Short-Term Comfort

Short-term comfort is hard to resist. We’re naturally drawn toward it. Add anxiety screaming “danger!!” and it becomes even harder to resist. Feels reckless to resist.

The more we seek comfort though, away from the “danger,” the more we reinforce anxiety’s false alarms. We inadvertently teach our brain to continue sending us alarm bells in similar situations. This is the anxiety cycle:

Trigger —> Anxiety —> Fear Thoughts —> Escape/Avoid —> Short-term Comfort —> Long-term Anxiety Maintenance

As long as we’re not in actual harms way, the goal is to step outside the anxiety cycle by increasing short-term discomfort. That is, avoid avoiding/escaping.

It’s incredibly brave to step outside the anxiety cycle because anxious “danger” feels exactly the same as real danger. There’s no difference internally.

By letting facts be our rudder, we start to teach the “child brain” new lessons: The Child Brain, The Parent Brain, & The Grandparent Brain