Once you have decided that now is the time to treat your anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is tempting to work as hard as you can to get better as fast as possible. This is great and one of the reasons that we offer Rapid Relief sessions at the Vancouver Anxiety and Stress Centre. In one or two days, we go through all the things you need to learn about anxiety in a condensed period of time. It’s kind of a personal workshop on what you need to know about your anxiety - like why your brain sends false alarms, what makes anxiety worse, how to talk back to your anxiety, etc.
The important thing to realize though is that rapid doesn’t have to mean rough. It’s important to go gently when treating anxiety and at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Many people are anxious when they start therapy that they are going to be pushed to face their fears at a breakneck pace. If done properly, treatment should stretch you but not so much that you feel overwhelmed or burned out. When it comes to anxiety, slow and steady wins the race.
Having treated my own anxiety, I know how exhausting exposure therapy or facing your fears can be. It’s so much better to pace yourself, listen to your body, and build your confidence as you take your life back from anxiety. Being kind to yourself during treatment makes it so much easier - and in the long run, it actually goes much more quickly when you listen to your energy level while working with your therapist.