Russ MjL Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness M m ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety. of the “void” in his book The Power of Now. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt Introduction Resisting Happiness: A True Story about Why We. The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Russ Harris. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format.
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Dr Russ Harris has written an easy to read, practical book on how to manage the The happiness trap: stop struggling, start living / Dr Russ Harris. Russ Harris musicmarkup.info This questionnaire has been adapted from similar ones developed by Steven Hayes, Frank Bond, and others. Russ Harris has very carefully and creatively presented .. These four powerful myths provide the basic blueprint for the happiness trap. They set us up for a.
They provide clients with a simple way to understand how their feelings and thoughts influence their actions, and thus, allow people to visualize how adjusting our thoughts affects our behaviors. Here are three of our favorite metaphors relevant to ACT. Occasionally, waves send water over the side and into the boat, causing you the inconvenience of wet feet. The boat includes a bailer to bail out this water, and you know how to use it. So one day, when a particularly big wave breaks over the side and leaves water in your boat, you start bailing.
During my evening routine, I will practice mindfulness of ………………………………………. During the week, I will practice mindfulness of the following chore s …………………………. At the end of each week, pull this sheet out and see how well you have followed it. Even 5 minutes practice a day can make a difference over time. What do you want your life to stand for?
What sort of qualities do you want to cultivate as a person? How do you want to be in your relationships with others? Values are our heart's deepest desires for the way we want to interact with and relate to the world, other people, and ourselves. They are leading principles that can guide us and motivate us as we move through life. Values are not the same as goals. Values are directions we keep moving in, whereas goals are what we want to achieve along the way. A value is like heading North; a goal is like the river or mountain or valley we aim to cross whilst traveling in that direction.
For example, if you want to be a loving, caring, supportive partner, that is a value — an ongoing process. If you stop being loving, caring and supportive, then you are no longer a loving, caring, supportive partner; you are no longer living by that value. The following are areas of life that are valued by some people.
Not everyone has the same values, and this is not a test to see whether you have the "correct" values. Think about each area in terms of general life directions, rather than in terms of specific goals.
There may be areas that overlap — e. It is also important that you write down what you would value if there were nothing in your way. What do you care about? And what you would like to work towards? Family relations. What personal qualities would you like to bring to those relationships?
What sort of relationships would you like to build? How would you interact with others if you were the ideal you in these relationships?
What sort of partner would you like to be in an intimate relationship? The boat includes a bailer to bail out this water, and you know how to use it. So one day, when a particularly big wave breaks over the side and leaves water in your boat, you start bailing.
You may start bailing calmly or mindfully, but eventually, you might find yourself bailing desperately or wildly to get rid of all this water. Where is it headed? Where has it drifted to? Now imagine that you take a look at the bailer and see that it is really a sieve, full of holes? What would you do? The implicit purpose of bailing water here is probably to get your boat back on track—once you rid the boat of the water.
But if your tool is not suited to the task, you will find yourself struggling to get rid of any water, let alone guide your boat. The question is would rather be on a boat that has only a little water in the bottom, but is drifting without direction, or on a boat that may have quite a bit of water in the bottom but is heading in the direction you wish to go?
This metaphor can help you or your clients realize two things: The techniques we use to deal with our problematic thoughts and feelings are tools like the bailer and the sieve, and some are better than others. To read this metaphor in its entirety, see this link. The Mind Bully Metaphor This metaphor is meant for people struggling with a particular emotion or diagnosis, like anger, anxiety, or depression.
In this metaphor, the mind bully is our particular problem: it is an extremely large and strong bully. We are on opposite sides of a pit, tugging back and forth on a rope as the Mind Bully tries to make us fall into the pit. When we pull on the rope, when we listen and pay attention to or even believe the monster, we are actually feeding it. Like any bully, the Mind Bully can only harm us when we engage with it and believe the negative things it says.
Instead of pulling on the rope, what do you think would happen if we drop it? The Mind Bully might still be there, hurling its insults and meanness, but it would no longer be able to pull us towards the pit.
The less that we feed the Mind Bully, the smaller and quieter it will get. Maybe eventually, we even will grow empathy for this sad creature and wonder why it says such mean thoughts. We stop feeding the Mind Bully by noticing and acknowledging it but shifting our attention away from it instead of believing what it says. Engaging in a quick mindfulness exercise can be a great way to do this.
