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Anxiety Recovery - How Long Will It Take?

One of the questions that I get asked most often is, “How long did it take you to overcome anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia?” And every time I get asked this question I think of why somebody is asking me this, and I know that it’s because they want the reassurance that it is possible, and that it’s not going to take them years to do it. So whenever I get asked this question, I bring myself back to when I was struggling, and I ask myself what would have been the most helpful advice for me to receive back then? So here it is!

You know when you’re exercising on a treadmill and you can see how much time there is left before you’re done? In this situation, my brain does one of two things.

Option 1: I keep looking at the time that I have left and I’m relieved that I only have 10 more minutes. The finish line is right there, but the more I look at the time that I have left, the longer and harder it starts to feel. And once I’m in my head, all I can think about is how tired and over it I am. Not to mention feeling a little defeated and in pain.

Option 2: I glance at the time and notice that I have 10 minutes left, and so I throw a shirt over the timer so that I can’t see the time as it passes. And by doing this, I consciously make the decision to shift my mindset and take control. I tell myself, it’s just 10 minutes and I’m going to finish strong. So I push myself, not focusing on the time but instead I focus on the actual work that I have to put in that’s going to get me to the finish line.

See where I’m going with this?