How I Overcame Anxiety in 3 Months (Step by Step!)

Hey, my name is Wouter and for the last few years, I suffered from an intense anxiety disorder. And this is how I overcame my anxiety in 3 months.

What happened…

My anxiety took over my life in 2020, when I had to face many life changes, like moving out, graduating and losing loved ones. In combination with putting a lot of pressure on myself for finding a new job, it resulted in developing a severe anxiety disorder with my first panic attacks.

For two years I didn’t know what was going on and what I could do to get back to my old self… but I have used the following 5 steps to heal myself quickly.

Anxiety Books

Step #1: Learning more about anxiety

I always liked to read, often for hours a day. The feeling of getting smarter makes me feel good, but what I didn’t read about was anxiety. 

I didn’t read about it, because I, first of all, didn’t know that anxiety even existed, and second of all I didn’t know where to begin. 

But one day I just grabbed a book about anxiety and started reading. I was home alone and in my silence, I experienced major breakthroughs.

Suddenly my perspective on anxiety changed. From seeing it as something that made my life miserable, to visualizing a cartoon figure in my head that is just overprotective and wants to keep me safe.

To help you get started, I highly recommend the books from Joshua Fletcher, an anxiety therapist.

But just learning didn’t get me that far, there was something else I had to do.

Step #2: Identifying my goals

Many anxious people, including me, have these unrealistic goals of never feeling anxiety anymore. They measure the progress of their recovery by the absence of feeling anxious. 

But anxiety is a part of every healthy human being, like love, happiness but also sadness. The goal should therefore not be to never feel anxious anymore, but successfully handle feelings of anxiety when they arise. 

Besides an abstract goal like the one above… what could be some other goals for you? Is it visiting the supermarket? Going to the gym? Or being able to drive with confidence?

When I learned more about anxiety, understood it in new ways and became clear on my goals… I had a map I could follow. 

But every map has some obstacles… but the obstacle is not the problem to recovery… it is how we respond to it.

Anxiety was still there for me, but now I had to learn how to respond in better ways to anxiety. Something I explain in depth in my FREE training about anxiety (Watch it here).

So, that was what I tried to learn next…

Step #3: Learning to respond in a better way

For two long years I responded to anxiety as if it was a monster that was hunting me, rather than an overprotective parent.

I got frustrated, angry and disappointed in myself for continuously feeling anxious.

But this created a big problem: I evoked the same emotions anxiety thrives on.

So, to successfully heal my anxiety, I had to respond in a better way to stop feeding my anxious feelings. Love, forgiveness and especially allowance. And I found that a very difficult switch to make, to be honest. But the following helped.

I visualized a little cartoon figure in my brain, which I called Mr. Anxiety… who was just like an overprotective parent… trying to keep me safe from danger because he loves me.

And whenever he came to say “hello” I tried to welcome him and show him that I was safe… and when he realized I was… he left.

It takes some time to practice this, but I hope you see every anxious moment as a time to practice. And if you want to learn more about responding like this, you can watch my Free Training to overcome anxiety here.

But soon, I read something in the books from Joshua Fletcher that made total sense… and it was the following.

Step #4: Becoming better at stress management

He explained that all people have an internal stress jug. And whenever we experience a stressful event, we fill our jug with the stress we experience. But filling our jug can only last for so long if we don’t find ways to empty it… and learn new ways of coping with stress.

Because if we don’t do that and keep filling the jug with stress… it overflows, which is anxiety. 

So, I tried to learn more about how I could manage my stress and especially how to worry less. 

And even though I found better ways of coping with stress, I also needed to empty the jug… which is what I did with the following.

Step #5: Using these 4 tools

There were four tools that helped me a lot with emptying my own stress jug, and the first one is exercise.

I started going to the gym twice a week. To empty my mind and to get rid of my anxious energy. Every time I came back home I felt more confident and relaxed, which were feelings I hadn’t felt for a long time, because of anxiety.

But besides exercise, also improving my diet and improving the quality of my sleep were major factors in better handling stress, and emptying the jar. And last, relaxation. Besides the fact that 2020 and 2021 were very relaxing years, I tried to do my best in finding ways to relax more. Like going to the forest, reading next to a calming, creek or meditating more.

Conclusion

Before I go, I want to remind you of one thing:

“You have everything you need to overcome your anxiety. You will doubt yourself and think that overcoming anxiety might seem like an impossible task… a journey with major obstacles where you simply don’t know what steps you should take.

But as philosopher Lau Tzu said: a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Do you struggle with anxiety? Then watch my FREE Training on overcoming anxiety here.

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About Wouter

Wouter is a mindset coach from The Netherlands. For many years he suffered from depression and anxiety. It gave him the motivation to coach people on freeing themselves from anxiety. With more than 6000 blog visitors a month he helps many people on their journey towards less anxiety.

Do you want less anxiety today?

Watch this FREE Limited Time Training on how to Free Yourself from Anxiety in 60 days!

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