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Terça-feira, 10 / 03 / 20

How Safety Bias Tricks Socially Anxious People into Toxic Avoidance.

How Safety Bias Tricks Socially Anxious People into Toxic Avoidance.

Janey Davies.

https://www.learning-mind.com

March 9th, 2020.

 
safety bias social anxiety.
 

 
 
People with social anxiety are often told to face their fears. That gradual exposure to social situations will improve their anxiety. But research suggests those that do not improve are using safety bias tricks without realising. So what are these tricks and how do they lead to avoidance?
 
What Are Safety Bias Behaviours?
 
Socially anxious people fear social situations for a number of reasons. Some may feel trapped, others suffer from cripplingly low self-esteem, and some simply have anxiety attacks in social settings.
 
With all types of anxiety disorders, the treatment suggested is a gradual exposure to the fear-producing situation. The premise is to introduce the person very gradually to situations that cause slight anxiety. Once the person learns to stay in the situation and manage the fear, they can move onto a higher level of anxiety.
 
The idea is that by staying in the fear-producing setting, the person learns that nothing untoward happens and eventually the fear subsides. By the end, the person has overcome their social phobia.
 
This is all well and good. But as someone with a phobia will tell you, it’s never that simple. And researchers have found that socially anxious people are using safety bias tricks to avoid social situations. So let’s get down to it; what are these behaviors?
 
12 Safety Bias Tricks People with Social Anxiety Use
 
Safety bias makes a person undertake certain behaviours during a social setting which are designed to make them feel better, or safe, but in fact, don’t.
 
Some examples include:
  1. Always getting the end seat in a cinema so you can leave quickly if you feel anxious during the film showing.
  2. Standing at the back of the meeting room so you can escape if needed.
  3. Ordering only drinks at lunch so you can leave quickly if you feel panicky.
  4. Talking quickly, speeding up your speech without pausing.
  5. Avoiding eye contact so that you won’t have to talk to people.
  6. Wearing boring and bland clothing so that you don’t attract attraction to yourself.
  7. Drinking or taking drugs to steady your nerves before the event.
  8. Avoiding substances such as caffeine that you know increases your adrenalin and makes you blush or sweat.
  9. Pretending you didn’t see someone or that you are not interested in the conversation so you don’t have to participate.
  10. Asking a lot of questions to take the attention off yourself.
  11. Taking on roles within a group with the least interaction with others, e.g. setting up equipment or handing out paperwork.
  12. Walking with your head down or your hands in your pockets to avoid interaction with others.
 
Now we all have behaviours that we repeat to make ourselves feel calmer and more confident. For example, wearing makeup, putting on flattering clothes, even drinking and smoking help us to a certain extent.
 
And you might think that there isn’t really a problem with a person using these kinds of tricks if they make them feel safer. But research shows that safety bias behaviours actually hinder a socially anxious person’s ability to overcome their fear.
 
To put this into context, I want to show you some extreme forms of safety bias behaviours.
 
Extreme Forms of Safety Behaviours
 
  • An agoraphobic might remove themselves entirely from society and stay indoors to keep themselves safe.
  • A person with OCD might wash their hands over 100 times to keep themselves safe.
  • A man who fears to have a stroke might move around slowly so he keeps himself safe from injury.
  • A CEO with a fear of public speaking might feign illness on the day she is due to give a speech to keep herself safe.
  • A person with a fear of vomiting might stop eating to keep themselves safe.
 
These are all extreme versions of our socially-anxious sufferers, but you can see that by using safety behaviours, you are actually making the problem worse, not better.
 
Why Safety Bias Behaviours Don’t Work
 
The problem is that these safety behaviours have immediate relief in the short term. If you don’t have to face the most frightening thing in your life, it can be incredibly relieving and feel really good. Not only that, but this good feeling reinforces that what you are doing must be right. But it only works short-term.
 
In the long-term, it is very damaging. This is because when you engage in safety bias behaviours, you are focusing on your anxiety and your fears. These are at the forefront of your mind at all times. You are constantly examining what’s happening and then reacting to these perceived threats. And don’t forget, that’s all they are – perceived, they are not real.
 
The problem is that after a while, you become accustomed to feeling like this in social situations. It’s all you know. And then it becomes a vicious circle of negative fear and reaction. You use your safety behaviours and gradually withdraw from society. And although in the short-term, you might feel relieved, you don’t feel better in the long-term.
 
