Avoidance and Thought Control Strategies

With fear of physical symptoms such as rapid heart beat or muscle weakness it is easy to identify safety behaviours such as lying down or avoiding physical exertion but it may not be so obvious what we do to avoid or control obsessional thoughts.

Think about what your usual behaviour is when you become distressed about your thoughts.

Do you try to distract yourself by turning the radio or TV up loud?

Do you phone someone, read a magazine, try to think of something ELSE?

Do you do any behaviours such as rubbing your hands, biting your nails, walking up and down?

Do you ‘tighten up’ – clench your fists – or try to suppress thoughts inside your head?

Do you immediately try to ‘get away’ from the place where the thoughts arise?

Do you seek reassurance about the thoughts from anyone?

Do you look up therapy or medical books, search online for answers?

If you are alone do you seek company?

If you are with someone do you try to get away?

Do you eat more, drink or smoke more, take pills to calm you down?

Do you try to ‘work the thoughts out’ in order that they will stop

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