Avoidance

 

 

When people are stressed, they tend to avoid the situations that make them feel bad/anxious. It may make us feel better for a short while but avoidance usually makes things worse in the long term e.g. missing important deadlines, feeling even more anxious, helpless and tense.

There are two ways to deal with avoidance.

 
 
 

A. Breaking the task into smaller, easier steps

This is helpful when you are feeling anxious about starting a difficult or scary task. It helps you to get started on important tasks rather than trying to do all parts of a task in one go. By breaking the task down into smaller, easier steps, you can feel good after finishing each step before moving to the next. It is important that each step is small and easy enough for you to feel more confident and motivated to continue

 

 
Breaking the task into smaller, easier steps
1) Describe the task
2) What is the first step that you can take? (Remember that smallest, easiest steps must come first)
3) Having finished the first step, how do you feel? Rate how motivated you feel from 0 to 10)?
4) What is the second step you can take?
5) What is the third step you can take? And so on until the task is finished..


 

It is possible that there will be times that you have broken the task down but still cannot get started. In this case, the problem may have to do with the thoughts you are having about the tasks and these can be tackled using the next method: