m. Experiential Avoidance

Emotional Avoidance

Over the last several we’ve discussed all the ways that we experientially avoid, including escape strategies and reassurance seeking, situational avoidance, somatic avoidance, cognitive avoidance, and emotion-driven behaviors. The last form of avoidance is emotional avoidance. Emotions are evolutionarily adaptive states that motivate behavior. Every emotion has or has had some utility in the evolutionary past. …

Emotional AvoidanceRead More »

Emotion-driven behaviors

Emotion-driven behaviors are behaviors that increase the intensity of an emotion, despite their intention to decrease the emotion. Think anger and addiction and ineffective interpersonal strategies. As I mentioned last week, sensitive individuals are often less able to identify and allow their emotions because of the intensity of their emotions and because of the way other …

Emotion-driven behaviorsRead More »

Somatic Avoidance

Last week in Community time, we focused on noticing, labeling, and staying with the emotions in your body rather than shooting up into your head and engaging in cognitive avoidance. When you shoot up into your head to figure something out or you distract or numb yourself out from what is happening in your body, …

Somatic AvoidanceRead More »

Cognitive Avoidance

Cognitive avoidance occurs when you use problematic thinking to avoid feeling or to avoid effective thinking. I’m not referring to avoiding thinking altogether. In fact, your mind might be racing when you are engaged in cognitive avoidance. I’m referring to the types of problematic thinking (that is, unproductive worry, mental compulsions, and rumination) that create distance from feelings …

Cognitive AvoidanceRead More »

Situational Avoidance

Last week, we focused on how avoidance not only reinforces anxiety, but it also undermines your potential. As you commit to moving towards anxiety, uncertainty, and discomfort, there are several patterns that can undermine your best attempts at avoiding avoidance. Situational avoidance reinforces fear and creates demoralization. Experiential avoidance during situational anxiety creates habitual distance …

Situational AvoidanceRead More »

Avoidance and Escape Strategies

We all know at this point that avoidance creates, maintains, and intensifies anxiety. You have an uncomfortable thought, feeling, or sensation. It feels likes a threat of danger. You do something to make it go away. What you do to make thoughts, feelings or sensations go away are compulsions, avoidances, escape strategies, safety behaviors, and reassurance seeking. …

Avoidance and Escape StrategiesRead More »