There are often lots of mistakes that we unknowingly make along our anxiety recovery journeys! I made many mistakes throughout my journey, which is why it was so hard to shorten this list to five mistakes. The mistakes I’m sharing with you in this episode are the ones I often see with my clients, students, and myself! And they’re also the ones that can keep you stuck and struggling, which is why I want to shed some light on these things and help you to keep moving forward on your recovery journey. So let’s get into it!
5 Mistakes You’re Making in Your Anxiety Recovery Journey
01. You’re trying to become an expert on anxiety rather than becoming an expert on you.
Let’s be real here for a second… you don’t heal from anxiety by reading all the books, absorbing all of the information, and becoming an expert on anxiety. And don’t get me wrong, this knowledge can certainly be helpful! But anxiety recovery happens when you get hands-on and take healthy action. There’s only so much we can learn from books and podcasts, right? Just like anything else, the rest of the learning comes from hands-on experience!
When I stopped looking for a book or therapist to heal me and started looking inward, the real healing began. I started facing my fears, I stopped trying to figure out anxiety, and I stopped beating myself up. A great therapist or coach can guide you through the tough inner work that comes with anxiety recovery! Lots of the work I do with my students and clients is about looking inward and learning how to navigate anxiety in a healthy way.
02. You’re forcing yourself to face the hard stuff and you’re ignoring all of the ways in which your nervous system isn’t supported.
I see this all the time with my clients and students. And it makes sense to think that the solution to overcoming anxiety is to simply get out and face your fears! But in reality, it’s so much more than that. My 10-week program, Panic to Peace, dives into the work we need to do before we start facing the hard stuff. Because we need to feel supported and prepared to start facing the hard stuff!
When you’re forcing yourself to face the hard things and ignoring all of the ways that you’re not being supported, things start to feel even harder. It’s really helpful to step back and recognize that you have to support yourself and your nervous system in order to face the hard stuff. And when you’re feeling supported, it’ll be a whole lot easier to focus on the things you need to do in order to recover from anxiety!
03. You’re always analyzing why
Lots of us who struggle with anxiety tend to be critical thinkers. And as great as that can be, it’s not the most helpful when it comes to anxiety! You might be trying to understand the ‘why’ of anxiety… but I’m here to tell you that this is only keeping you stuck!
Analyzing the ‘why’ of anxiety might look like wondering…
Why you feel anxious
Why you had a weird symptom
Why you had a panic attack
And, of course, we tend to think that we might solve something by analyzing anxiety. And although this might logically make sense, it’s entirely unhelpful for healing anxiety! Anxiety exists to protect you, so if you’re constantly analyzing anxiety rather than accepting it, it’s going to continue to pop up and try to protect you. Instead, it’s much more helpful to practice allowing anxiety’s presence without trying to solve or resist it. And with time, it’ll stop popping up as much!
04. You’re not giving yourself any grace for feeling anxious.
Here’s what I mean by this… You might not let it be okay for anxiety to pop up, even at moments when it makes sense. You might always be convincing yourself that it can’t pop up or that it shouldn’t, which only fuels its presence! Struggling with an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel anxious. Whether anxiety’s presence makes sense or not, it’s okay. And feeling anxious doesn’t mean you’re not healing.
05. You’re trying to heal perfectly.
So many of us feel an immense amount of pressure to heal from anxiety perfectly. But it’s incredibly important to remember that we’re all human, and the nature of anxiety makes it nearly impossible to do things perfectly every time. So I want to remind you to let yourself be human and let go of perfection. This might be a bit of a shocker, but you can make every mistake on this list and still heal from anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia!
As I mentioned earlier, many of my students and clients have made these mistakes in the past as well. And today, many of them are doing the things they thought they would never be able to do! Here's what one of my former Panic to Peace students recently had to say:
You can read about past Panic to Peace students successes here!
Don’t forget to listen to the full podcast episode for a bonus tip! Until next time, friend, keep taking healthy action.