Avoidance is one of the most common behaviors I target in my work as a clinical behavior analyst while supporting individuals with anxiety. When things are too difficult or we don’t yet have the skills to handle certain life challenges, our first instinct is to avoid the discomfort. Our brain is wired to protect us from the pain, so we naturally avoid and push it as far away as possible. In doing so, we may find we adopt unhealthy coping skills to manage the discomfort. This pulls us away from living a life we value and we can easily get stuck in this cycle. My work centers around intentionally learning new skills through acceptance and commitment training (ACT training). Leaning into the discomfort, getting unstuck with mindful compassion and then choosing a direction that aligns with your life’s values is the core foundation of ACT and it’s a game changer!
Please visit this link for more information on why this works and is such an important skill in everyone’s life! Please check out this recommended reading by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, Center for Mindfulness & Compassion, Harvard Medical School.