Anxiety is a chronic condition that’s very hard to stop. Knowing how to get rid of anxiety is not just telling yourself to stop feeling that way. The feeling of anxiety is often deep-rooted.

This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a deep cause of your anxiety. Rather, it means anxiety can fool you into thinking you’ve taken care of it when you haven’t. In fact, the things you do that seem to relieve your anxiety often simply make it more deeply rooted.

Dr. David Carbonell, the Anxiety Coach, says this is the trick behind anxiety.

Anxiety makes you think and react as if the situation that triggers it is dangerous. What you’re actually experiencing is not danger, but discomfort. The situation brings on unrealistic thinking that you interpret as signs of danger.

Misinterpretations of Danger

Once you misinterpret whatever is triggering your anxiety as dangerous, your body will automatically respond as it does to stress. When faced with a dangerous situation, you have three choices of action. You can fight against whatever danger is there or you can run away from the danger or you can freeze and do nothing.

In every situation of anxiety, you try to protect yourself from what you perceive as danger. This results in some behaviors that become defeating in themselves.

These behaviors do serve the purpose of getting you out of the situation that causes anxiety. The problem with them is they severely limit your life. And they don’t solve your problem with anxiety. They just provide temporary relief. They don’t help you know how to get rid of anxiety.

For example:

  1. If you suffer anxiety in social situations, you may get to the point of avoiding social situations completely. You can see how limiting this would become if you had no contact with others.
  2. A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may check the locks on the front door over and over when leaving home instead of simply going on with his or her business.
  3. A person with agoraphobia could confine himself to one room in his house and never venture out in order to prevent a catastrophe of some kind from happening away from home.

Why can’t you see how limiting these behaviors are and just go on with your life? It’s because the very behaviors that so severely limit your life prevent the catastrophic circumstances you imagine from happening.

Wouldn’t this be enough to allow you the freedom to live your life? No. You begin wondering when the anxiety will hit next and whether your actions will be sufficient to avoid the catastrophe next time. This leads you to feel horribly vulnerable and dramatically increases your need to protect yourself.

Of course, there was no real catastrophe. It was the your misinterpretation of the situation and the anxiety it brought.

How To Get Rid Of Anxiety

Now that you know what you may have been doing all along to relieve your anxiety is actually continuing it, you probably want to know how to get rid of anxiety. Here are several ideas.

  • Seek professional help. Medication can bring temporary relief to some kinds of anxiety. But medicine doesn’t cure your anxious condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown through research to be a more effective treatment for anxiety than medication or other forms of therapy. People avoid therapy because of the negative connotations that have been attached to this kind of treatment. People who go to therapy are seen as weak or even crazy. But the opposite is actually true. Realizing you can’t overcome your anxiety by yourself is an important first step. Going to a qualified professional therapist and getting the help you need shows your strength. This gives you an opportunity to learn more appropriate ways to combat the anxiety you feel.
  • Get into an exercise program. Even if you don’t feel like it, exercise will help you a lot. Good physical activity will release endorphins, the naturally occurring calming chemicals in your brain. It’s also a good way to distract yourself for a time from those situations that led to your anxiety. You also can improve the way you feel about yourself as well as giving you more social contact. It’s important for you not to jump into strenuous exercise overnight if you haven’t been exercising for a while. Get into this kind of program gradually.
  • Learn to relax. You can’t be relaxed and anxious at the same time. There are several ways to systematically relax your entire body and your mind. Explore your options on the internet and practice one or more of the relaxation techniques you can find there. Practice relaxing several times every day. This will not only help you feel less anxious at the moment, but will also help you stay relaxed for longer periods of time.
  • Avoid stimulants. This includes coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. Consuming these will increase your heart rate which often is an indication of anxiety. You could get fooled into thinking you’re anxious when you’ve actually taken one of these stimulants. Nicotine is another substance that should be avoided if you’re anxious.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. These substances are often used to temporarily alleviate anxiety symptoms. The issue with them is the chance of getting addicted and bringing a whole new set of problems into your life.
  • Take action. There are times the best treatment for anxiety is to do something about the thing or situation that brings on your anxiety. If you’re worried about finances, set up a budget or figure out another way to bring in money. When you’re anxious about an upcoming test or examination of some kind, study more.

Conclusion

Whatever you see as how to get rid of anxiety, approach it with commitment. Any method of dealing with anxiety requires you to stay with it. Sometimes, changing behavior and thoughts takes time and effort. Be sure you don’t give up halfway there. Nothing is going to stop your anxiety quickly. You may have to search yourself for the origins of the anxiety. This isn’t easy.

References

Recovery Guide to Anxiety Disorders.  http://www.anxietycoach.com/anxietydisorders.html

Best Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety.  http://www.getridofthings.com/health/mental-health/get-rid-of-anxiety/