Through some google search or other I found this Wikipedia article on "Experiential Avoidance".
For me it added to my understanding of my craving for procrastination/avoidance behaviour.
I'm now making a tentative start on practising "Mindfulness". I've had a good day, where I got things done that I'd been putting off; and a bad day, where being sick and tired made my craving for avoidance stronger than my choice to be mindful.
Anyway, I thought I'd share it in case it helped anyone else.
Here's the article's list of the effects of Experiential Avoidance (EA) on quality of life.
"Perhaps the most significant impact of EA is its potential to disrupt
and interfere with important, valued aspects of an individual's life.
That is, EA is seen as particularly problematic when it occurs at the
expense of a person's deeply held values. Some examples include:
- Putting off an important task because of the discomfort it evokes.
- Not taking advantage of an important opportunity due to attempts to avoid worries of failure or disappointment.
- Not engaging in physical activity/exercise, meaningful hobbies, or other recreational activities due to the effort they demand.
- Avoiding social gatherings or interactions with others because of the anxiety and negative thoughts they evoke.
- Not being a full participant in social gatherings due to attempts to regulate anxiety relating to how others are perceiving you.
- Being unable to fully engage in meaningful conversations with others
because one is scanning for signs of danger in the environment
(attempting to avoid feeling "unsafe").
- Inability to "connect" and sustain a close relationship because of attempts to avoid feelings of vulnerability.
- Staying in a "bad" relationship to try to avoid discomfort, guilt, and potential feelings of loneliness a break-up might entail.
- Losing a marriage or contact with children due to an unwillingness
to experience uncomfortable feelings (e.g., achieved through drug or
alcohol abuse) or symptoms of withdrawal.
- Not attending an important graduation, wedding, funeral, or other family event to try to avoid anxiety or symptoms of panic.
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviors in an attempt to avoid feelings of boredom, emptiness, worthlessness.
- Not functioning or taking care of basic responsibilities (e.g.,
personal hygiene, waking up, showing up to work, shopping for food)
because of the effort they demand and/or distress they evoke.
- Spending so much time attempting to avoid discomfort, that you have little time for anyone or anything else in your life."
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re: Experiential Avoidance
So many of these describe me. An amazing number actually. The first two especially. And your description of 'craving avoidance' also rings true. It is like an addiction. One that I sometimes feel helpless to avoid, even though rationally I know that I am nothing of the sort.
re: Experiential Avoidance
Wow, thanks for posting this, Lute.
This describes me very well.