So what would benefit socially-anxious sufferers instead of safety bias tricks? That old treatment of confronting your fears is true. But you have to do it properly. You have to learn that social situations are not threatening and that there are other ways of coping, without using maladaptive ways.
 
Healthy Ways of Coping with Social Stress
 
So what are these adaptive ways of coping with social stress?
Breathing exercises and relaxing techniques.
 
Learning to breathe slowly and reduce your heart rate are key to decreasing your panic levels.
 
Talking to yourself in the third person.
 
Studies show that by talking to yourself in the third person instead of ‘I’m going to panic’ saying ‘She’s going to panic’ takes the edge off and allows you to be objective.
 
Understand that if you are ill, people are kind.
 
I always had a fear of fainting in public which affected me going out. Then I saw someone faint and everyone was so kind and caring.
Being prepared for your work.
 
You can’t go wrong if you have prepared the life out of your project. Know it inside and out and you won’t feel anxious talking about it on the day.
Live in the moment.
 
There’s a lot of talk these days about living in the moment and not letting life pass you by. You can use this mantra to reduce panic by remembering this moment will pass and tonight you’ll be safe in your bed
.
Final thoughts
 
It’s tempting to use safety bias tricks to help us get through tough times, but they don’t work, they just waste time, so why not learn some useful ways of coping instead. In fact, check out our CBT page for helpful tips.

References:
  1. www.cambridge.org
  2. www.researchgate.net
  3. unsworks.unsw.edu.au

Janey Davies

 





About the Author: Janey Davies.
Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 
 
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
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All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 




 

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publicado por achama às 08:24
Domingo, 22 / 12 / 19

10 Signs of Unresolved Grief That Poisons Your Life

Sherrie Hurd.

learning-mind.com

Posted December 21st, 2019.

 


 

 

Have you ever felt like your heart was broken but did not know why? This could be due to unresolved grief.
 
When a loved one dies, we grieve, but then over time, we heal. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Sometimes we have to deal with unresolved issues due to the grief we went through. It just doesn’t make sense now, does it? Everyone dies at some point, so why can’t we move on? I know I’m personally having a problem with this as well. It’s definitely something we want to soothe and heal properly.
 
But first, what is unresolved grief?
 
As time passes, the intensity of your grief should naturally lessen. You may be able to function more easily and return to your normal eating and sleeping patterns. Over more time, many people return to their normal daily routines even, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have unresolved grief hiding in the background.
 
Unfortunately, unresolved grief can show up unexpectedly in a very negative way. It has been known to affect current and future relationships in those who may not have completed the necessary passages of grief.
 
After a significant emotional loss such as death or end of a romantic relationship, people alter their life choices to protect their hearts from being hurt again. Have you ever done that?
 
I have, and I want you to know that it is okay. And I encourage working toward a resourceful solution, as it is the key to managing it effectively. It’s important to become familiar with some signs of unresolved grief in this post.
 
Warning signs that you are experiencing unresolved grief.
 
1. Appetite changes
 
When someone close to us passes away, we hardly notice our appetite changes. As time goes by, we may start to overeat, or not eat much at all.
 
I have seen people lose 20-30 lbs in just a month or two. This has happened to me as well. It’s difficult to explain exactly why we do this, but I can surmise that we are trying to use food as a balm for our pain, or maybe sometimes just a distraction. During the stages of grief, we might see this as part of denial.
 
2. Difficulty concentrating
 
Loved ones that were especially close to us will leave a hole where they used to be. Now, this hole, over time, will slowly fill with loving memories and warm feelings. At least, this is what’s supposed to happen.
 
Honestly, this can take years to happen if someone was a mother, child or mate. We will notice that it has become difficult to concentrate on anything without thinking of our loved one. We may start to fail classes, forget appointments, and even have trouble at work. It can take over every corner of our minds.
 
3. Sleep problems
 
When we lose loved ones, we may experience sleep problems. It could be that we sleep too much or we suffer from insomnia. It’s similar to our eating disorders when going through unresolved grief. We may also experience nightmares, or dreams where we are with our loved ones, just to awake and they are not there. Our realization when waking can hurt horribly once again.
 
4. Nauseating sadness
 
If we haven’t’ been able to get over the loss of a loved one, there could be stages of nauseating sadness. This sadness generally comes from anxiety. If the deceased was someone who was always there for you, and someone you could talk to, your anxiety levels will peak at times causing nausea, a sick stomach paired with sadness. It’s the worst feeling.
 
