On a logical level we know that if we avoid something, it always has a way of catching up with us. More often than not in a worse state then when it began. Yet so many people tend to avoid the things that they really find difficult.
You will often hear people say ‘I don’t want to talk about it’, or ‘I can’t deal with that right now’. At the moment in time they are trying to convince themselves that they can block these thoughts and feelings out. Perhaps they believe that if they don’t say things out loud then they can get past them. You may even hear people say I am too busy or too tired right now. I can’t question that, I don’t have the energy for that or I just can’t think about that right now.
Sometimes people are even less aware of their avoidance. It won’t be the words they speak, but the behaviour they display. Perhaps you will witness people turning to alcohol as a way of numbing feelings or blocking them out. Convincing themselves that they are just having a good time. When in reality they aren’t getting in touch with their own feelings and experiences.
You may see others turn to exercise and find them obsessively working out. Convincing themselves they are doing something positive for themselves – meanwhile suppressing all the feelings and emotions they need to face.
This type of addictive / compulsive behaviour can be found in all kinds of different areas of life – ranging from work, to cleaning, social media or sex. These are just a few examples of the worlds that people can throw themselves obsessively into as a way of avoiding the things that are causing them stress, anxiety, upset or anger for example.
We struggle to sleep when the heart is at war with the mind. We struggle to focus when we feel lost in some way. We find it hard to keep on top of the things in our life when we are overwhelmed. Anxiety rises when we feel out of control. Eating habits change when we are stressed or upset.
Take a moment – step back. How is the balance in your life?? How is all of the above for you?? If you are struggling in some way then it’s important to really think about what might be going on for you. Is there something you are afraid of? Something you are worried about? Is there something that is stressing you out or upsetting you? If you work hard to ground yourself you may find the things that you could currently be avoiding.
We all know that things become so much more real when we say them out loud. Yet if we don’t say them then we don’t ever identify what is actually going on for us.
A life of avoidance is not a sustainable one. It leads to depression, stress, isolation, anxiety, fear, illness – the list goes on. If you can step back and take some time out for yourself – you will first of all feel so much calmer – and then you will begin to gain some clarity.
There is no denying that this clarity could be scary. But we don’t grow by staying comfortable. We grow by addressing the things that challenge us. Remaining in a comfort zone – one where we avoid and try to keep functioning – leads to a very detached and empty way of living.
If on the other hand we use this clarity positively we can channel it in the right direction and begin to make some positive active changes to our life. If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. If something is worrying you then there is probably a reason for that. If you feel concerned about something you are right to listen to your concerns. Slow down. Reflect. Feel and be. Maybe take some time to journal, or to write down the things that are worrying you. Take it one step at a time but start to make plans about how to change these areas. Enlist help and support when you need too. Stop avoiding the things that are causing you upset and stress – start dealing with them.