How long does anxiety last (and what can I do to feel better faster)?

Anxiety affects about 19% of the adult population in the United States, which makes it a fairly common disorder. 

If you or someone you know deals with an anxiety disorder, it may benefit you to know how long anxiety can last, on average. To learn more about anxiety, keep reading the information provided in the sections below.

What are some of the anxiety disorders that exist?

These are just a few examples out of several different types of anxiety disorders that exist:

How long can anxiety last?

There is no set time that anxiety can last. It depends on the type of anxiety, the trigger, your environment and several other factors. Anxiety can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. It might recur over several days or randomly pop up. 

If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, it might feel like your anxiousness might not ever go away. Fortunately, there will be days when your anxiety subsides or lessens. It might feel easier to socialize, to go to the food store, to leave your house, and to get some tasks done finally. Your levels of anxiety may fluctuate, with you feeling better some days than others. But, will it ever go away? Chances are, your anxiety disorder won’t ever go away completely. However, it is possible for your anxiety to be easier to manage. There are several ways that you can make your anxiety easier to manage on a daily basis, which will be discussed further in detail in the paragraphs below.

What are some of the factors that might affect how long it lasts?

  • Your type of anxiety disorder — You may have read the list with some of the anxiety disorder types provided above. As stated before, these are just a couple of the different types that exist. The specific type of anxiety disorder you have can affect how long your anxious feelings last. For example, for those with social anxiety, their discomfort might last as long as they’re in a social setting (not always the case, but generally). For someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder, their anxiousness might last as long as it takes for them to complete a compulsion.
  • Your environment — Your environment can play a big factor in how long your anxiety lasts. If you’re in a high-stress environment, you’re likely to experience anxiety for longer intervals of time. You might even experience anxiety when thinking about reentering those high-stress places. When you leave an environment that is distressing, you’re less likely to continue feeling anxious.
  • Your ability to cope — Your unique ability to cope with your symptoms of anxiety can directly correlate with how long your anxiousness lasts. The more you apply the skills you have learned to manage your anxiety, the more likely you’re able to reduce the amount of time you experience discomfort.

How can people manage how long their anxiety lasts?

  • Identify what might trigger your anxiety — Finding out what triggers your anxiety can help you avoid uncomfortable situations or be more mindful during them.
  • Try out mindfulness and relaxation techniques — You may benefit from being more mindful of your senses during periods of anxiety. Mindfulness can help ground you and give you the perspective you need to try to pull yourself out of your anxiousness or ease it to some degree. Relaxation techniques, like meditation, may help in a similar way.
  • Integrate daily movement into your lifestyle — Daily movement, like walking, running, biking or virtually any other type of physical activity, can be a great outlet for anxiety. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can decrease anxiety.
  • Maintain regular visits with a therapist — Regular sessions with a licensed therapist can help reduce stress and anxiety. A therapist can provide you with an outlet for your concerns while teaching you a variety of healthy coping mechanisms for your anxiety. They can help you learn to recognize patterns around how long your anxiety lasts, and ultimately make it easier for you to manage your symptoms.

Lightfully wants to help you reduce how long your anxiety lasts

Our mission at Lightfully is to work with individuals to change their life compassionately. We strive to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. Lightfully offers various layers of service to both adults and teens: residential treatment, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We regularly see clients who actively manage mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and trauma disorders. If you’re dealing with anxiety and need a little extra help managing your symptoms and reducing how long your anxiety lasts, we think we can be of service. Our therapists have extensive experience in helping clients with anxiety manage their symptoms and reduce the amount of time their anxiety lasts. You don’t have to let your anxiety take control of your life. Let our Lightfully team help you.

Our licensed, clinical experts see each client as a complex and layered human — not just a diagnosis. We value our clients as they are and hope to enrich their lives through treatment. Our vision for the future is an authentic and loving community where everyone can be seen, heard, and valued as they are. We believe in the light within each individual, and when that light is properly nurtured it can allow a person to shine brighter than ever before.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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