Your question: How can I make my anxiety go away forever?

My reply:

Hi, I hope this message finds you well. My name is Cesar Guedez, a psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Many things in life are a matter of perspective. We often believe that there is only one way to see the world and one solution to problems, when in reality, we can discover multiple benefits of something if we take a different look at it.

Anxiety is undoubtedly a problem. This blog is not meant to romanticize it, but to give a different view of anxiety as something that is exclusively negative. Anxiety can cause quite upsetting physical, emotional and psychological sensations that overwhelm a person and affect their quality of life.

We need anxiety because it is the alarm signal in our body that warns us of a potential danger. Anxiety detects, through the brain amygdala, the presence of a threatening person, situation or thing and demands that you act accordingly to avoid harm. Therefore, thanks to anxiety you can flee from a life-threatening situation.

Therefore, asking for your anxiety to disappear completely is not possible. We need anxiety for certain situations. However, it is certainly necessary to learn to control it to prevent it from damaging your quality of life. Therefore, instead of wanting your anxiety to “go away forever”, it is necessary to learn to control it and reduce its intensity, working on accepting it as a natural part of life.

When does your anxiety become a problem?

Anxiety is no longer healthy when it causes significant discomfort in daily life and impairs your quality of life. Psychology has studied anxiety as a complex phenomenon, which has specific characteristics that affect people in different areas (1).

Some characteristics of anxiety are:

Cognitive symptoms: fear of losing control; fear of death; fear of “going crazy”; fear of negative evaluation by others; frightening thoughts.

Physiological symptoms: increased heart rate, palpitations; shortness of breath, rapid breathing; chest pain or pressure; choking sensation; dizziness.

Affective symptoms: nervous, tense, wound up; frightened; sadness; irritability.

What benefits can anxiety give you?

Controlled anxiety is beneficial for different areas of life, as long as it is not recurrent and intense and does not significantly impair your quality of life. Some benefits of anxiety are:

Danger signal

When your amygdala detects a danger, it provokes in your body the feeling of anxiety and the so-called fight or flight instinct. In this way, thanks to anxiety you can flee from a dangerous situation, for example, an evacuation, a fire or a natural disaster.


Anxiety can also be that strength and drive you feel when you are facing a stressful exam. Anxiety has been shown to be a motivator for many people, who use the energy and adrenaline that anxiety gives them to cope with academic and work pressures (2).

Empathy and self-awareness

Anxiety also helps you become more empathetic with others and with yourself. Because anxiety is based on thoughts that trigger emotional discomfort, it can help you get to know yourself better and identify what kinds of people, things or situations make you feel vulnerable and aggrieved, allowing you to avoid them in the future. On the other hand, anxiety can generate healthy concerns for other people, making you devote more attention and care to your loved ones.

How to control your anxiety?

Although it has its benefits, anxiety is still a double-edged sword and should be treated with caution. You need to learn to control your anxiety when it gets out of control and causes problems in your daily functioning. In addition to these strategies, it is recommended that you see a professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist if you feel your anxiety worsening over time.

Breathing and relaxation

Inhale through your nose for three seconds, exhale through your mouth for another three seconds. This while you close your eyes and feel how slowly the tension in your body decreases. You can apply this exercise for at least 10 minutes a day at different times, and just after experiencing an episode of anxiety.

Physical exercise

Physical activity is necessary because it allows you to train both your body and your mind. Whether in a gym, playing a sport or from the comfort of your home, physical exercise helps you release hormones and neurotransmitters related to happiness, allows you to feel more focused and helps you drain negative emotions.

Question your thoughts

Anxiety is inevitably related to your way of thinking, so you need to modify it in order to reduce anxious symptoms. When you have automatic thoughts that overwhelm you, you should question them and modify them for a positive and functional one. For example, if during a class you have an abrupt thought that tells you “you are not good for this career”, you should respond to it internally by saying “I do the best I can to improve in my studies, and although I am not perfect, I learn to be better every day”. In this way every negative and hurtful thought that appears during the day, you must face it and replace it with a more positive and functional one.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This technique consists of using your senses to dissuade emotional discomfort at a given moment. It is useful when you experience a lot of physical agitation or when you feel you have a lot of unpleasant thoughts, and you find it difficult to control your emotions. Wherever you are, you will focus on identifying 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This will allow you to focus your attention on specific things during the period of anxiety, and slowly, the feeling of intense worry will diminish.

In my experience…

We cannot permanently eliminate anxiety from our lives. In the same way that problems do not magically disappear, anxiety is a natural part of our existence that is useful in certain situations. It may not be the answer you expect, but it is the reality. The truth is that we must learn not to eliminate anxiety, but to control it so that it does not hinder our life. You have the power to do this, to face your fears and worries and prevent anxiety from taking over your life. It is also necessary that you seek professional help to feel unconditional support in your healing process and fight against anxiety.

I believe you have the ability to improve and heal these feelings of discomfort you are experiencing now. The fact that you are seeking professional help through this medium proves it to me, and I applaud you for making that decision and being on track to improve your mental health and overall, your physical health

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