Friday, 22 January 2016

Alter Your Habitual Response

In many situations instinct serves us well.This includes sometimes when instinctive fear or anxiety prompts you to be aware of a threat and you take appropriate action to avoid or deal with it - for example, you sense that something is 'not quite right' about a situation even though you cannot say what and you move to avoid it.

However, there are other situations when instintive fear or anxiety does not serve you well at all. For example if you have been traumatised by certain situations in the past your fear/anxiety can lead you to avoid superficially similar situations where the threat is not real and the differences are actually greater than the similarities, because the effect of the traumatic experience was such as to leave you overfearful of anything that even superficially might expose you to a similar threat. Or again if your upbringing has led you to react in certain overfearful ways, again your instinct may be avoidance or flight when it is not necessary.

I use the acronym AWAKE from Anxiety to give you a template as to how to deal with irrational anxieties or fears of this nature. The second 'A' in this acronym stands for Alter your habitual response. In other words if you suffer from irrational anxiety or fears then try to do the opposite of what your instinct tells you to do in these situations. Perhaps first you might want to do a reasonable assessment or check with a friend as to whether the anxiety you feel is warranted in this instance in nature or extent. If it is not warranted, then as an experiment try to see if you can do the opposite to what your instinct dictates then afterwords evaluate how well it has gone and whether to try the same next time. For instance someone with social anxiety is likely instinctively to stay away from social gatherings. Doing the opposite if that is you will probably entail activiely going to social gatherings and seeing if your instinctive fears are realised. If they are not, then try it another time and so on. The more times you can face your fear without unduly negative outcomes being realised the more fulfilling your life can become and the more opportunities for growth you can find.

To find out what the other elements in the AWAKE from Anxiety stand for, click on the link below and scroll down to the sub heading: The 5 Steps of the AWAKE Program:

AWAKE from Anxiety eBook - Information

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