10 Minutes

Imagine waking up one day, feeling that the persistent knot you felt in your stomach has finally loosened. You finally start enjoying your morning cup of joe without anxious thoughts racing your mind, and start enjoying conversations that would previously exhaust you.

These subtle yet essential life changes serve as milestones in your recovery pathway!

Healing from anxiety is no less than navigating a complex maze, and the progress can often go unnoticed. Amidst these twists and turns, life drops hints here and there to indicate your progress. Picking up these signs is imperative to appreciate your progress and maintain your momentum toward a balanced state of mind.

So what are the signs you are recovering from anxiety? Let’s explore the subtle daily life changes that prove you are slowly shedding the heavy cloak of anxiety.

According to the World Health Organization, 4% of the global population currently suffers from an anxiety disorder. [1] The disorder is defined as a psychiatric condition that provokes a high level of stress and worry, enough to keep you from normal functioning.

Anxiety-induced stress is typically out of proportion to the factor triggering it. Many people experience these symptoms on most days for at least six months to get a diagnosis.

But what is the chain of events that propels you toward anxiety in the first place?

  • When you behave nervously under stress, it creates anxiety in your mind.
  • This anxiety activates the stress response, pushing the body into a fight-or-flight mode.
  • This hyperactivation, without any dangerous trigger, creates a high stress level in the body.
  • The high-stress levels eventually start manifesting physically and mentally and are termed anxiety symptoms.
  • The overly anxious behavior chronically stresses the body, making the symptoms chronic or long-term.
  • These chronic symptoms eventually become severe enough to be labeled as anxiety disorder, interfering with daily life and reducing life quality.

Anxiety disorder can be of different types, such as the following: [2]

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: It includes persistently high stress levels that interfere with everyday activities.
  • Social anxiety disorder: It includes overwhelming discomfort and worry arising in social situations out of fear of humiliation and embarrassment.
  • Panic disorder: It involves sudden, recurring attacks characterized by physical and psychological symptoms, like shortness of breath, hysteria, sweating, and chest pain.
  • Separation anxiety disorder: This disorder causes fear of separating from a loved one or fearing that something terrible will happen to them. [3]
  • Phobias: It includes persistently high fear of certain things or situations that is out of proportion to the underlying threat.

Most people find it very hard to map their anxiety disorder recovery signs which may even discourage them from complying with ongoing treatment. You can quickly feel like you are not progressing because of the difficult emotions and situations you are learning to navigate.

Remember that recovering from anxiety can be slow and subtle, but you can pick up the signs in your daily life by paying a little more attention.

Following are some anxiety recovery stages that you can cross one by one as you continue to win the battle.

1-You stop considering hard moments as signs of failure

If you have started looking at your anxious moments as a sign of progress, give yourself a pat on your back as you are on the right path. The idea may sound bizarre initially, but identifying hard moments is an important part of the recovery process. It indicates that you have finally allowed yourself to experience the hard things in life instead of running away, which adds to healing in the long run.

2-Your sleeping habits have started to improve

Your sleep habits will automatically improve when you have moved far ahead in your anxiety recovery journey. Previously, you would frequently find yourself twisting and tossing in bed, thinking if you would ever get sleep with a constantly racing mind.

However, with treatment, you will feel the switch flipped, as you can finally sleep peacefully every night and wake up refreshed and energized the next morning.

3-You have better self-awareness

Self-awareness is a big sign that you are headed in the right direction. This may mean becoming more aware of any unhelpful behaviors and thoughts that keep you stuck in the moment and trying to change them.

4-You have started breaking free from old patterns

It may take some time, but you will eventually start breaking free from unhealthy patterns you had previously fallen into due to your anxiety. Breaking them off is always possible, no matter how old or strongly ingrained they have become over the years.

Even if you are putting effort into breaking them, you are on the right track. Remember that it may not be easy and may cause a lot of discomfort. But give yourself the opportunity to change, as it will show how capable you truly are.

5-You are more comfortable trying uncomfortable things

Recovering from anxiety will give you enough confidence to try things that have been extremely uncomfortable in the past. By doing so, you are telling your anxiety that it is no longer in control.

The practice can be uncomfortable initially, but with time, you’ll make peace with it. Once you reach that point, you will be in the driver’s seat of your life and able to live the life you want to, regardless of your anxiety.

6-You are in a healthier relationship with your thoughts

It is extremely common for anxiety to rule your entire day, month, or even life. But when you are on the recovery pathway, you learn to detach yourself from these thoughts. In other words, they are no longer your priority as they do not hold the same power over you that they once did.

