Anxiety: Is “Relapse” Inevitable?May 07, 2021
If you are like some of my clients then you have experienced a relapse and wondered whether you will ever be “anxiety free” again. The idea of being stuck with anxiety for the rest of your life feels unbearable and the fear that you may never be “normal” again is real. So the big question is Anxiety: Is relapse inevitable? And how do I overcome anxiety for good?
Anxiety: A Hard Truth
Anxiety is a natural human response. It is much the same as a cry response to something that is sad, or an adrenaline response to something threatening. Anxiety comes up in response to something that you need to pay attention to.
The hard truth is: You cannot get rid of anxiety. You can not be “anxiety free”. That’s like expecting yourself to never cry again. Or remove the adrenaline response completely.
The Good News
The good news is that anxiety is supposed to be a helpful response. And it usually is when it has not become stuck. The issue happens when anxiety is over functioning and the brain has become stuck in vicious cycles.
So while you may not be able to get rid of anxiety completely – you definitely can shift anxiety so that it is no longer stuck. Shift it to retreat to the background where it can continue being a helpful (albeit unpleasant) response.
When your anxiety is shifted then you can continue living the life you love even when you have bouts of anxiety.
And That’s The Bad News
You will continue having bouts of anxiety. Everybody does. Just remember that not everybody feels derailed by the experience. And you can get to that point too.
The problem is that we view these episodes of anxiety as “relapses”. And so, I guess, that means that anxiety “relapse” is inevitable.
Is Relapse Inevitable? How Do We Avoid It?
The trick here is to recognise that your anxiety will not go away. Your relationship with it will change and you can get to a point where you feel confident in handling episodes of anxiety. You may feel anxious at times, but it doesn’t need to get in the way of what you are doing.
In fact, you could even use your anxiety to help you move forward.
But as long as we expect to be anxiety FREE, we set ourselves up to “relapse”. The act of wanting to be rid of anxiety is the very thing that makes “relapse” inevitable. The minute we remove this expectation, then we avoid relapsing.
Perhaps we need to reframe our expectations of anxiety?
A New Understanding Of Anxiety
Let’s agree that anxiety that is debilitating is anxiety that has become stuck. In this way our new goal is to become unstuck. To get anxiety to flow and move again. We realise that anxiety is a response that comes and goes. One that doesn’t need to get in the way of everything we do. And if it does, then it is stuck.
So instead of trying to be “anxiety free”, we really want to be “free with anxiety”.
When you shift this way of viewing anxiety, then you do not “relapse” but you can become “stuck” again.
And becoming unstuck is easy… You can do it with E.A.S.E. (Empower, Accept, Shift, Engage), which we teach in our Inner Circle and coaching programs.
One Step Forward, One Step Back?
>>> This Video <<< describes this process in more detail and helps you understand exactly how we set ourselves up for relapse. And what we need to do about it.
Need Some Help?
I know it is difficult to shift your anxiety on your own. It is a tricky little beast. But I promise you it can be done. If you want to know how to work with us – Head on over to This page or you can book a quick (free and no obligation) call to see what we can help you with >>>here<<<