Let’s take a look at what avoidance is:
Avoidance is a type of behaviour that helps us deal with uncomfortable or scary situations. While it’s mostly observed in Social Anxiety sufferers, this type of behaviour is also common in Health Anxiety, GAD, OCD and many more types of Anxiety.
Let’s look at the avoidance example in ‘Presentation Anxiety’ (falling under ‘Social Anxiety’ umbrella):
‘I can’t do it.’
‘Everyone will see how incompetent I am.’
Lack of sleep.
AVOID COMING TO WORK THAT DAY OR MAKE UP A STORY ABOUT FEELING UNWELL | DELEGATE THE PRESENTATION TASK TO SOMEONE ELSE.
This will result it:
Feeling temporary relief.
ANXIETY FEARS WERE NOT CHALLENGED & SYMPTOMS GET WORSE.
realization you need help.
Let’s take a look at situations you may be avoiding:
Why is avoidance a problem?
Even though avoiding situations we fear gives us temporary relief, in the long term, it keeps us ‘stuck’ in the vicious Anxiety cycle. The more we avoid, the more we confirm our fears are ‘real’. But are they?
If we never test out our negative predictions (‘If I go on that date, she will see just how ridiculous I am. She’ll never call me again, so what’s the point in going?’) then we never find out if the worst-case scenario is true.
By giving ourselves the opportunity to be curious about the outcome (‘yes, I know I’m expecting this, but what if it goes better than I think?’), we may find that our thinking wasn’t exactly correct, and learn from it.
We need to break the cycle of avoidance to truly experience the positives in life, and live fulfilling lives.
We need to implement small steps towards standing up to the fear we feel about situations.
Yes, we will feel increased anxiety and discomfort in the short term; but in the long term, our new approach to situations will give us valuable feedback and information on which to build our future approach.
Further articles you may like:
How To Stop Worrying And Start Problem-Solvinganxiety
Worrying Versus Problem-Solving: Many people believe that worrying and problem-solving are the same thing, and that worrying is very beneficial. It's called having 'positive beliefs about worry'. But the truth is, worrying and problem-solving are two very different things. In this article, we're going to [...]
Social Anxiety And Avoidanceanxiety
Let's take a look at what avoidance is: Avoidance is a type of behaviour that helps us deal with uncomfortable or scary situations. While it's mostly observed in Social Anxiety sufferers, this type of behaviour is also common in Health Anxiety, GAD, OCD and many [...]
4 tips on how to get good nights’ sleep when you worry at nightanxiety
Picture this: You come home after a long, hard day at work and you're looking forward to getting a good night's sleep. But as soon as you lie down, your mind starts to worry, wonder and overthink events to come and situations you're facing. You're lying there in [...]
Blogging your way through Anxietyanxiety
Blogging can be extremely beneficial when you suffer from Anxiety and Stress. I have been blogging for over 10 years, detailing my journey as a single mum, a therapist and life's ups and downs. There's nothing better than going through those pages, looking at how I navigated difficult [...]
Powerful Communication Styles That Get Us What We Wantanxiety
How would you describe your communication skills? Would you say you're a chatterbox, you're quiet, somewhere in between? Until we become 'aware' of HOW we communicate, we tend to look at communication as means of getting what we want. In simplest terms, when we say something, we have a GOAL in mind. At [...]
How To Readjust To Life After Lockdown When You Have Social Anxietyanxiety
We can finally look forward to easing of tough Coronavirus restrictions after a long, hard Covid pandemic. We can now do things we took for granted before Pandemic. But the easing of the restrictions isn't exciting for everyone - for those with social anxiety, life after lockdown can be [...]