5. Inability to talk
 
Some people just cannot talk about the death of their friend or loved one. It’s too painful for them, or they are still in the stages of denial. Did you know that denial can last long past the time you thought you were okay? Many people will keep to themselves and refuse to even mention their loved one’s name. This is incredibly sad.
 
6. Not thinking
 
Like some people who stop talking about their loved ones, others will push their loved ones completely out of their minds. It seems easier for them to pretend that the deceased never existed. It’s not because they are being cruel, but simply trying to keep from completely breaking down.
 
Look, death can be horrendous for some people, while others can handle it well. For those who don’t wish to think of their loved ones, the deceased must have meant a lot to them.
 
7. Avoiding things
 
When someone you love dies, you attempt to heal. Some people do well with this and go back to their routine in life. Others will avoid doing anything because they feel stuck in the moment of death. This means avoiding places, people, things, and even losing jobs over their inability to return to work. Avoidance is another form of denial.
 
8. Not accepting any negative
 
Then you have some people who only want to talk about all the positive things in life, including all the good accomplishments of their deceased loved one. But there is never a moment for tears, or never a time to get angry for them. It’s as if they refuse to let any negative emotions emerge.
 
I’m going to tell you this, not accepting the negative with the positive can cause severe damage to your health. Eventually, you will hit the bottom, and all that positive thinking will crash. Grieving will be worse, than if you’d grieved earlier.
 
9. Fall back into routine
 
Yes, you should eventually return to routine. But here’s the other side of the coin: You should also allow yourself a bit of downtime to feel the pain. Yes, I said it. You have to feel the pain in order to heal from the pain. So, returning immediately to your ordinary life wouldn’t be the best thing to do. If you’re doing this, it’s definitely unresolved issues with grief.
 
10. Stop getting close to people
 
Unresolved grief can also make you turn cold toward others. The one you lost was so close to you that you refuse to hurt like that again. So, what do you do? You close yourself off from everybody else. There is healing to be done with the death of your loved one, and you’ve obviously not completed this cycle.
 
Yes, you can get through this in a healthy way.
 
Is your life forever changed after grief or a loss? Yes, it can be. Managing your grief is a good thing, but you don’t have to live the rest of your life in pain due to unresolved grief.
 
Imagine thinking about someone who died, or an ex, without feeling broken-hearted. Imagine living and loving to the fullest. What would that be like for you?
 
It can be done! I have done it and so can you! Seek out ways to manage your unresolved grief and watch the way you move forward to improve your joy, fulfillment, and life.
 
References:
 
 

Sherrie Hurd

 

 

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publicado por achama às 18:39
Sexta-feira, 18 / 01 / 19

7 Hidden Causes of Fear That Could Explain Why You Avoid Some Things in Life ~ Sherrie.

7 Hidden Causes of Fear That Could Explain Why You Avoid Some Things in Life.

By Sherrie.

January 18th, 2019 

 

.

 

 

We, as humans, are afraid of many things, sometimes developing severe phobias. So, what are the hidden causes of fear? What are the reasons for these reactions?

When I was a little girl, I was afraid of the forest surrounding my house, but only at night. During the day, I ran through the woods without a care in the world. What made the difference between my time in the forest during the day, and my fear of what lurked there in the darkness. It’s strange if you think about it. What are these causes of fear?
Upon analyzing my fears, I come to a conclusion. I am afraid of the unknown. Since it was dark in the forest when I was afraid, this meant I could not see what dwelled there. It’s safe to say that the darkness covers the unknown and these unknown things cause feelings of fear. As an adult, I still suffer from the fear of the unknown, and many of us do.

The hidden causes of fear

Children being afraid of the dark is just something that most people understand, without fully understanding. Much like many other situations, we don’t really question the causes of fear.
But there are other kinds of fears, less tangible but just as important, and these other fears are the ones that can keep us from reaching our full potential. Now’s the time to analyze the causes of fear and understand a bit more about ourselves. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why we’re frightened.

1. Failure

One of the most common causes of fear is failure. So many of us refuse to leave our comfort zones because we are afraid of doing something wrong, something that could damage our lives forever. The fear of failure can be seen in those who procrastinate in taking steps toward things like new careers, education, or starting a relationship.
The fear of failure is often hidden behind the reasoning of why you shouldn’t take that step forward. It’s also camouflaged as self-sacrifice as well. Sometimes, instead of doing something to better yourself, you may choose to focus all your energies on others.
Doing for others is good, but not when you forget about your own goals and potential. Learn to recognize the signs of fear of failure in its early stages so you can improve your life accordingly.

