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As the end of the year approaches, it makes us think of what we would like to achieve in the New Year. You hear of people making unrealistic New Years resolutions like “I will lose X amount of weight” or “I will run a marathon” going from no training at all.
When it comes to making anxiety recovery-related goals, it is important to make sure these goals are realistic.
It would be incredibly impractical to set a goal like “I will no longer feel anxiety by the end of the year,” because you wouldn’t know where to start in order to achieve this! It is best to start with setting yourself small goals to challenge yourself, depending on where you are at in your anxiety recovery.
When I chose to really do something about my anxiety, the first thing I did in order to get myself towards my end goal of learning how to manage my anxiety, was to go on medication. I did this because I needed help to bring my anxiety down before I was able to start helping myself. My doctor then referred me to a counselor, who was able to give me tools to manage my anxiety and enabled me to see where my anxiety came from in the first place.
I would then set myself little challenges that would take myself out of my comfort zone, but not too far so as to get scared and run home again.
For example, I would go on a different route on my afternoon walk, and instead of saying no to social events, I went along to them. I would observe how people communicated with each other and tried it myself when someone spoke to me.
If your main goal is to learn how to manage your anxiety, you need to figure out what triggers your anxiety in the first place.
Then you need to explore different ways of bringing your anxiety down. What works for you? Is it music? Tapping your foot? Touching something soft? Calling a friend? Is it time to consider medication while you’re trying to deal with these underlying factors? These are all things to think about. You have to keep thinking what you can do for yourself and what things make you feel calm and safe.
Anxiety recovery does not have a time limit. You can’t tell yourself that within a certain amount of time, you expect to be able to manage your anxiety, as that could create even more anxiety on top of what you already experience!
It can be a slow process for some, but when it comes to recovering from anxiety, the smaller steps you take, the less likely you are to have a full-blown panic attack, and the more likely you are to recover completely.
In my experience, by setting myself small, achievable goals, I no longer suffer panic attacks on a regular basis and I can now be spontaneous without feeling any anxiety at all. As a reward for myself, I plucked up the courage to travel to the UK, Europe, and Australia on my own, where I learnt so much about myself and I met so many amazing people.
I’m not saying that I no longer struggle with anxiety from time-to-time, but it no longer rules my life like it once did.
Katy has an honours degree in meteorology and an undergraduate degree in geophysics and mathematics. Katy chose to recover from her eating disorder in May 2010 and has never looked back. Throughout her recovery journey, she has struggled with crippling anxiety, which she has now learned to manage and by writing at Libero, she hopes to help others to manage their anxiety, have fun with recovery and learn to live again.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.