To learn more about the Mind Bully metaphor and read the alternate version of this metaphor, visit this website. The Quicksand Metaphor Quicksand is a loose, wet patch of sand that cannot support weight like dry sand can. When you step in quicksand, you start to sink instead of finding a solid footing. Common knowledge is that struggling against quicksand only increases the rate at which it sucks you down into its depths.
When you put more weight on one foot to try to lift the other, it just sinks deeper into the pit. The more you struggle, the deeper you sink. The solution to surviving quicksand is to spread your body weight over a large surface area and move slowly.
Rather than trying to stand and fight the quicksand, ignore your instincts to struggle and lie down on your back instead. This same principle applies to pain, suffering, and knowing when to ask for help.
The more we struggle and fight against it, rather than accepting our situation, the more we drag ourselves down deeper. When we accept that the suffering is inevitable, we are more likely to survive and come out the other side more quickly and efficiently. To learn more about this metaphor, you can read about it here or watch a short YouTube video about it here. Spoiler alert: they include some pretty cute animation. They divide their resources by method of learning: on your own, or with a community.
You can check their events calendar here to see when there will be training in your area. These workshops are conducted by Dr. Jason Luoma both on location in the Pacific Northwest and online; they focus on a variety of topics within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The next two upcoming workshops will be focused on applying ACT and mindfulness techniques for self-critical and shame-prone clients.
You can find more information about these workshops here. Russ Harris offers online training in ACT.
His 8-week course for beginners lasts includes animation, video clips of real ACT sessions, audio clips, and more. Another course through Dr. Harris focuses on ACT and mindfulness for clients who have experienced trauma.
This 8-week course offers an intensive dive into ACT complete with videos, online coursework, and multiple tools and techniques to apply in your practice. You can learn more about this course here. This empowering book presents the insights and techniques of ACT Acceptance and Commitment Therapy , a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology.
By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness a technique for living fully in the present moment , ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life. The techniques presented in The Happiness Trap will help readers to: Harris systematically explores how we get into the 'happiness trap' and then shines a powerful beacon showing us another way forward. This book reveals that when calibrating one's life according to acceptance and valued action, happiness is a pleasant sideshow in the larger carnival of an engaged and purposeful existence.
Harris explains how we can work with ourselves as we are, rather than aggressively trying to alter ourselves. I'm impressed by the simple and effective methods of ACT. He travels nationally and internationally to train individuals and health professionals in the techniques of ACT. Born and educated in England, he now lives in Australia. For more information, visit thehappinesstrap. Printed in U. Trumpeter Boston www. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without pennission in writing from the publisher.
Greta D. Includes index. ISBN pbk.: H27H And to my wife Carmel, whose love, wisdom, and generosity has enriched my life and opened my heart in ways I would never have dreamed possible. Fairytales Chapter 2: Vicious cycles PART 2: The six core principles of act Chapter 4: The great storyteller Chapter 5: True blues Chapter 6: Troubleshooting defusion Chapter 7: Scary pictures Chapter 9: Demons on the boat Chapter How do you feel?
Chapter 1 1: The struggle switch Chapter How the struggle switch developed Chapter Staring down demons Chapter Troubleshooting expansion Chapter Urge surfing Chapter More demons Chapter The time machine Chapter The dirty dog Chapter A confusing word Chapter Tell it like it is Chapter The big story Chapter Follow your heart Chapter The big question Chapter Troubleshooting values Chapter The thousand-mile journey Chapter Finding fulfdment Chapter A life of plenty Chapter Facing fear Chapter 3 1: Willingness Chapter Onward and upward Chapter A meaningful life Further reading Resources Acknowledgments Front cover flap Back cover flap Back cover material Foreword There is a tremendous irony in happiness.
Unfortunately, these very control efforts can become heavy, planned, closed, rigid and fixed. Happiness is not just a matter of feeling good. If it were, drug abusers would be the happiest people on the planet. Indeed, feeling good can be a very unhappy pursuit.
Like a butterfly pinned to a table, however, happiness dies unless it is held lightly. Drug abusers are not the only ones. In the name of producing an emotional result we call happiness, most of us tend to engage in behaviour that is the exact opposite and then feel awful and inadequate with the inevitable result. This book is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT , which is an empirically supported approach that takes a new and unexpected tack in dealing with the issue of happiness and life satisfaction.
