The difference between ‘avoiding’ and ‘engaging’ behavior

GTU Featured Guest

Mental Health Therapist Erin Shephard from Yarrow Therapy joined us today to explain the difference between avoiding behavior or engaging behavior.

Erin explained that avoiding behavior is when we do something with the intention to avoid or escape. Avoidance behavior serves us when we need a “break” from emotional (or physically) stressors that overwhelm our ability to cope and taking a “break” isn’t going to make the stressor worse.

Engaging behavior is when we do something with the intention to recharge or refuel. Engaging behavior can be “more valued” don’t get caught up buying into that!

Erin said that both avoidance behavior and engaging behavior can serve us as coping skills. So pay close attention to how you are able to engage in recharging and refueling activities. Recognize how often you are using avoiding behaviors as a way to cope. Both can be a sign of depression or mood disorders.

She said that the best thing we can do for our emotional wellbeing is knowing what behavior we are using and why we have “chosen” it.

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