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The right way to Tackle What’s Actually Inflicting Your Avoidance

By Leo Babauta

After we are procrastinating, avoiding train or another behavior we need to create, or avoiding taking up a tough challenge … the underlying trigger is never what we expect it’s.

We predict that every one we have to do is do the factor we’re avoiding, and cease procrastinating. Easy! However then once we fail, we surprise what’s incorrect with us.

The issue is that we aren’t actually addressing the true trigger. We’re addressing the symptom, and whereas there are strategies that may assist with the symptom, they hardly ever final for very lengthy.

So what causes our avoidance? An underlying emotional present. Some type of interior state.

Let me stroll you thru it:

  • You’re feeling a sure method — due to the best way your life goes, you is likely to be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, afraid, unhappy, lonely, emotionally exhausted, annoyed, battered by life.
  • You resist that emotional state — you don’t need to really feel that method, so that you resist letting your self really feel it. This resistance is often within the type of distraction, like on-line distraction, busywork, messaging, and so on.
  • Dealing with tough issues is tougher on this emotional state — turning towards a tough challenge, or clearing muddle, or coping with a thousand emails … these are all overwhelming in one of the best of occasions. However being in a tough emotional state makes it even tougher. No surprise we’re avoiding!
  • We attempt to overcome our avoidance with ways — we attempt to coerce ourselves to do the factor we’re avoiding, with ways. “No distractions, solely work right this moment!” And it typically works, however as a result of the underlying emotional state hasn’t been addressed, it by no means lasts lengthy. We return to avoidance.
  • This makes us really feel dangerous, and worsens the underlying emotional state — we really feel dangerous about ourselves once we revert to avoidance. This solely provides to no matter emotional state was already there. Return to step one above, and repeat, with some added emotional stress!

Any of this sound acquainted? It’s what we’re all going by, day-after-day, often with out understanding it. Even when we’re conscious, we’re hardly ever truly going through it, as a result of we’re resisting the emotional state.

So the 2 issues to deal with are:

  1. We’re unaware of the emotional state inflicting avoidance.
  2. We resist the emotion, whether or not we’re conscious of it or not.

Let’s speak about methods to tackle these points, so we are able to tackle the true explanation for avoidance.

Bringing Consciousness to the Internal State

The hot button is to note while you’re avoiding one thing. Is there a challenge, activity, dialog, or private behavior you’re pushing aside?

Alternatively, you may discover that you just’re caught up in distraction — messaging, social media, e-mail, busywork, Youtube, Netflix, information websites, boards, and so on. Doing just a little of that is at all times cool, however if you’re caught up doing it rather a lot, then this can be a signal you’re in all probability avoiding.

When you discover your avoiding or caught up in distraction … see should you can discover your underlying interior state. Are you feeling unhappy, grieving or lonely? Overwhelmed, afraid, anxious? Pissed off, indignant, resentful, burdened? Harm, unloved, unseen?

At this level, you don’t should do something in regards to the emotional state. Simply discover. The extra you deliver consciousness, the extra you’ll be capable to tackle it sooner or later.

Not Resisting the Emotion

In the event you’re avoiding or caught in distraction, it’s a very good guess that you just’re resisting the emotion. That signifies that you don’t need to really feel it — you are feeling there’s one thing incorrect with feeling unhappy, indignant, anxious, and so on. In your head, you may assume there’s nothing incorrect with these emotions … however there’s part of you that doesn’t need to really feel them. Perhaps you assume you’ll be able to’t deal with it, or it’s too onerous.

There’s nothing incorrect with resisting the emotion. It’s human to withstand! However so long as we’re resisting it, it is going to have an influence over us, and avoidance turns into unavoidable.

In the event you’re up for letting go of your resistance, the follow is simply to let your self really feel the emotion. Simply really feel unhappy, lonely, anxious, annoyed. Sit in stillness for a couple of minutes, and simply let your self really feel it. The principle instruction is to chill out — let your physique and thoughts chill out, because the emotion comes up.

Give up to the emotion. It’s hardly ever that tough, and can often solely final for a minute or three. If it’s too intense, you’ll be able to cease — do one thing to take your thoughts off it.

Whether or not you’re in a position to give up to it or not, give your self a couple of minutes of self-care after. Give your self compassion, love, a pleasant heat cup of tea. Get a hug from somebody, or discuss to a buddy or therapist. And acknowledge your self for no matter you had been in a position to do.

How To not Keep away from

Placing this all collectively, right here’s methods to create a shift so that you aren’t avoiding as a lot … 

Discover while you’re avoiding or caught in distraction.

Discover the underlying interior emotional state.

Give up to the emotional state, letting your self really feel it. Loosen up.

Give your self some love and self-care.

When you’ve carried out that, you have to be a lot clearer. Now see in case your coronary heart is extra open to taking up what you’re avoiding.

Simply do 5 minutes of what you’re avoiding, to begin with, to provide your self an emotional victory. It’ll open your coronary heart much more.

Dance in victory!

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