When I first realized that I have anxiety disorder, my first thought was: I am going to do everything to make it go away, and honestly, over the years I have done many things to help my mental condition: from therapy to meditation, you name it - I have done it all. In my "scientific" post about anxiety I shared that my therapist told me that anxiety is a part of my personality, something that I was born with. Well, she also told me that with time it may ease up a little as well. I wasn't completely satisfied with it, as I like more specific predictions when it comes down to my health, but it was all I got, so I had to suck it up and wait...
Not that I sit and waited all these years, as like I said, I honestly tried everything to cure my anxiety, however time went by, and even though some things helped more than others, 10 years later I still have anxiety disorder. However, I am not going to lie, it is much easier to cope with it now.
Here are the things that change with time, that really helped with my anxiety disorder:
1. With time we accumulate more knowledge (if we educate ourselves properly), learn more about coping techniques and strategies, know what helps us the most, etc. It gives us some sense of control: I know I can help myself; I know how to do it. And, as I have mentioned many times here on my blog, sense of control is very important for people having anxiety disorders, as it takes at least some of that fear of the unknown, because I know what helps me, how my brain responds and why I feel a certain way. It's completely different from what I experienced the first time I had a panic attack.
2. Some inner conflicts that cause anxiety may be resolved with time. And this can be different for everyone, as your journey isn't mine and vice versa, but one thing I know for sure: if you practice awareness and listen to your inner voice (during meditation for example) or even go to therapy, there is a big chance you will resolve those conflicts within, that contributed to your anxiety. Now, it won't happen overnight, but patience is very important here. I think what has helped me a lot over the years was my ability to let go of my past. Some memories and rising emotions each time I remembered about certain situations, people hurting me, etc. used to cause me a lot of pain. By letting go and forgiving I gave myself an opportunity to grow and change my responses.
3. With time many perspectives (the way we see things) change, and some fears disappear. This one comes with experience. Anxiety is a form of irrational fear. When we deal with certain situations, go through hardships, succeed in accomplishing hard tasks, etc. our brain learns to trust us, we start realizing that we are strong. We can overcome struggles without them destroying us. Many things that used to trigger me stopped doing it as I became older and wiser, more confident, and overall, more content.
4. It takes time for the body to heal, and with the right treatment, that may also help with anxiety. As we have talked about the main causes of anxiety before, there are different factors that impact our mental health. It can be some physical illness that needs to be addressed and can be cured with time (i.e. gut health). Changing a diet, improving sleep habits, and better coping with stress may help heal the gut or/and hormonal imbalance that relates to mental health.
I feel calmer in my daily life now after more than 10 years since my therapist told me that anxiety may go away with time. I can't say that time completely takes it away, but it definitely helps to cope with it better. Anxiety is a complex disorder, something that works for me will not necessarily help you, and time itself doesn't cure anything. In my opinion, to make time work for us, we should constantly strive for improvement, learn and grow, taking care of our physical and mental health.
What I want you to take out from this post is that it does get better with time if you are patient and believe that recovery is possible. Don't give up. Until next time on Pillows&Trees.