2. Decidophobia

Yes, decidophobia is a real thing. It’s basically the fear of making decisions. Personally, I think my second child has this problem. Everything he does has to be thought over carefully, even the simplest of tasks. I believe that inside he is wrestling with the fear of making the wrong decision, and so he takes extreme measures of time to make the decision in the first place.
So, in my son’s case, his strategy is that if he takes long enough, the decision will become clear. In my experience, this is not true. It seems that if I take too long making a decision, it actually becomes much harder.
The fear of decision making can be crippling, stealing so much time from the rest of your life. So, why not practice forcing yourself to make quicker decisions and walk away. It will be painful, but it will help you see the fallacy in your logic.

3. Negative scenarios

One of the causes of fear revolves around the stories you play in your head. For instance, when you cannot reach a friend by phone, you may start to worry. When this happens, your mind starts to compensate for the absence of explanation.
In other words, if you don’t know where someone is or if they are okay, then your brain fills in the gap. Many times, these fabrications are negative.
While not everyone ruminates like this, many do. Building negative scenarios in your mind feeds your fear. If you start believing that your absent friend has been in an accident, then you start to fear those things. You actually fear far-fetched ideas.
If you allow yourself to think positive things instead, then you decrease your fears and breed peace.

4. Trust issues

So many of us have trust issues of some kind or other. That’s why we often have fears that something bad will happen. I remember telling friends about the walls around me. I built all these walls because of the hurtful things that happened in the past. Unfortunately, these walls kept the good things out as well.
I have trust issues, let’s just put that out there to help you understand. I am in constant fear of being betrayed by one person or the other. It affects most aspects of my life and I hate it. I try to relinquish these fears, but something happens that, again, fortifies that untrusting mindset.
All I can say is, we just have to try harder to break down the wall and let people love us. After all, it’s possible that they actually have good intentions.

5. Insecurities

This cause of fear is similar to trust issues, but not exactly the same. While insecurities can cause trust issues which in turn, can cause fears, insecurities alone can cause different sorts of fears.
Let’s say you are insecure about your weight and so you are afraid to wear certain things to the beach. You fear ridicule and you fear rejection. Insecurities have the power to destroy your self-image and that’s why it’s so important to practice self-love and realization in your life.
I often suffer from insecurities, but I stop myself and think about what I’m worth. My worth as a human being does not change according to things people say about me or how they treat me. I want you to remember this as well.

6. Perfectionism

One of the causes of fear that can really limit your life is perfectionism. If you think it’s important to be perfect, then any failure would be devastating.
So, if you sense an event would cause you to make mistakes, then you will not go to that event. You might not even date certain people in fear that they would see your imperfections. It can be quite crippling actually.
Since you have a fear of imperfection, you will often do nothing. This is the severe form of perfectionism. You may feel that if you partake in social activities or anything at all, you won’t be able to feel the same about yourself if not seen as perfect. You may have friends, but honestly, they will be few.

7. Past trauma

I think one of the most common causes of fear would be past trauma. Since I am in the sharing mood, I will share even more. I was abused, and I believe I have shared this many times. Because of my past trauma, I fear many things, especially people in general. Yes, I guess you can say I have a case of anthropophobia (fear of people).
Past traumas cause PTSD, anxiety and also physical health problems. Unfortunately, we don’t often address the common fears they produce. Past traumas can affect our social life, spiritual life, family life and more. Because of what happened to us, we will often avoid relationships or career changes.
Do an inventory of your life and see if anything from your past connects with your present fears. It could be interesting.

Fears aren’t the end of the world

Despite how prevalent your fears are in your life, there’s always hope for change. The causes of fears may be many and complex, but with understanding, you can find the key to unlock these fears. I hope this has helped you learn a bit more about yourself, and I wish you well.
References:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
About the Author: Sherrie

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

COPYRIGHT © 2018 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.

 
 




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Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.

 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 

 

No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)

 

Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 


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publicado por achama às 23:31
A Luz está a revelar a Verdade, e esta libertar-nos-á! -Só é real o AMOR Incondicional. -Quando o Amor superar o amor pelo poder, o mundo conhecerá a Paz; Jimi Hendrix. -Somos almas a ter uma experiência humana!

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