Well, once a fear is established, it takes time and effort to extinguish.
This is no different for the fear, “What if my condition is so bad that I'll never get rid of my chronic anxiety symptoms?”
To extinguish a fear, we have to be convinced that the threat is no longer dangerous.
We can convince ourselves by looking at and trusting in the evidence rather than envisioning and trusting in our imagination.
Remember, worry is "imagining" the worst. Worry is pretending something bad is going to happen and then believing the imagined threat is true.
Worry is "fantasy thinking."
That’s it. It’s something coming from our imagination and often not based on reality.
Just because we can imagine something doesn't mean it can actually come true.
This is where you need to trust in the facts and not in your imagination.
The facts are:
- Anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress.
- To eliminate them, we merely need to reduce the body's stress and give it time to recover.
- When we do that, the body recovers.
- When the body recovers, it stops sending symptoms.
In the meantime, your body will continue to exhibit symptoms UNTIL it has recovered. The body can't do anything but.
It's unrealistic to think that a body that's hyperstimulated and symptomatic will instantly stop exhibiting symptoms just because we want it to or think we’ve done enough work to stop them. That's like expecting water to not feel wet because we don't like how wet feels.
A body that’s hyperstimulated WILL present symptoms UNTIL it’s no longer hyperstimulated.
Cause and effect: Overly stress the body, and it will become hyperstimulated. Hyperstimulation causes symptoms.
Cause and effect: Eliminate stress and hyperstimulation, the body has no choice but to recover. As the body recovers from hyperstimulation, it stops sending symptoms.
The problem is that anxious people worry, which stresses the body. Worry prevents recovery because we’re giving the body what it doesn’t need – and that’s more stress – rather than what it does need, and that’s less stress and rest.
Worrying about recovery stalls recovery. Worrying that you’ll never get rid of your symptoms sends your body in the opposite direction of recovery.
This is why worry is a destructive behavior rather than helpful. This is also why it’s important to contain worry so that you give your body what it needs to recover: and that’s reduction in stress, increase in rest, and time to recover.
Now that said, no one is going to prevent you from worrying. That’s containment work you need to do for yourself. If you continue to scare yourself with your imagination, your body won’t recover…because it can’t.
But if you contain your worry, reduce stress, increase rest so that your body can recover, it will…in time. When you give your body what it needs to recover, it will because it HAS to.
Now, some people then worry, “What if I can’t stop worrying?”
Here again, is where we scare ourselves with our imagination.
But again, the facts are: all of us are in charge of what we think and what we allow our thoughts to dwell on. Therefore, all of us can contain worry, which will bring about recovery.
So it’s not that you CAN’T contain worry. But maybe that you aren’t practiced enough yet. The more you practice, the more proficient you’ll become. And the more proficient you become, the faster the body can recover.
As you can see, there is no validity to the threat that you won’t recover. Therefore, there is no good reason to believe the imagined threat.
It’s, again, fantasy thinking. It’s not true.
I’ve not seen anyone not recover when they do the right work. I’ve seen lots of people not recover because they don’t do the right work.
Again, that’s because if you don’t change the cause, it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to get a different effect.
But if you do the work of containment, which is stress reduction, rest, and remaining patient, you will get the hard evidence you are looking for.
As you witness your body improving, albeit slowly at first, this evidence will unseat the imagined threats.
As you slowly become convinced that you can contain and eliminate your symptoms, you will extinguish this fear.
So in the meantime, trust in the evidence, and all of the people who have walked this road before you.
The road to recovery is well known and well-traveled. Trust in the hard evidence and not what your imagination can conjure up.
Give your body what it needs, and it will recover…every time!
It’s important to recognize that eliminating anxiety symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve addressed your anxiety issues.
Since anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress, all we need to do to eliminate them is reduce the body’s stress and give it time to recover. The body does everything else.
To eliminate anxiety disorder, however, we have to identify and successfully address the underlying factors that cause issues with anxiety disorder. This work is what we refer to as Level Two recovery.
You can read more about the two levels of recovery by selecting the link in the comments section.
Unless the underlying factors that cause issues with anxiety are successfully addressed, problematic anxiety and its symptoms can return again and again.
If you are having trouble with anxiety, worry, containment, eliminating hyperstimulation, or extinguishing fears, I (Jim Folk) encourage you to connect with one of our recommended anxiety disorder therapists.
Working with a therapist is the most effective way to overcome issues with anxiety disorder and its symptoms.
A therapist can help you identify and successfully address the underlying factors that commonly cause issues with anxiety disorder.
Addressing these underlying factors can eliminate a struggle with anxiety disorder once and for all.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t do Level Two recovery work. And while they might experience some symptom relief using a self-help approach, it’s usually not very long before they are back in a struggle with anxiety disorder and symptoms again.
Rebounds into anxiety disorder are always caused by unidentified or unaddressed underlying factors.
Our passion is to help people overcome anxiety disorder and return to a wonderful life free of anxiety problems.
This is why we recommend therapy, since therapy is almost always the only way to gain lasting peace from anxiety disorder.
Yes, therapy requires personal investment and work. But isn’t the rest of your life worth it?
It was for me. Had I not done this work, I wouldn’t have recovered. I would have spent the last 30+ years on top of the previous 12+ years struggling with severe anxiety and symptoms.
But the last 30+ years have been great because I did my work.
So I encourage you, do your recover work now and get it done. The rest of your life will thank you for it.
No one needs to struggle with anxiety disorder. The road to recovery is well known and well-traveled. If we can do it, so can you.
Common Anxiety Symptoms
- For a comprehensive list of Anxiety Disorders Symptoms Signs, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.
- Anxiety and panic attacks symptoms can be powerful experiences. Find out what they are and how to stop them.
- How to stop an anxiety attack and panic.
- Free online anxiety tests to screen for anxiety. Two minute tests with instant results. Such as:
- Anxiety 101 is a summarized description of anxiety, anxiety disorder, and how to overcome it.
Return to our Anxiety Videos.
anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including How To Overcome Fear Of Never Getting Rid Of Chronic Anxiety Symptoms?