Instead of teaching new techniques to pursue happiness, ACT teaches ways to undermine struggle, avoidance, and loss of the moment.
Russ Hams has very carefully and creatively presented this approach in an accessible way. The joyful message in these pages is that there is no reason to continue to wait for life to start. That waiting game can end. Like a lion placed in a paper cage, human beings are generally most trapped by the illusions of their own mind. But despite the appearance the cage is not really a barrier that can contain the human spirit.
There is another way forward, and with this book Dr Harris shines a powerful and loving beacon forward into the night, lighting that path. Enjoy the journey. You are in excellent hands. Steven C. And suppose that those very beliefs were making you miserable.
What if your very efforts to find happiness were actually preventing you from achieving it? And what if almost everyone you knew turned out to be in the same boat — including all those psychologists, psychiatrists and self-help gurus who claim to have all the answers? This book is based on a growing body of scientific research that suggests we are all caught in a powerful psychological trap. But these erroneous beliefs are both the cause of and the fuel for a vicious cycle, in which the more we try to find happiness, the more we suffer.
This book will give you all the skills and knowledge you need to do it. ACT has been astoundingly effective in helping patients with a wide range of problems: For example, in one remarkable study, psychologists Patty Bach and Steven Hayes used ACT with patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia and found that only four hours of therapy were sufficient to reduce hospital readmission rates by half! ACT has also proved highly effective for the less dramatic problems that millions of us encounter, such as quitting smoking and reducing stress in the workplace.
Unlike the vast majority of other therapies, ACT has a firm basis in scientific research and, because of this, it is rapidly growing in popularity among psychologists all around the world. The aim of ACT is to help you live a rich, full and meaningful life, while effectively handling the pain that inevitably comes your way.
ACT achieves this through the use of six powerful principles, which are very different from the so-called commonsense strategies suggested in most self-help books.
Is Happiness Normal? In the western world we now have a higher standard of living than humans have ever known before. We have better medical treatment, more and better food, better housing conditions, better sanitation, more money, more welfare services and more access to education, justice, travel, entertainment and career opportunities.
The psychology and personal development sections of bookstores are growing at a rate never seen before, and the bookshelves are groaning under the strain. And yet — now, think about this — with all this help and advice and worldly wisdom, human misery is not diminishing but growing by leaps and bounds! The statistics are staggering: In any given year almost 30 per cent of the adult population will suffer from a recognised psychiatric disorder. The World Health Organization estimates that depression is currently the fourth biggest, costliest and most debilitating disease in the world, and by the year it will be the second biggest.
In any given week, one-tenth of the adult population is suffering from clinical depression, and one in five people will suffer from it at some point in their lifetime. Furthermore, one in four adults, at some stage in their life, will suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, which is why there are now over twenty million alcoholics in the United States of America alone!
But more startling and more sobering than all those statistics is that almost one in two people will go through a stage in life when they seriously consider suicide and will struggle with it for a period of two weeks or more. Scarier still, one in ten people will at some point actually attempt to kill themselves. Think about those numbers for a moment. Think of the people in your life: Consider what those figures imply: And one in ten will attempt it!
In the past two centuries we have doubled the span of the average human life. But have we doubled the richness, the enjoyment, the fulfilment of that life? These statistics give us the answer, loud and clear: To answer this question, we need to take a journey back in time. The modem human mind, with its amazing ability to analyse, plan, create and communicate, has largely evolved over the last hundred thousand years, since our species, Homo sapiens, first appeared on the planet.
Our minds evolved to help us survive in a world fraught with danger. What are your essential needs in order to survive and reproduce? There are four of them: So the number one priority of the primitive human mind was to look out for anything that might harm you and avoid it!
The better our ancestors became at anticipating and avoiding danger, the longer they lived and the more children they had.
With each generation the human mind became increasingly skilled at predicting and avoiding danger. And now, after a hundred thousand years of evolution, the modem mind is still constantly on the lookout for trouble. It assesses and judges almost everything we encounter: Is this good or bad? Safe or dangerous? Harmful or helpful? As a result we spend a lot of time worrying about things that, more often than not, never happen. Another essential for the survival of any early human is to belong to a group.
So how does the mind protect you from rejection by the group? By comparing you with other members of the clan: Am I fitting in?
