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Title:The subtle thing that fuels anxiety - Avoidance - Break the Anxiety Cycle in 30 Days 4/30

Do you want to learn How to Process Emotions and improve your Mental Health? Sign up for a Therapy in a Nutshell Membership, you'll get access to all of Emma’s courses, workbooks, and a Live Q and A with 100’s of exclusive videos: Break the Anxiety Cycle in 30 Days- Online Course- In the last video we learned all about the anxiety cycle. Your default mode is safety, if you perceive a threat, have a fear response, then face it or resolve it, your body has a natural ability to shake it off and return to a sense of safety. But when we perceive something as dangerous and then we avoid it, our brain adapts by upregulating our anxiety. But here’s the thing. We humans are uniquely just really good at two things, thinking of danger, and avoidance. We have the incredible ability to envision threats that aren’t happening (like worrying if we have enough money for retirement, or imagining people rejecting us) and this can help us prevent problems down the road, but it does keep us in the fear response in the present moment. And then the second thing we are really good at is using complex and contrived ways to escape discomfort. We’re smart enough to know how to suppress our emotions, we can distract ourselves, procrastinate, find creative ways to avoid people or places that bother us, make excuses, justify ourselves, and just hide from our fears in general. But while avoidance brings us short term relief, it increases anxiety in the long run. We aren’t closing the loop and restoring a sense of safety. What keeps us anxious? -Running from our feelings -Avoiding our problems and -Immobilization not taking any action. Anxiety isn’t the same as a hot fear response, it’s much more of a cold, frozen dread response. On the polyvagal ladder it hovers between the FFF response and the shut down response. The world is a safer place. Check out the links below: Looking for affordable online counseling? My sponsor, BetterHelp, connects you to a licensed professional from the comfort of your own home. Try it now for 10% off your first month: Learn more in one of my in-depth mental health courses: Support my mission on Patreon: Sign up for my newsletter: Check out my favorite self-help books: Check out my podcast, Therapy in a Nutshell: Therapy in a Nutshell and the information provided by Emma McAdam are solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and are not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health. In therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, positive psychology, and a bio-psycho-social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources. Many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind-body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR), and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I also rely heavily on the work of the Arbinger institute for my overall understanding of our ability to choose our life's direction. And deeper than all of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ orients my personal worldview and sense of security, peace, hope, and love If you are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or your local emergency services. Copyright Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC


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