With time, you will also realize that having anxious thoughts at times is normal. Success is when you control how you respond to them.

7-You no longer default to danger in stressful situations

Unmanaged anxiety can make anyone feel danger and react to it with physical and psychiatric symptoms. However, as you progress in recovery, you will find yourself observing the symptoms of panic and anxiety instead of declaring danger.

It may take a bit of practice, but you can finally convince yourself not to fear these feelings.

8-You have become more supportive of yourself

Willingness to look after yourself in tough times is a crucial component of anxiety recovery. Remember that you are worthy of compassion, support, and self-care. Even if you ask for some extra support to take care of yourself and be vulnerable with people who support you, they are healthy signs of recovery.

9-You allow yourself to be human

Being willing not to do things right every time is a major recovery sign. It means you are giving yourself enough space to not get things perfect and make mistakes which is essential to get better.

You realize that you are human and things can sometimes get hard. You can let it be hard without making it affect your confidence in any way.

10-You restart feeling real emotions

Another sign you are healing from anxiety is starting to feel real emotions. It is prevalent for anxiety to make you feel numb to any kind of emotion, either good or bad. However, with treatment and progress, you can feel genuinely happy, laugh when something funny happens, and feel sad in moments of gloom.

When something bad happens, you do not let it occupy your mind for long or allow it to ruin your day. Instead, you feel sadness in the moment and move on to spend the rest of the day.

11-You are taking time out to celebrate your progress

When was the last time you took time to think about your anxiety recovery stages and celebrate it? Celebrating your progress is a sign of healing, as it means you recognize your capability and strength to overcome it.

12-You have stopped questioning whether you are healing or not

Not fretting a lot about whether you are healing or not is an excellent sign of recovery. It shows that you have the confidence to heal, which promotes recovery even more.

Millions of people from around the world live perfectly well despite being diagnosed with anxiety. Finding certain constructive ways and practicing them to cope with the symptoms can empower you and anyone else to safely restore their usual activities and maintain relationships in an optimistic way.

To ensure that you stay committed to the healing pathway, a carefully planned anxiety healing plan is necessary. Following are some tips to keep in mind and follow to make sure you keep picking up signs of recovery:

Stick to your recommended treatment plan

A typical anxiety management plan may or may not involve medications, therapy sessions, and counseling. Whatever your individual plan includes, it is imperative to keep following it as directed. In case you feel any side effects or inconveniences, it is always better to contact your doctor before making any changes.

Keep in touch with a healthcare professional

A healthcare professional can not only assess and offer treatment plans for anxiety but can also ensure your compliance. Staying in touch with a mental health professional with regular follow-up visits reinforces recovery. Moreover, they can also pick up signs of relapse early on and modify your treatment plan accordingly.

Introduce positive lifestyle changes

Make healthy changes in your life, such as exercising regularly, prioritizing sleep, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, taking a break from social media, quitting smoking, and eating healthily. All these steps can add to healing, making recovery signs more evident. [4]

Go for psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is known to help manage physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is the most popular form of therapy to help you understand anxiety and its impact on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It can also teach you how to pick up unhelpful patterns while managing them with healthy coping strategies. [5]

Keep in mind that while ongoing CBT is highly recommended for anxiety recovery, it is never a quick fix. You need commitment and dedication to attend regular sessions with full focus and stamina. Most people typically need 12 to 15 sessions; however, your therapist will be the best person to decide the exact total based on the severity of your anxiety disorder.

Try relaxation techniques

The best way to beat anxiety involves a combination of medication, therapy, and self-care. In addition to getting professional help, take time to perform your own relaxation strategies, such as breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation, to keep anxiety symptoms in control. [6] These techniques help bring your attention to the present moment while letting you ruminate less about the past and the future.

Be compliant with medications

Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), reportedly carry numerous benefits for anxiety management and recovery. However, bear in mind that their mechanism of action is gradual, and they may take four to six weeks to produce noticeable signs of recovery.

For short-term relief, many people rely on beta-blockers and benzodiazepines to curb anxiety. You must practice caution while using these drugs as they have a high tendency to cause dependence and tolerance, especially when you start taking them regularly. [7]

In most cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the most beneficial way to go forward.

Restoring your zest for life can feel amazing, especially after the severe personal suffering anxiety can push you through. There’s nothing better than reaching a point where you can feel elated and relieved that your hard work has paid off.

If you are still in healing, keep on the lookout for signs you are recovering from anxiety as they keep propelling you in the right direction.


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