Am I doing the right thing? Am I contributing enough? Am I as good as the others? Am I doing anything that might get me rejected? Sound familiar? Our modem-day minds are continually warning us of rejection and comparing us against the rest of society. No wonder we spend so much energy worrying whether people will like us! A hundred thousand years ago we had only the few members of our immediate clan to compare ourselves with.
But these days we can open any newspaper or magazine, switch on any television, tune in to any radio, and instantly find a whole host of people who are smarter, richer, taller, slimmer, sexier, stronger, more powerful, more famous, more successful, or more admired than we are. Show her a fashion magazine. When she compares herself to all those air-brushed, collagen-enhanced, digitally altered supermodels, she is guaranteed to feel inferior or downright unattractive.
And the rest of us are not that different. What chance have we got? We will always end up feeling not good enough! Now, for any Stone Age person with ambition, the general rule for success is: The more sophisticated your weapons and the more of them you have , the more food you can kill.
The more plentiful your food stores, the better your chances are for living through times of scarcity. The more substantial your shelter, the safer you are from weather and wild animals. The more children you have, the better the chance that some of them will survive into adulthood.
No surprise then, that our modern mind continually looks for more: But sooner or later and usually sooner , we end up wanting more.
Thus, evolution has shaped our minds so that we are almost inevitably destined to suffer psychologically: No wonder humans find it hard to be happy! We all want it. We all crave it. We all strive for it. Even the Dalai Lama has said: Usually it refers to a feeling: No matter how hard we try to hold on to them, they slip away every time. And as we shall see, a life spent in pursuit of those feelings is, in the main, unsatisfying. In fact, the harder we pursue pleasurable feelings, the more we are likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
When we take action on the things that truly matter deep in our hearts, when we move in directions that we consider valuable and worthy, when we clarify what we stand for in life and act accordingly, then our lives become rich and full and meaningful, and we experience a powerful sense of vitality.
This is not some fleeting feeling — it is a profound sense of a life well lived. And although such a life will undoubtedly give us many pleasurable feelings, it will also give us uncomfortable ones, such as sadness, fear and anger. This is only to be expected. If we live a full life, we will feel the full range of human emotions. Of course, happy feelings are quite pleasant, and we should certainly make the most of them when they present themselves. But if we try to have them all the time, we are doomed to failure.
The reality is, life involves pain. As human beings we are all faced with the fact that sooner or later we will grow infirm, get sick and die. Sooner or later we all will lose valued relationships through rejection, separation or death.
Sooner or later we all will come face-to-face with a crisis, disappointment and failure. This means that in one form or another, we are all going to experience painful thoughts and feelings. This book will show you how to do so. There are three parts to this process. In Part 1 you will learn how you create and get stuck in the happiness trap. In Part 2, rather than trying to avoid or eliminate painful thoughts and feelings, you will leam how to fundamentally transform your relationship with them.
You will leam how to experience painful thoughts and feelings in a new way that will lessen their impact, drain away their power, and dramatically decrease their influence over your life. Finally, in Part 3, instead of chasing happy thoughts and feelings, you will focus on creating a rich and meaningful life. This will give rise to a sense of vitality and fulfilment that is both deeply satisfying and long lasting.
The Journey Ahead This book is like a trip through a foreign country: Other things will seem familiar yet somehow subtly different.
At times you may feel challenged or confronted, at other times excited or amused. Take your time on this journey. Instead of rushing ahead, savour it fully. Stop when you find something stimulating or unusual. Explore it in depth and learn as much as you can. To create a life worth living is a major undertaking, so please take the time to appreciate it. You got it: How about Hollywood movies?
But does that sound realistic? Does it fit in with your experience of life? This is one of four major myths that make up the basic blueprint for the happiness trap. Myth No. But the statistics quoted in the introduction clearly disprove this. Remember, one in ten adults will attempt suicide, and one in five will suffer from depression. Not exactly great odds, are they? And when you add in all the misery caused by problems that are not classified as psychiatric disorders — loneliness, divorce, sexual difficulties, work stress, midlife crisis, relationship issues, domestic violence, social isolation, bullying, prejudice, low self-esteem, chronic anger and lack of meaning or purpose in life — you start to get some idea of just how rare true happiness really is.
Unfortunately, many people walk around with the belief that everyone else is happy except for them. And — you guessed it — this belief creates even more unhappiness.
