Most recently, I focused in on two very prominent behavioral patterns that are highly associated with worry and anxiety, viz., avoidance and "what if" thinking. Anxious people are prone to avoid situations they incorrectly perceive as causes of their anxiety. They may avoid making doctors appointments, taking the elevator, flying on planes, crowded rooms, small spaces...whatever they think "makes them anxious." Although they may get temporary relief from avoidance behavior, the relief actually strengthens (reinforces) the avoidance and the underlying faulty reasoning, making the problem worse, Meanwhile, avoidance does absolutely nothing to correct the faulty thinking that makes an anxious person worry and feel anxious.
The real culprit behind anxiety is the learned, but faulty, "what if" thinking that evokes anxiousness. For example, "what if the doctor gives me bad news...that would be terrible" or "what if the elevator stops working...I could get stuck in there forever," etc. Instead of correcting the common, but faulty and disturbing what if thought, an anxious person wrongly seeks to avoid the situation. This behavior only serves to worsen anxiousness.
Please stay tuned because we will go over how to replace these incorrect behavioral patterns with behavior that promotes well-being and mental health rather than robbing us of it. You can also find out more about this topic as well as many others in my new guide or by viewing my broadcasts on on Periscope and You Tube You can.
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