m. Experiential Avoidance

Run after the bus, sometimes.

Hi there, Group. Great week. Question for you: When you are half a block away and people are getting on the bus you’re about to miss, what do you do?  Your answer helps us understand your experience during incidental exposure.  The short answer is run after the bus, sometimes. Flexibly. Humorously. Like your life depends on …

Run after the bus, sometimes.Read More »

Intentional Practice – Part I

You’re wondering if you are doing ERP correctly and if it will make you better. Great question. There’s a lot to discuss, so we’ll break this up over the next several weeks.  ERP stands for exposure and response prevention. It is a cognitive behavioral treatment technique. Anxiety is created, maintained, and intensified by experiential avoidance. …

Intentional Practice – Part IRead More »

I’ll do that slowly.

Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.Think of the most miraculous of your accomplishments.Getting yourself created. Nailed it. It took 9 months. Walking. Nice job. Another 9 months at least. Talking. You babbled your way through it. Most people didn’t understand you for years. Reading, writing, and learning to code also took years. These are just external milestones. You were …

I’ll do that slowly.Read More »

The Anxiety Effort Paradox

You arrive at this community with the intent of reducing or eliminating anxiety. You have heard that there are tools, techniques, and coping skills that will either help you manage your anxiety or cure it completely. Other people around you seem to be less anxious and seem to use methods like meditation, yoga, nutrition, sleep, …

The Anxiety Effort ParadoxRead More »

Avoidance v. workable behaviors and preferences

Avoidance happens. Avoidance creates every type of suffering. You suffer. Suffering is pain plus resistance. Resistance and avoidance are functionally synonymous.  Sometimes acting in accordance with your values and experiential avoidance will be the same behaviors. The difference between your values-driven action and avoidance is your attitude. Workable behavior is a dynamic adaptation based on your context, rather …

Avoidance v. workable behaviors and preferencesRead More »

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 »