When the uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety feel like too much, one of the simplest ways to feel better is avoidance. This means avoiding the source of anxiety, or numbing the uncomfortable feelings. The good news is, avoidance works... for a little bit. The bad news is, the relief that avoidance brings is temporary, and the anxiety tends to come back worse than before.
The cycle of anxiety is a process where a person avoids their fears, and as a result, those fears grow increasingly powerful. Avoidance becomes increasingly difficult to resist, and the anxiety continues to grow worse. Many anxiety treatments work by breaking this cycle. They focus on facing fears, rather than avoiding them.
In this video, the cycle of anxiety is broken down and explained step-by-step, by Woody Schuldt, a mental health counselor.