The Vicious Cycle of Avoidance.
A case study on social anxiety.
Do u find yourself caught in a vicious cycle that u can't seem to break out of?
One of the ways we respond to fearful situations is to avoid them.
Why that's not strange at all - think about it, what happens if you see a hungry lion or an angry boar out in the wild coming right at you.
Instincts say, run away as fast as you can.
However, those lions and boars are real, actual things we can run away from (that is if we are fast enough).
Thoughts on the other hand, they don't actually exist in the real world do they? They only exist in our heads.
I know, I know, they do feel very real at times, but that's because our nervous system issues us with the same sense of fear as when we see a lion.
The feelings, along with the thoughts, make them feel real.
Yet, as real as they seem, how on earth do we run away from our thoughts? They are a part of our minds, they live in our heads.
The very fact is - we can't run away from them. We can try and suppress them, distract ourselves, force ourselves not to think about them as much as we want to.
But they will always, always catch up to us.
And usually when they do, they bring along another a whole bunch of negative feelings too.
Guilt. Shame. Inadequacy. Uselessness.
You see, when we continue to avoid and run away, we are not just running away from something scary.
We are also running away from the things we care most deeply about.
Our fears are linked to what we want most in our lives.
In other words, we are also running away from the opportunity to fulfill our needs that have been unmet for the longest time.
Because if you really think about, behind your social anxiety actually sits the need to belong and connect with others, and the more we deny ourselves this out of fear, the further we get from what we want.
And the more lonely and isolated we will feel too.
So, time to move forward. Even if it's just a little.
Break that cycle.
And reach out if you ever need help too ok,