the clinical analyzes something that proves that it is not mental but physical what happens to you. (We do this by avoiding taking responsibility for what is mental and emotional).
It may be that before this you were already feeling anxiety, but you suppressed it in some ways, such as going out partying, drinking alcohol, having conflicting relationships, through sexuality, immersing yourself in work or blaming others.
But in this stage is when your body already makes it clear that you have something, you search the internet, go to the doctor or talk to a friend and you discover that what you have is anxiety.
Many people stay in the first step of this stage, in a continuous and vicious cycle, seeking from doctor to doctor the miraculous medicine that can extract them from that state, or, they attend to the psychiatrist hoping that the droplets will take away the anguish, or maybe they do go to a psychologist but at the third session they stop going because they feel too weird going to therapy.
But surely if you are reading this blog is because you went to the next step of this stage is to understand what happens to you, you read about it, you listen to different opinions, you search the internet, and so on. However, understanding what is happening to you is not enough to free you from anxiety.
Many people also remain cyclized at this point in which from understanding what happens to them so many things to feel better, but from fear, struggle and control. And although they take natural products and live a more relaxed life, somehow they continue to feel anxiety, and this is because they continue internally fighting against it, generating the cortisol that keeps it active.
That is why it is important to move to the third step of this first stage, which is acceptance, to stop fighting, to accept that you need guidance, help, support, and resources to get ahead of it. You accept that you are not going to go alone and in a way you surrender to the fight. You have to know that there are people who spend years to be able to go to this stage, because they are afraid that when they accept anxiety they increase or accept it in their life, but accepting does not mean resignation, it means that you are ready to move on to the next stage of real work.
This is why this first stage ends with taking responsibility for what you feel, which will allow you to go to the stage of work, where you find resources, therapies and medicines that help you to transform yourself inside (not sleeping) or eliminate anxiety), but to learn new tools that help you transform it into something more.
- You learn to relax and take care of your body
- You learn to manage your emotions
- You stop believing in thoughts
- You face the fears and you realize that they are irrational
- You regain confidence in yourself
(Symptoms come and go until a time of stability passes)
At this stage the main thing you need to learn is to relax your body and take care of it, to see for your physical and emotional needs, learn to manage what you feel without accumulating emotions, as well as techniques to stop believing in your negative thoughts, which will allow you to face the fears. All this will help you to conclude this stage by regaining confidence in yourself because you will have realized that you can face what you fear and stop believing in lies.
At this stage, I consider that it is very important to accompany psychological and therapeutic techniques, whether learned by you or guided by a professional because when we are immersed in our emotional and mental tangle, we have a hard time observing it from outside and get a new perspective. We need to speak out loud, let off steam and learn to do what we do not know how to do, which is what initially generated anxiety.
It is important that you recognize that you do not know it at all, and not because of ignorance or ill-will, but because in reality we are taught little about emotional intelligence and how to have realistic thoughts. As a society, we bring many beliefs that hurt us as well as unwise lifestyles. So this is where you open up to a new world of therapies and specialized techniques, which give you light on the true causes of what happens to you and how to heal.
Once you transform your thoughts, express your emotions and face your fears, then you feel yourself and trust yourself to relive your life. This is what allows you to move on to the transformation stage.
Stage of transformation
- You have more moments of light and peace
- You make decisions from your authenticity
- You recover hope, meaning, and optimism for living
- You know, you feel and you live free
(Symptoms appear from time to time; you rarely apply what you learned and do not scare)
That’s right, the transformation happens all the time during the stages of anxiety, but once you do the work is when you discover yourself different, although a lot different stranger, but different authentic and genuine, you feel yourself again and you begin to take the reins of your life.
This is where you return to glimpse the optimism and the motivation to dream again, and you begin to make decisions from your authenticity, joining perhaps with people in your same tuning, performing activities that are more related to this new lifestyle in which you are looking living without so much control and with more confidence.
This stage is where you reconnect with the natural rhythm of things and stop feeling strange to life, is perhaps a stage that lasts in its pure state for a couple of months or maybe a couple of years, because eventually you will face new challenges that will put you to put into practice what you have been learning and continue to widen in your own evolution.
- You know the things you need to look for to feel good (and enjoy them)
- You learn to maintain your balance along with the constant movement of life
- Do not panic or alarm if the anxiety casts you a call from time to time
- You know the difference between anxiety and everything else you experience
- You live your life remembering anxiety as a great messenger ally
(If any symptoms appear it is in small intensity, you listen to what you want to say, make the change and continue with your life)
It is so that through the transformation of anxiety you reach a stage where you immerse yourself in the natural rhythm of life, this means, with moments of stress and moments of relaxation, moments of joy and moments of melancholy perhaps, but without going to extremes of mania or depression.
In the stage of reality, you know that fullness exists and is within your reach, but you dare to experience the everyday of the ups and downs, without this meaning a sacrifice or bad news. As I have experienced, it is that I allow myself to have pleasant and unpleasant emotions but always with the global vision that everything is part of a full human experience.
This is where you realize that you are in a constant learning and evolution and that you are able to choose the lessons you receive from life, as well as your life in general, keeping you aware of not neglecting and continue applying what you learned, you feel good, you know that it was not for the sake of destiny or the product of magic, but that you were responsible for your well-being.
When you are responsible for your well-being, you are responsible for keeping yourself that way. But it is important that you know that you cannot keep yourself in a static and still state, because life is in constant movement, what you need to learn at this stage is what helps you to keep in balance along with the movement.
You do not have to live worried about having anxiety again
Now, it does not mean that you will live your life alert not to fall back into anxiety, and then you will generate it again. It is a question of re-living your life seeing anxiety as a friend who visited you for a while to give you a great learning but returned to your home country, and that if you ever come back, and surely if you answer him and listen to what he has to say, he will not be forced to pack and arrive suddenly.
On the other hand, if you did your job and learned about yourself, emotions and thoughts, then you will also know that not everything you feel is anxiety, that you are able to face the challenges that are presented to you and not because you feel a little evil already returned everything.
You need to know yourself and know how you are beginning to generate anxiety within you so that as I say, do not increase and intensify.
The goal of “illness” or disorders is that you do what you have to do to regain your balance and that you can live your life as you want to live it, not to obsess with them and do the most important thing of your lifetime.
So, from the heart, I want you to reach this stage and close the drawer of anxiety, not out of fear, but out of love for you.