Is it okay to avoid situations that make me anxious, or is that giving up to it?
Last Updated: 12/08/2020 at 11:19am
Johanna Liasides, MSc
I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.
Top Rated Answers
Yes and no. It really depends on what it is. Anxiety tells us something. It can be both good and bad. Something that causes anxiety could be something to avoid or something to overcome. Anxiety can tell you you are making a bad choice or it can just be telling you that you are growing and be something to overcome. If you are anxious because you have been hurt by something in the past you need to address that. If you are anxious because you already know something is a bad choice that is different. Listen to your anxiety and see what it is teaching you.
There isnt a general rule for it. There are situations where staying in could be more harmful to give them a chance. But if your wisdom tells you that these situations are not harmful in general, you can start getting out out there little by little, starting by occasions where you feel less anxious than more. Then you can evaluate how you would respond by time. If your feeling starts to fade away as you get used to the situation, then youve done a good job getting out of your comfort zone, if you feel worse as the time goes by, you can consult someone to see where the problem is or simply stay away from it.
Delaying won't solve this issue by definition. But if avoiding is the solution then it may be a good way as long as you're not hurting anyone else (and making more problems).
Whatever you feel would benefit you the most at the time is what is okay. If avoiding the situation will be more beneficial, than try that. If facing the situation head-on will be more beneficial than try that. You know you best. If avoiding it at that moment protects your peace, then I wouldn't consider it to be giving up. You are doing your best. Taking things day by day is key. Just because you avoid a situation one day does not mean you need to avoid it the next. Be proud of yourself for trying, regardless of the continuity.
I think it is okay to avoid situations that make you anxious because it is you taking care of your mental health. I have anxiety and know that coffee can trigger my anxiety therefore I try and stay away from it. If I know that really big family events can make me feel really anxious and will just result in me going and feeling horrible then I won't go. It is not beneficial for me to go, feel horrible and have everyone ask me if I am okay. I do not want to willingly put myself in a situation I am not comfortable in and will put me in a worse mental state.
It is absolutely okay to avoid some situations that you feel are not good for you. Mental health is extremely important, and often overlooked. But do make sure that you’re not avoiding situations just because you can. Weigh out the pros and cons, and see if engaging in the situation would be harmful to you, or if you’re avoiding it based off fear alone. If it’s something you need to do, work through it with calming exercises to keep your anxiety down. You can breathing techniques or working through it step by step in your mind to help alleviate the stress. Hope this helps!
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