What is experiential avoidance?
Experiential avoidance refers to your tendency to avoid situations or emotions that you believe will be unpleasant. Approaching experiences is the opposite. You move towards experiencing new things, even if they are scary.
Why is it important to build this skill?
When you avoid experiences, you fail to learn how to deal with unpleasant emotions and can later become overwhelmed by them. By purposefully putting yourself in situations that challenge you a little at a time, you learn how to tolerate and cope with negative emotions and build the skills you need to thrive.
Activities to develop this skill:
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.