This means that when we do inevitably experience painful thoughts and feelings, we often criticise ourselves for being weak or stupid. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is based on a dramatically different assumption. ACT proposes that the normal thinking processes of a healthy human mind will naturally lead to psychological suffering. Fortunately, ACT can teach you how to adapt to this in such a way that your life will be powerfully transformed. And what does that society tell us to do?
After all, who wants to have unpleasant feelings? For example, in an intimate long-term relationship, although you will experience wonderful feelings such as love and joy, you will also inevitably experience disappointment and frustration.
There is no such thing as the perfect partner and sooner or later conflicts of interest will happen. The same holds true for just about every meaningful project we embark on. Although they often bring feelings of excitement and enthusiasm, they also generally bring stress, fear and anxiety.
However, in Part 2 of this book, you will learn how to handle such feelings altogether differently, to experience them in such a way that they bother you a whole lot less. However, we do have a huge amount of control over our actions.
The overwhelming majority of self-help programs subscribe to Myth 4. For example, many approaches teach you to identify negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.
Still other approaches encourage you to visualise what you want, to vividly imagine yourself the way you want to be, living the life you dream of. The basic theme of all these approaches is this: If only life were that simple! But they will not get rid of negative thoughts over the long term. And then they go away again. And then they come back again. And so on and so on. Sadly, Myth 4 is so widely believed that we tend to feel inadequate when our attempts to control our thoughts and feelings fail.
These four powerful myths provide the basic blueprint for the happiness trap. They set us up for a struggle we can never win: It is this struggle that builds the trap. The Illusion Of Control The human mind has given us an enormous advantage as a species. It enables us to make plans, invent things, coordinate actions, analyse problems, share knowledge, learn from our experiences and imagine new futures. The clothes on your body, the shoes on your feet, the watch on your wrist, the chair beneath you, the roof over your head, the book in your hands — none of these things would exist but for the ingenuity of the human mind.
The mind enables us to shape the world around us and conform it to our wishes, to provide ourselves with warmth, shelter, food, water, protection, sanitation and medicine. Not surprisingly, this amazing ability to control our environment gives us high expectations of control in other arenas as well. Now, in the material world, control strategies generally work well. A wolf outside your door? Get rid of it! Throw rocks at it, or spears, or shoot it. Snow, rain or hail? Dry, arid ground?
You can get rid of it by irrigation and fertilisation, or you can avoid it by moving to a better location. But what about our internal world? As you keep reading this paragraph, try not to think about ice cream. Recall something that happened in the past week. Got one? Now try to get rid of it. Totally obliterate it from your memory so it can never come back to you, ever again. How did you go? If you think you succeeded, just check again and see if you can still remember it.
Now, tune in to your mouth. Notice how your tongue feels. Run it over your teeth, your gums, your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. Now try to get rid of those sensations. Try to turn your mouth totally numb, as if you just had a shot of novocaine from the dentist. Were you able to forget the sensations?
Now consider this hypothetical scenario for a moment. Suppose someone put a loaded gun to your head and told you that you must not feel afraid; that if you should feel even the slightest trace of anxiety, they will shoot you. Could you stop yourself feeling anxious in this situation, even though your life depended on it?
Sure you could try to act calm, but could you truly feel it? Okay, one last experiment. Stare at the star below then see if you can stop yourself from thinking for 60 seconds. For 60 seconds, prevent any thoughts whatsoever from coming into your mind — especially any thoughts about the star!
Of course, there are a few self-help gurus who claim to live in such a state all the time. My guess is that many readers of this book will have already gone down that path and been sadly disappointed. How We Learn About Control From a young age, we are taught that we should be able to control our feelings. And certainly it appeared to us as if they controlled theirs.
But what was going on behind closed doors? They may have been drinking too much, taking tranquillisers, crying themselves to sleep every night, having affairs, throwing themselves into their work or suffering in silence while slowly developing stomach ulcers.
The idea that you should be able to control your feelings was undoubtedly reinforced in your school years. The implication of all these phrases is that you should be able to turn your feelings on and off at will, like flicking a switch.
And why is this myth so compelling? Because the people around us seem, on the surface, to be happy. They seem to be in control of their thoughts and feelings. The fact is that most people are not open or honest about the struggle they go through with their own thoughts and feelings. They are like the proverbial clown crying on the inside; the bright face paint and chirpy antics are all we see.
