In order not to develop anxiety, start by not avoiding certain situations

When is avoiding a good option? We are used to running away and avoiding discomfort, but there are times when this only complicates the problem further. And to overcome it, we have to face it differently.

Avoiding what hurts or annoys us is the first impulse but, as we will see, it is not always the best option.. If it’s a one-time problem, it can be adaptive in trying to avoid ailments or things that cause us anxiety or discomfort.

But… How can repeating uncomfortable situations not cost us dearly? Well, it’s simple; if it limits or harms us on a daily basis, if it persists over time, it means that it is something to be solved, not just to be avoided.

For example, if I have vertigo, I will not go hiking in places that I consider dangerous, but I will make an effort to overcome the fear of this place that I usually cross and which even if it scares me do not compensate me avoid.

    The importance of not always resorting to comfort

    We realize that avoiding is not strictly bad if this attitude is not constant, only punctual and if it does not condition us.

    It seems like a logical reaction, but the experience speaks for itself; if we avoid having a bad time, in the end we have a worse time because the fear we have stays or increases but is never reduced, and it becomes more and more difficult for us to cope with it or we feel more and more helpless in the face of it. Avoiding in itself is like not coping, and this situation can easily cause us anxiety.

    Avoiding a feared situation has been shown to increase fear of future experiences. It gives a false sense of control and ends up producing effects contrary to those we are trying to obtain, because far from avoiding making a mistake and feeling capable of overcoming it, that only leads us to postpone this bad sip, because we will meet again in this situation.

    If we avoid it, we don’t trust our own resources, and this feeling of incompetence and lack of confidence is what generates fear or anxiety.

      Measure the risks, try to be realistic

      Getting closer to what makes us feel good and moving away from what makes us suffer is an ancestral survival mechanism; Even moving away from what we think, intuitive or assume can harm us. When something dangerous happens, innate survival mechanisms are activated in us which according to the appreciation of the situation make us fight, flee or be paralyzed.

      So we are measuring the risks. I will fight if I think I have a good chance of winning, and there are those who don’t take risks if they are not clear that a situation is not at risk. I’ll run if I think it’s too high a risk or it doesn’t seem like an acceptable risk. I will stop if fear comes over me and I think I have no chance, not even to escape.

      To avoid is to flee, and to confirm that you cannot face this situation. It is accepting that this situation is dangerous and this increases fear, which causes us feelings of incompetence. But we must not let our fear make us misinterpret the situation, i.e. exaggerate or catastrophic, and it is important to be aware that when fear comes over us, it makes us think what it does not. ‘is not.

        How to overcome fear and stop avoiding it?

        The first is to realize that not avoiding and tackling something is a resource that we already have and that we use very often. And the second is to be able to not let fear decide for us. If the motivation is strong we will be able to cope with what we did not imagine at the start.

        But more importantly as the days go by as we do what we have to do, we find that most of the time the risk is not as extreme as we thought it was. Being warned is a resource for coping; if something is at risk, I do it with caution or take certain precautions, but I don’t run away and make this warned coward.

        It is common for people who have been through difficult situations over time to become more careful and wiser. or more respectful to avoid accidents… They understand the risks better, have more experience.

        But people who have lived without feeling bad, or who have avoided discomfort and frustration, or who have found themselves helpless in the face of a situation, will choose with fear and not wisely in the face of many things, which will do. the fear that they will gain ground and that their comfort zone will become smaller and smaller, and that leaving them will cause them more and more anxiety.

          The main obstacle

          The problem is the false sense of security, and this is what makes most people, when it happens to them, not seeking help to overcome it. They feel better this way, in their sometimes reduced comfort zone, than facing fear, because that’s what they think works for them.

          When you start limiting them and interfering with their life or that of those close to them, that is when they can realize that it is not worth continuing to be overwhelmed with fear, and they will have the motivation to do so. ‘face and resolve that fear that they do not live in fullness forever.

          Maria Rojas-Marcos

          General health psychologist

          Verified professional


          Online therapy

          See profileContact

          As you can see, in this article we are working on the cognitive component of the situation. Understanding how fear works is a big step in preventing it from gaining control and being able to act in the way that works best for us instead of how we feel.. If you also combine it with relaxation techniques, you will prevent fear and therefore decrease the chances that this situation will end up causing you anxiety. Remember: not to avoid, but to face and not believe everything that fear makes me feel or think.

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