She was feeling tired and anxious and full of self-doubt about her mothering skills. At times she felt incompetent or inadequate and just wanted to run away from all the responsibility.
At other times she felt exhausted and miserable and wondered if having a child had been a huge mistake. On top of that, she felt guilty for even having such thoughts! The other mothers all seemed so confident, she feared that if she told them how she was feeling, they would look down on her.
When Penny eventually plucked up the courage to share her experiences with the other women, her admission broke a conspiracy of silence. There was a huge sense of relief and bonding as these women opened up and got honest with one another. To make a gross generalisation, men are much worse than women at admitting their deepest concerns because men are taught to be stoic: In contrast, women learn to share and discuss their feelings from a young age.
Nonetheless, many women are reluctant to tell even their closest friends that they are feeling depressed or anxious or not coping in some way, for fear of being judged weak or silly. Our silence about what we are really feeling and the false front we put on for the people around us simply add to the powerful illusion of control.
So the question is: How much have you been influenced by all these control myths? The questionnaire on the following pages will help you find out. For each pair of statements, please select the one that most accurately fits how you feel. I must have good control of my feelings in order to be successful in life. It is unnecessary for me to control my feelings in order to be successful in life. Anxiety is bad. Anxiety is neither good nor bad.
It is merely an uncomfortable feeling. In order for me to do something important, I have to get rid of all my doubts. I can do something important, even when doubts are present.
Trying to reduce or get rid of negative thoughts and feelings frequently causes problems. If I simply allow them to be, then they will change as a natural part of living.
The best method of managing negative thoughts and feelings is to analyse them; then utilise that knowledge to get rid of them. The best method of managing negative thoughts and feelings is to acknowledge their presence and let them be, without having to analyse or judge them. The need to control or get rid of a negative emotional reaction is a problem in itself. People who are in control of their lives can generally control how they feel, lib.
People who are in control of their lives do not need to try to control their feelings. It is not okay to feel anxious and I try hard to avoid it.
Negative thoughts and feelings are a sign that there is something wrong with my life. Negative thoughts and feelings are an inevitable part of life for everyone. I just let them come and go of their own accord. Please keep a record of your score.
How so? We have a lovely house. We live in a beautiful area. Maybe your health is deteriorating. Maybe someone you love has died, or rejected you, or moved far away. Maybe you have low self- esteem or no self-confidence or feelings of inadequacy. Maybe you have drug or alcohol problems or other addictions.
But suppose those attempts to get rid of your bad thoughts and feelings are actually lowering the quality of your life? In ACT we have a saying for this: What do you do when you have an itch? You scratch it, right? Problem solved. But suppose one day you develop a patch of eczema a common skin condition. The skin is very itchy, so naturally you scratch it.
However, the skin cells in this region are already inflamed and therefore highly sensitive, and when you scratch them, they release chemicals called histamines, which are highly irritating. And these histamines inflame the skin even further. So after a little while the itch returns — with a greater intensity than before. And, of course, if you scratch it again, it gets even worse! The more you scratch, the worse the eczema and the bigger the itch. Scratching is a good solution for a fleeting itch in normal, healthy skin.
But for a persistent itch in abnormal skin, scratching is harmful: And in the world of human emotions, vicious cycles are common. Here are a few examples: He lives alone and stays home every night. Furthermore, living alone with no friends or social life just serves to make him feel completely rejected, which is the very thing he fears! She copes with this by drinking heavily. In the short term, alcohol reduces her anxiety.
But the next day she feels hung-over and tired and she often regrets the money she spent on alcohol or worries about the embarrassing things she did while under the influence. Sure, she escapes anxiety for a little while, but the price she pays is a lot of other unpleasant feelings over the long term.
For the moment, she feels better. He wants to get fit again. Then his fitness level slides even lower. But the more hours he works, the more dissatisfied Sylvana gets — and the tension in their relationship steadily increases. You can see that these are all examples of trying to get rid of, avoid or escape from unpleasant feelings.
The table on the following page shows some of the most common control strategies. Fight strategies involve fighting with or trying to dominate your unwanted thoughts and feelings. Flight strategies involve running away or hiding from those unwelcome thoughts and feelings. Table 2. For example, you drop out of a course or avoid going to a social function, in order to prevent feelings of anxiety. You try to directly suppress unwanted thoughts and feelings.
Distraction Arguing You distract yourself from your thoughts and feelings by focusing on something else.